View Poll Results: Should someone who saves a life be punished if they broke a rule?

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  • Yes, if they broke a law

    6 20.00%
  • No, even if they broke a law

    6 20.00%
  • Only if it turns out badly (victim is not rescued)

    0 0%
  • Maybe, depending on which law they broke

    11 36.67%
  • Only if they actually impeded rescue

    7 23.33%
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Thread: Should someone who saves a life be punished if they broke a rule?

  1. #1
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    Should someone who saves a life be punished if they broke a rule?

    This question comes about due to an article a river buddy of mine posted on Facebook.

    Colorado rafting guide arrested after girl's rescue - The Denver Post

    Clear Creek sheriff's deputies arrested a rafting guide for swimming to a stranded young rafter who had tumbled from his boat on Clear Creek.

    Ryan Daniel Snodgrass, a 28-year- old guide with Arkansas Valley Adventures rafting company, was charged after the Thursday incident with "obstructing government operations," Clear Creek Sheriff Don Krueger said.

    "He was told not to go in the water, and he jumped in and swam over to the victim and jeopardized the rescue operation," said Krueger, noting that his office was deciding whether to file similar charges against another guide at the scene Thursday on Clear Creek just downstream from Kermitts Roadhouse on U.S. 6.

    Duke Bradford, owner of Arkansas Valley Adventures, said Snodgrass did the right thing by contacting the 13-year-old Texas girl immediately and not waiting for the county's volunteer search-and-rescue team to assemble ropes, rafts and personnel.

    "When you have someone in sight who has taken a long swim, you need to make contact immediately," said Bradford, a 15-year rafting guide and ski patroller from Summit County.

    "This is just silly. Ryan Snod grass acted entirely appropriately. These guys came to the scene late, and there was a rescue in progress. They came in and took over an existing rescue. To leave a patient on the side of a river while you get your gear out of the car and set up a rescue system you read about in a book is simply not good policy."
    This is a dilemma encountered sometimes by rescue personnel. I worked as a river guide for nearly 10 years full time. Worked Ski Patrol for a number of years, and also worked on an ambulance as an EMT. I've been trained and re-trained in multiple kinds of rescue situations.

    In all of those areas, there are "rules". Set in place mostly to protect one's employer, sometimes the rescuer, and rarely the victim. Sometimes those rules conflict with one another, though. And sometimes they conflict with the reality of a dire situation, and conflict with just plain ole common sense, experience, or compassion.

    I could relay to you story after story related to these types of things, some experienced personally, some witnessed, and some told to me by others.

    But primarily what I'm getting at is that if a rescue is successful, should someone have charges brought against them for not participating in the rescue in the manner in which a lesser trained individual FEELS they should have?

    What I'm getting at is that the girl was rescued. Safely. The guide in this story obviously did not impede anything, even though he was told by (lesser experienced) rescuers not to go out to the victim. Shouldn't HIS experience and training have some bearing on this? If it was just an average person on the sideline who did it, I might agree that they should be reprimanded (though not charged) since most people are not trained to swim in whitewater, not trained to rescue people from life threatening situations, and not trained to deal with people under duress and in a near panicked state. And people not trained in these things are more likely to become a second victim.

    But in this case we're talking about a trained individual. Someone who deals with this daily. Someone who is able to assess the situation and know whether they can make the swim or not, safely. Someone who is able to assess the mental/emotional state of the victim - which is highly important in rescue operations because if someone gets to the point that they are unresponsive, the situation only gets more dire.

    As my EMT instructor told us when he relayed to us what we were "legally" allowed to do with our certification and what reality might actually call for: Err on the side of saving the person's life.

    Should someone be charged if they help someone?

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    Re: Should someone who saves a life be punished if they broke a rule?

    If you believe in the absolute rule of law then yes. If not then it is an acception to the rule. I am not going to read the story. I have a pretty good grasp of the mess. I would argue it is situational and up to the individuals involved dispite the law.

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    Re: Should someone who saves a life be punished if they broke a rule?

    The way I see it is that saving a life is a special situation and the normal rules should be suspended unless greater harm occurs. For example, if a person saves a life but in the process causes another to get killed and some property gets damaged. Also, a life should always be seen as more valuable than property, unless that property is necessary for a greater number of people to live (a bridge that some people are standing on for example).

