Administration and Leadership, Documentation & Patient Care Reporting, News

Florida EMT Worked 24-Hour Shift Day After Threatening Harm on Himself

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – An EMT who threatened to use a knife on himself and said he had suicidal thoughts worked a full 24-hour shift the next day, even though authorities knew of his condition, according to a report.

Logo: Collier County Emergency Medical Services Department

The incident happened back on Feb. 25, but was only reported by the Naples Daily News yesterday. The newspaper reports a sheriff’s deputy had detained the Collier County EMT under the Baker Act, a Florida law that allows police, doctors, and judges the ability to commit a person for up to 72 hours in a mental health treatment facility.

Collier County EMS Chief Tabatha Butcher told the newspaper her department was not aware of the EMT’s condition at the time.

“If we had known about that, we would not have had him on duty,” Butcher is quoted in the article as saying. “Without knowing and seeking out what’s going on in peoples’ personal lives, it’s really hard for us to know those kind of things. But definitely if we knew, he would not have been on duty.”

Butcher said the department gave the employee administrative tasks after that.

FURTHER READING

The Culture of Mental Health in Fire and EMS

NAEMT Survey Reveals Inadequacies in Mental Health Care for EMS

Rockland County, N.Y.’s Innovative Response Team Works to Treat Mental and Physical Health Issues in the Community