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#149189 - 08/16/03 01:13 AM EMS Safety Concerns in NZ
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
I was watching a Documentary last night that looked to address the fears of our National Ambulance staff, mainly with respect to their own safety.
See, the problem is, we lowered our Legal Drinking Age over here in 2002(I think), to 18(it was 20).
And now we have a problem here, where EMS staff are being dispatched to parties that have got out of hand, to try and revive young louts that have drank way too much for thier age and they become violent once the Ambulance turns up.
Is this sort of thing common where you come from?.
Sometimes the Police are responded at the same time as the Ambulance, but not always.
I've been to a few of these incidents as a Fire-fighter, when the people at the party have set a Wood-Shed on fire or a Car parked outside the property and there are drunken people everywhere, getting in your way and making a darned nuisance of themselves!.
I really have concerns for the EMS people's safety, as most of us Fire-fighters are quite solidly built(and we have helmets, too), but you just never know what is going to happen next, with respect to these sorts of incidents.
Can anyone give me some input on what we SHOULD do about this?.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#149190 - 08/16/03 03:13 AM Re: EMS Safety Concerns in NZ
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Now isn't it curious that NZ has lowered the age from 20 to 18, while a few years ago the U.S. made all states raise the age to 21 ? (Possible violation of 10th amendment notwithstanding.)
http://www.nzdf.org.nz/sol/minimum.htm

I don't know whether there's a direct correlation between alcohol problems and the minmum legal age. I think it might be down to other social issues.

In the U.K. the minimum age is 18, although apparently the law says that 16-year-olds can be served beer or cider in a pub if it accompanies a meal. Yes, drunken teenagers can be seen in any major town practically any night, but there are a lot of people 21+ to be found in the same condition.

France, on the other hand, has a minimum age of 16 for all alcohol, and the law seems to be widely ignored most places. You'll see kids with parents drinking wine with their meals in practically any French restaurant, and nobody bats an eyelid. Yet in my experience, you don't seem to see half as many drunks on the streets there as in England.

I wonder whether introducing young people to a responsible approach to booze at an earlier age might not be better than telling them "not until you're 16/18/21".

I don't know the answer.

And yes, there have been reports on the news of ambulance crews being turned on by drunken idiots when they're only trying to help.

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#149191 - 08/16/03 04:44 AM Re: EMS Safety Concerns in NZ
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Darn good call Paul,
Not sure what most people's idea of New Zealand drinkers, but we did not get the International reputation of Rugby, Racing and Beer overnight!.
 Quote:
And yes, there have been reports on the news of ambulance crews being turned on by drunken idiots when they're only trying to help.

Paul this is exactly what I mean, in a time that it is very hard to find Volunteer Emergency workers, why have them scared away by one experience(probably thier first) as a picture of human nature in general.
All in all, this doesn't say much for society, we've had the odd Fire-fighter and Ambulance officer stabbed over here, not seriously, Thank God!!, but it always makes you more aware of your surroundings.
What needs to happen I think is to change the age back to 20, but I guess the damage has already been done.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#149192 - 08/16/03 06:01 AM Re: EMS Safety Concerns in NZ
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I think that stipulating a minimum age for any activity is always going to be difficult. Just where do you draw the cut-off point?

The fact that different jurisdictions seem to decide upon varying limits just emphasizes how difficult it is. Some examples from my own knowledge and a quick search:

MINIMUM AGE FOR DRIVER'S LICENSE (CAR);
U.K., Ireland = 17
France, Germany, Sweden = 18
New Zealand = 16
Australia- SA=16, Vic=18, other states=17
U.S.A. = 16 (most states, Summary of state rules )

AGE OF CONSENT:
U.S.A. = 16-18
Ireland = 17
Britain, New Zealand, Switzerland = 16
France = 15
Austria = 14
Mexico = 12

AGE FOR SMOKING/BUYING TOBACCO:
U.S.A., New Zealand, Canada = 18
U.K., Ireland, Spain = 16
Japan = 20

DRINKING AGE:
U.S.A. = 21
Japan = 20
Canada = 18 (19 some provinces)
Spain = 16
Switzerland = 14-18
Portugal = 18 now, but apparently no minimum until recently.