    In my view life > property in almost any case.

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    Re: Should someone who saves a life be punished if they broke a rule?

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    This question comes about due to an article a river buddy of mine posted on Facebook.

    Colorado rafting guide arrested after girl's rescue - The Denver Post



    This is a dilemma encountered sometimes by rescue personnel. I worked as a river guide for nearly 10 years full time. Worked Ski Patrol for a number of years, and also worked on an ambulance as an EMT. I've been trained and re-trained in multiple kinds of rescue situations.

    In all of those areas, there are "rules". Set in place mostly to protect one's employer, sometimes the rescuer, and rarely the victim. Sometimes those rules conflict with one another, though. And sometimes they conflict with the reality of a dire situation, and conflict with just plain ole common sense, experience, or compassion.

    I could relay to you story after story related to these types of things, some experienced personally, some witnessed, and some told to me by others.

    But primarily what I'm getting at is that if a rescue is successful, should someone have charges brought against them for not participating in the rescue in the manner in which a lesser trained individual FEELS they should have?

    What I'm getting at is that the girl was rescued. Safely. The guide in this story obviously did not impede anything, even though he was told by (lesser experienced) rescuers not to go out to the victim. Shouldn't HIS experience and training have some bearing on this? If it was just an average person on the sideline who did it, I might agree that they should be reprimanded (though not charged) since most people are not trained to swim in whitewater, not trained to rescue people from life threatening situations, and not trained to deal with people under duress and in a near panicked state. And people not trained in these things are more likely to become a second victim.

    But in this case we're talking about a trained individual. Someone who deals with this daily. Someone who is able to assess the situation and know whether they can make the swim or not, safely. Someone who is able to assess the mental/emotional state of the victim - which is highly important in rescue operations because if someone gets to the point that they are unresponsive, the situation only gets more dire.

    As my EMT instructor told us when he relayed to us what we were "legally" allowed to do with our certification and what reality might actually call for: Err on the side of saving the person's life.

    Should someone be charged if they help someone?
    Not sure if Good Samaritan laws apply here, but first did the guide act beyond his skill level to help the victim. I would say the answer is NO; in fact he was probably as much an expert as the rescue squad. It's hard to imagine being a guide without any rescue training applicable to the activity. We don't know all of the facts either; usually there is a lot missing from news articles. I was an EMT once too, and you are allowed to help a victim within your level of skill. That is, if I went out on a call and tried to perform open-heart surgery on a victim......yes, I would get charged.
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    Re: Should someone who saves a life be punished if they broke a rule?

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    This question comes about due to an article a river buddy of mine posted on Facebook.

    Colorado rafting guide arrested after girl's rescue - The Denver Post




    This is a dilemma encountered sometimes by rescue personnel. I worked as a river guide for nearly 10 years full time. Worked Ski Patrol for a number of years, and also worked on an ambulance as an EMT. I've been trained and re-trained in multiple kinds of rescue situations.

    In all of those areas, there are "rules". Set in place mostly to protect one's employer, sometimes the rescuer, and rarely the victim. Sometimes those rules conflict with one another, though. And sometimes they conflict with the reality of a dire situation, and conflict with just plain ole common sense, experience, or compassion.

    I could relay to you story after story related to these types of things, some experienced personally, some witnessed, and some told to me by others.

    But primarily what I'm getting at is that if a rescue is successful, should someone have charges brought against them for not participating in the rescue in the manner in which a lesser trained individual FEELS they should have?

    What I'm getting at is that the girl was rescued. Safely. The guide in this story obviously did not impede anything, even though he was told by (lesser experienced) rescuers not to go out to the victim. Shouldn't HIS experience and training have some bearing on this? If it was just an average person on the sideline who did it, I might agree that they should be reprimanded (though not charged) since most people are not trained to swim in whitewater, not trained to rescue people from life threatening situations, and not trained to deal with people under duress and in a near panicked state. And people not trained in these things are more likely to become a second victim.

    But in this case we're talking about a trained individual. Someone who deals with this daily. Someone who is able to assess the situation and know whether they can make the swim or not, safely. Someone who is able to assess the mental/emotional state of the victim - which is highly important in rescue operations because if someone gets to the point that they are unresponsive, the situation only gets more dire.

