Monday, April 30, 2007

Video Vultures and the Lost Scene Photos

Real photos are important in textbooks. They provide a sense of reality and excitement. Students like them--and often get more from the photos than from words. But it is challenging to do any ride time and get quality scene photos. Incidents like this don't help:

New York Post article


April 28, 2007 -- A peeping pair of FDNY medical technicians resigned
yesterday for secretly videotaping patients in their care, authorities

David Campbell and Kevin Edell, with a combined 30 years on the job,
submitted their notice a few days after department brass received the
video discs in an anonymous mailing, sources said.

"We believe this is an isolated incident," said Fire Commissioner Nicholas
Scoppetta. "This department will not tolerate the violation of a patient's
right to confidentiality."

The directorial duo worked out of Brooklyn's Station 43 in Gravesend until
last August, when Campbell was reassigned as a hazmat instructor at the
Randalls Island training facility.

I don't know the EMTs in this case. I know that there is often much more behind the scenes than is written in the paper. But the article is damaging enough on its own. Incidents such as this damage the ability for legitimate educational photographers to do EMS ride alongs.

I will post more on this in the future. For now suffice it to say that I believe it is possible to ride along, photograph, maintain confidentiality and provide great care all at the same time.

The photo in this post was shot while I rode along with an EMS crew during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The photo was shot on the street where the expectation of privacy is certainly much lower than in a residence or the rig--but still shows a dynamic scene and doesn't show the patient's face.

Thanks to Ken Bouvier for the ride along and to the NOLA EMS crews who were so professional during such a stressful, high volume day. And, of course, thanks to the FDNY EMS men and women who go out and do the job every day.

Thanks to Paul Maniscalco's EMSNEWS listserv for the article on the "Video Vultures."

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