interFIRE Home interFIRE Home interFIRE VR Support Training Calendar Training Center Resource Center Message Board Insurance Info
 

Adams, Rich. Protecting the Integrity of a Crime Scene. Firehouse. Vol. 20. No. 11 (November 1995). p 22.

Abstract: EMS personnel can contribute a great deal to the investigation into a crime scene. Recognizing that any scene has the potential to be a crime scene until otherwise determined will help to prepare EMS staff to respond to their responsibilities.

While patient care is the primary responsibility, protection and preservation of evidence is equally important. Simple actions can make the job of the police easier. Use a minimum of equipment, only what you need. Don't bring your kit to the patient, but rather, have your partner pass you what you need. Don't disturb the integrity of the evidence by introducing outside items to the scene. Recall how covering the bodies of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman with blankets damaged the prosecution's case.

Avoid cutting clothing across a knife slash or bullet wound. Doing so might prevent the police from matching the fabric to the injury later. And try to remove little or no clothing if possible. Treat your patient, but disturb the scene minimally if you can. Aid in preserving potential evidence. Bloody garments are best preserved in paper bags, as sealed plastic accelerates the breakdown of enzymes.

Take care of yourself too. Don't approach any patient if there is a weapon nearby. Wait until police have secured the scene.

Finally, be meticulous in your reporting and document everything you can remember, even sit down and write out exactly what happened and how you responded. This information might prove valuable later.

For more information, contact:
Firehouse
PTN Publishing Corporation
445 Broad Hollow Road, Ste 21
Melville, NY 11747
Phone: (516) 845-2700

 
Home | interFIRE VR Support | Training Calendar | Training Center | Resource Center | Message Board | Insurance Info
Sponsorship Opportunities
Web Site Designed for 800 x 600 by Stonehouse Media Incorporated® Copyright © 2014 All Rights Reserved.