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‘We are patient advocates’: When ‘backing the blue’ puts EMS in a difficult position

Regardless of pushback, providers have a responsibility to put the safety of the patient above all else when on scene

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Inside EMS cohosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson delve into a legal case out of New Jersey in this week’s episode, in which law enforcement officers and EMS providers were recently charged with the in-custody, in-ambulance death of a patient under the influence of bath salts.

The discussion also discusses a similar incident out of Colorado in which two paramedics and a police officer were convicted in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain after he was injected with ketamine.

Chris and Kelly share vulnerable moments from their careers when they regret not advocating for their patient in the face of law enforcement actions, plus we dig into all this:

  • The growing legal scrutiny of EMS practices
  • How to use de-escalation techniques to mitigate contentious situations with law enforcement partners
  • The ethical responsibilities of EMS providers

This episode of the Inside EMS Podcast is sponsored by LogRx. Learn a better way to track your narcotics at

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The Inside EMS podcast is a regular expert discussion of hot topics, clinical issues, operational and leadership lessons for EMTs, paramedics and chiefs