    As my EMT instructor told us when he relayed to us what we were "legally" allowed to do with our certification and what reality might actually call for: Err on the side of saving the person's life.

    Should someone be charged if they help someone?



    If it ends well, no charges. It worked.

    If they try and the vic dies, and it could be argued that they obstructed somehow, then maybe charges.

    This particular case sounds more like some grumpy-ass gov't bitches who are pissed that they didn't get to play with their own toys, because the big boys won the game before they got started good.

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    Re: Should someone who saves a life be punished if they broke a rule?

    I say Only if they actually impeded rescue. This is probably similar to "Only if it turns out badly",examples of this turning out badly would be rescuer needed rescuing himself,victim died, one of the official rescuers died as a result of the civilian attempting to rescue someone or someone died rescuing the attempted rescuer.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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    Re: Should someone who saves a life be punished if they broke a rule?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I say Only if they actually impeded rescue. This is probably similar to "Only if it turns out badly",examples of this turning out badly would be rescuer needed rescuing himself,victim died, one of the official rescuers died as a result of the civilian attempting to rescue someone or someone died rescuing the attempted rescuer.
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    Re: Should someone who saves a life be punished if they broke a rule?

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    This question comes about due to an article a river buddy of mine posted on Facebook.

    Colorado rafting guide arrested after girl's rescue - The Denver Post



    This is a dilemma encountered sometimes by rescue personnel. I worked as a river guide for nearly 10 years full time. Worked Ski Patrol for a number of years, and also worked on an ambulance as an EMT. I've been trained and re-trained in multiple kinds of rescue situations.

    In all of those areas, there are "rules". Set in place mostly to protect one's employer, sometimes the rescuer, and rarely the victim. Sometimes those rules conflict with one another, though. And sometimes they conflict with the reality of a dire situation, and conflict with just plain ole common sense, experience, or compassion.

    I could relay to you story after story related to these types of things, some experienced personally, some witnessed, and some told to me by others.

    But primarily what I'm getting at is that if a rescue is successful, should someone have charges brought against them for not participating in the rescue in the manner in which a lesser trained individual FEELS they should have?

    What I'm getting at is that the girl was rescued. Safely. The guide in this story obviously did not impede anything, even though he was told by (lesser experienced) rescuers not to go out to the victim. Shouldn't HIS experience and training have some bearing on this? If it was just an average person on the sideline who did it, I might agree that they should be reprimanded (though not charged) since most people are not trained to swim in whitewater, not trained to rescue people from life threatening situations, and not trained to deal with people under duress and in a near panicked state. And people not trained in these things are more likely to become a second victim.

    But in this case we're talking about a trained individual. Someone who deals with this daily. Someone who is able to assess the situation and know whether they can make the swim or not, safely. Someone who is able to assess the mental/emotional state of the victim - which is highly important in rescue operations because if someone gets to the point that they are unresponsive, the situation only gets more dire.

    As my EMT instructor told us when he relayed to us what we were "legally" allowed to do with our certification and what reality might actually call for: Err on the side of saving the person's life.

    Should someone be charged if they help someone?
    I think it depends on the situation. If the rescuer got in the way of ongoing rescue operations, or somehow endangered the victim, others, or himself, then they should definitely be charged.

    In reality, I think we should leave it up to the prosecutor on whether to press charges or not. District attorneys do have prosecutorial discretion available to them, and, personally, I think they should exercise it more. They can choose which cases concerning which laws to prosecute. Most of the time, however, they go after even silly cases in attempts to make a name or to get an easy win in their column for when they're up for re-election.

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    Re: Should someone who saves a life be punished if they broke a rule?

    As mentioned above, the guide is very likely to have taken water life saving classes at or above the level of the rescue squad. I was a junior life saver in Boy Scouts as well having passed the neighborhood pool's life saving courses.

    To this day I would still dive in and rescue the floundering victim. It's a reaction, not a thought process. This sounds like sour grapes from the squad because the guide stole their hero moment.

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  10. #10
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    Re: Should someone who saves a life be punished if they broke a rule?

    Well, obviously all of my river buds thought the law enforcement officer(s) were way out of line and that it was just flat out ****ed up to press charges against the guide who was more experienced and better trained than the state volunteer rescue squad.

    But I just wanted to see if we were all biased. LOL Seems as though we're not and that the general consensus is that the charges are bull****.

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