In a nutshell three men managed to put their car upside down in a flooded ditch - 2 escaped relatively unhurt and one was injured. His friends got him out of the car but couldn't get him up the steep banks. When paramedics finally arrived - after long delays calling them - the crew "risk assessed" the situation and decided it was too dangerous to enter the ditch. A policeman arrived afterwards and came to a different decision diving in and helping get the injured man to the bank where the paramedics then treated him.
The coroner then made a number of statements -
- "I will not say what I think of health and safety,”
- “I was brought up in a country where men risked their own lives to save others. That was a period in our history which has almost ceased.”
Now there have been some odd decisions made in the past - but strip this down a little. Its the middle of the night, the bank was so steep the police the following day had problems measuring its depth and unless you were there its hard to decide what you'd have done. The paramedics have not made any individual statements but have been backed by their employers. Equally the Coroner also stated he didn't know if the paramedics had come to a different decision they'd have been able to save him.
Paramedics normally rely on the Fire Brigade and Police in these situations so we're not talking a full rescue crew with ladders and ropes - we're talking two guys in the middle of nowhere with no rescue gear. Take away the words risk assessment and just say the two medics made a decision.
Oh and really minor point - the car was driven by a drunk driver who has since been prosecuted. So obviously lets blame the paramedics not the drunk driving ............ sorry but think you're aiming at the wrong target. If the dead man had been walking home and hit by the car it would be the drivers fault - but put your car and passengers upside down in a ditch its the medics fault...... of course it is.