A Photojournalist's Advice to First Responders

Jim Dean, a newspaper reporter and photojournalist in Cumming, Ga., writing for EMS1.com offers advice for first responders dealing with media at an accident scene. Here's Point 1:

Let’s get to the elephant in the room. Or in this case, the HIPAA. I am not a covered provider. I have no HIPAA restrictions. You, however, do. 

Your basic HIPAA obligation when it comes to the press is very simple. Don't divulge any patient medical information to a journalist. Don’t discuss patient specifics within hearing or recording distance, at least not in great detail. Don’t write notes where they can be read. If you have a clipboard with medical information, turn it over so it can’t be seen in a photograph. 

Your HIPAA obligation does not, however, require you to stop me or others from taking images at the scene.

Dean has four other tips—all good, practical stuff that should be tacked onto the board at every firehouse, police station, and medic-unit break room.

The Short Haul

Heard a story on NPR on April 9 titled "Rail Operators Aim To Do More Short-Distance Hauling," that might have some in the trucking industry sitting up and taking notice - Norfolk Southern wants more of their business. And it’s building more intermodal facilities to accomplish that goal. Used to be railroads couldn’t make money on hauling intermodal freight less than 1,000 miles. Norfolk Southern believes it can do it profitably at distances as little as 550 miles. 

A Missed Opportunity for the Ages

Jim Park, writing for Heavy Duty Trucking, suggests that the trucking industry should have seen today's driver demographic roadblocks from a mile away.

For decades after World War 2, Baby Boomers pushed their kids away from trades and hands-on vocational training into more academic-minded pursuits. The shift away from blue-collar work was well documented (check out the Boom, Bust & Echo reference!) but widely ignored:

Armed with that knowledge, we might have begun 10 years ago to reduce the lifestyle costs of over-the-road driving, or tailored the job to suit the next generation's work ethic.
As well, because of the demographic shifts, we might have been able to convince regulators to lower the minimum age for holding a CDL and working in interstate trucking. We might have been able to make a convincing case for maintaining vocational streams in schools, or developed trade and apprenticeship programs to nurture and train future diesel technicians and drivers.

Park has a few ideas about what the industry and lawmakers can do today—ideas that hearken back to a paper Park wrote 15 years ago. And they don't involve another ATRI study. 

As usual, Park is well worth the read..