Difficult, isn't it?

You might find this link helpful: http://www.icap.org/publications/report4.html
 Quote:
The United Kingdom is the only country that legislates a minimum consumption age in the home; they stipulate that alcohol may be consumed from age 5 with parental consent.

Well I never knew that! I guess you learn something every day!

By the way, for jurisdictions which have licensing of electricians, does anybody think there should there be a minimum age requirement? Is there anywhere which already has such a restriction?


[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 08-16-2003).]

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#149193 - 08/16/03 07:59 PM Re: EMS Safety Concerns in NZ
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul,
I've often wondered about the need for a minimum age for Registration/Licencing of Electrical Workers.
The way I see it, most kids leave school at 16 here and go into a 4-5 year apprenticeship, so they are going to be 20- 21 before they are fully Registered, but being an Electrician, is more than just Electrical theory and Practices there's a whole host of other skills that are required to call yourself an Electrician.
For example, things like Manners, Ethics and other related Life Skills cannot be taught in a school or Tech.
Bearing in mind that an Electrician has other people's safety in thier hands, you really need a person like this to have a reasonable level of Life Experience behind them and know how to deal with people in all sorts of situations.
I was glad I had the chance to Experience life as a Paid Fire-fighter, before starting my Electrical training, it taught me a lot about life in general, that I would probably not have, had I gone straight from school to Tech.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#149194 - 08/16/03 09:00 PM Re: EMS Safety Concerns in NZ
ThinkGood Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1084
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
You mean the EMS crews are not issued bullet-proof vests?

I'm serious.

That's how bad things are in some places here.

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#149195 - 08/17/03 02:09 AM Re: EMS Safety Concerns in NZ
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
ThinkGood,
Things haven't got that bad here,
Having said that, if things get much worse, we will ALL be wearing B/Proof vests!.
BTW, Henoch, I have gone back to the Fire Service in the last week, we have an Arsonist on our hands here in Ashburton and I want to track the hua down, the last thing we want here is a person that likes to set fire to buildings and hedges!.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#149196 - 08/17/03 02:23 AM Re: EMS Safety Concerns in NZ
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul,
To quote a quote:
 Quote:
The United Kingdom is the only country that legislates a minimum consumption age in the home; they stipulate that alcohol may be consumed from age 5 with parental consent.

5 years old??, I met a guy at an AA meeting that had been exposed to Alcohol(Spirits) at the age of 7 and my God was he messed up.
I never touched Alcohol until I turned 20, that didn't really help things though, I am still a Recovering Alcoholic, just admitting that takes a huge leap, but I'm not here to preach anything!!.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#149197 - 08/17/03 04:57 AM Re: EMS Safety Concerns in NZ
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
The problem with any of these laws is that laying down an absolute age doesn't make allowances for degrees of drinking.

Obviously allowing a young kid unrestricted access to strong liquor is likely to cause big problems, but allowing a child a small glass of wine with a family meal from time to time is an entirely different ballgame.

Alcohol in my family mostly came out just at special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, etc., but I certainly remember being allowed a small glass of wine, a snowball at Christmas, and even an occasional sip or two of champagne on very special occasions from the age of 9 or 10 onward. We usually had Bailey's (a kind of cream sherry) at Christmas as well, which I was also allowed to have.

Now at the age of 37, I enjoy an occasional drink, but it doesn't bother me if I go without. I sometimes go months with no alcohol whatsoever, and on a hot day (like we've been having ) I'd just as soon have an ice-cold Coke or Dr. Pepper. Never did acquire a taste for beer.

 Quote:
I want to track the hua down,

Is hua a Kiwi term?


[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 08-17-2003).]

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#149198 - 08/19/03 12:22 PM Re: EMS Safety Concerns in NZ
ThinkGood Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1084
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
HUA ?

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