How EMS can save more victims of human trafficking
We need to receive training necessary to detect such situations and then do something about it
By Art Hsieh
Editor's note: For the past several months, Honolulu has required all of its paramedics to attend a course to better recognize the telltale signs of human trafficking abuse.
As part of this country's medical safety net, EMS providers have a front-row seat for the triumphs and trials of the human condition.
Unfortunately, we are more privy to the sordid underside of society, where many human weaknesses are stashed out of the general public's view.
We might imagine it's easy to spot these problems, but it is more difficult than it looks. Human trafficking for forced labor or prostitution is as old as humanity itself, but it's rarely seen or talked about.
Frankly, most of the public would prefer not to hear about it, so uncomfortable the situation. But EMS doesn't have a choice.
So it makes sense that we receive the training necessary to detect such situations and then do something about it, such as notify law enforcement or transport to a safe location. That may be all that it takes to save someone's life.
Kudos to HEMS for preparing its personnel to manage these horrid situations.