Fire EMS

Lessons from the Michael Jackson Call

Issue 10 and Volume 162.

BY STEPHEN J. RUDA The phone call came to headquarters from a division commander who had been notified by one of his rescue ambulances and fire engines that a popular celebrity needed help. Here in Los Angeles and within the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), it is policy that the incident commander notify our Operational Control Division when there is an incident of serious injury involving a well-known celebrity or elected official. Then we notify the chain of command and inform the various political officials who have a need to know. Over the years, that policy has been very effective in respecting the privacy of our patients and rendering to them the care they deserve in their moments of great need. From traffic accidents on Sunset Boulevard to drug overdoses in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles firefighters and paramedics have seen a lot and have responded with professionalism and great…

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