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Legal matters: Chemical restraint

EMS attorneys Stephen Wirth and Douglas Wolfberg discuss the legal analysis of the charges brought against Colorado firefighter-medics in the Elijah McClain case


Photo/Jon Lee

In today’s episode of EMS One-Stop, host Rob Lawrence sits down with EMS attorneys Stephen R. Wirth, Esq., EMT-P; and Douglas M. Wolfberg, Esq., EMT-B; of Page, Wolfberg and Wirth, to discuss the legal analysis of the charges brought against Colorado firefighter-medics in the Elijah McClain case.

Wolfberg and Wirth discuss their analysis articles as well as wider issues arising from the recent ketamine bill, signed into law governing the appropriate use of chemical restraints on a person (HB21-1251).


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Rob Lawrence has been a leader in civilian and military EMS for over a quarter of a century. He is currently the director of strategic implementation for PRO EMS and its educational arm, Prodigy EMS, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and part-time executive director of the California Ambulance Association.

He previously served as the chief operating officer of the Richmond Ambulance Authority (Virginia), which won both state and national EMS Agency of the Year awards during his 10-year tenure. Additionally, he served as COO for Paramedics Plus in Alameda County, California.

Prior to emigrating to the U.S. in 2008, Rob served as the COO for the East of England Ambulance Service in Suffolk County, England, and as the executive director of operations and service development for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust. Rob is a former Army officer and graduate of the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served worldwide in a 20-year military career encompassing many prehospital and evacuation leadership roles.

Rob is a board member of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) as well as chair of the American Ambulance Association’s State Association Forum. He writes and podcasts for EMS1 and is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Connect with him on Twitter.