This is what happens when excessive rules sap all initiative

The only thing I’ll add to the my post title by way of commentary is that this is the America that Obama and the Democrats envision for you, since increased government control inevitably presages the rise of regulations that destroy initiative, innovation and courage:

A jobsworth ambulance boss refused to allow his staff to enter six inches of water to treat a man with a broken back – because it breached heath and safety.


But they [onlookers] were stunned when a paramedic arrived and refused his pleading staff to enter the water – because they weren’t trained to deal with water rescues.

They had to slide a spinal board under him themselves and carry him to ambulancemen, who were stood on the bank just 6ft away.

One onlooker said: ‘The paramedic wouldn’t treat him.

‘Two colleagues arrived in an ambulance but he stood in their way and told them, ‘I’m incident commander – you aren’t getting into the water.’

‘The ambulancemen were pleading with him. I reckon a good ten or more minutes were wasted.’

Steve Cox, 47, who runs the Middlemoor Water Park in Woolavington with his wife Julie, said: ‘The first bloke insisted they had to wait for the fire brigade.

‘He kept saying, “Health and safety won’t let me get in”.’


A spokesman for the South West Ambulance Service said only fire crews were trained for water rescues.

He said: ‘The incident was managed in accordance with procedures.’

In August, heart attack victim Melissa Proctor-Blain, 32, died after a paramedic feared it was unsafe to enter a pub in Spondon, Derbys.

Last year Karl Malton, 32, of Crowland, Lincs, drowned in 18ins of water while 999 crews waited for a water rescue team 50 miles away.

Let me remind you what initiative and courage look like:

Construction worker rescue

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  • David Foster

    Here’s a related incident, which also happened in the UK several years ago..can’t find it online but remember it pretty well.

    An elderly man in a nursing home fell, and the (male) attendant refused to pick him up, because the *rules* only required him to pick up objects weighing X pounds or less. (The man who fell was not especially heavy; maybe 150 lbs or so)

    The man who had fallen had been an RAF pilot in WWII, and the airplane he flew, IIRC, was a Gloster Gladiator, an actual *biplane*, which had no business in WWII air combat…it was being used only because of desperate need.

    So, here’s a man who put his life at risk flying an obsolete airplane against well-armed enemies, and 60 years later, someone won’t pick him up because the rules don’t require it.

  • benning

    Phillip K. Howard exposed the insanity of ‘process’ in his 1994 book, “The Death Of Common Sense – How Law is Suffocating America”.

    Obviously this is going on elsewhere, too. Ugly stupidity, masquerading as ‘following the rules,’ is endangering our lives and livelihoods. A disgrace in every possible way.


  • BrianE

    It’s easy to blame the ambulance crew or supervisor for this fiasco, but really it should be filed under “The Law of Unintended Bureaucratic Consequences”.
    It is the perfect example of using law to make society perfect.
    This should be labeled as the poster representing the impending catastrophe of ‘health care reform’. The absurb consequences will be played out across America in ways that might not be so obvious, but just as potentially dangerous.

  • Ymarsakar

    To create a nation of serfs and slaves, it’s not hard.

  • Mike Devx

    If they violate procedures and the explicit guideline rules, they are open to any variety of problems.

    Welcome to America, the land of Insane Law. And yet, we are a land ruled by Men, not by Laws. It’s the worst of both possible worlds!

    Nevertheless, you look at that wonderful picture, and you realize there are great and wonderful people who don’t give a damn about our insane current system.

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