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  (#1)
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July 30, 2004, 08:28 AM

Fairfax County police story...............

Baby's Life Starts With Traffic Ticket
Mom Gives Birth; Dad Gets Cited

POSTED: 6:26 PM EDT July 29, 2004

FAIRFAX, Va. -- A couple that went to a Fairfax County hospital to deliver a baby went home with a traffic ticket.

Kathleen Siragusa and her husband, Tom, were in the car on their way to the hospital when her water broke. That's when they hit a traffic jam.

"The first thought on my mind was what came out of my mouth. 'Turn on the lights, drive on the shoulder and go!'" Kathleen said.

A mile later, a police car appeared in front of them.

"I saw a police car and thought, 'A policeman when you need him, yeah!'" Kathleen said.

However, the couple soon found out their trouble was just beginning.

"I rolled down the window and said, 'We need to get to the hospital. Will you escort us?' He said he would call an ambulance and my wife said, 'Let's go!'" Tom said.

Kathleen said she couldn't wait any longer, so they took off with the officer behind them.

A short seven minutes after arriving at the hospital, Kathleen gave birth to a baby girl. Meanwhile, the officer found Tom and gave him a ticket.

The citation charged him with disregarding an officer's hand signal. That's standard policy according to Fairfax police.

"The policy is to bring paramedics to the location," said Sgt. Richard Perez of the Fairfax County Police Department.

"Is there any exception to the rule?" News4's Jeff Napshin asked.

"There's no exception to the rule," Perez said.

Authorities say it would have taken less than five minutes to get an ambulance to the scene, and they suggest the Siragusas took an unacceptable risk.

"There's no exception that allows a motorist under stress to endanger the lives of themselves or others on the roadway," Perez said.

Now home with a healthy baby girl, Kathleen sees the officer's actions differently.

"Did he think he was helping? That flashing his lights and sirens and telling us to move over would help? I don't believe his mind was in the right place," Kathleen said.

It's an argument the new mother will soon be making in court.





FOREVER #47 "Walking In The Echo...."
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July 30, 2004, 08:33 AM

Yeah thats standard practice.
When my little brother was born, we were stuck on 495 traffic trying to get to ffx hospital. My dad saw a cop up on the side shooting the shit with a guy in a tow truck. My dad went on the side and pulled up to ask for an escort. Fuck tard said he couldnt do it...


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  (#3)
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July 30, 2004, 08:57 AM

well..an officer could give an escort...however....cop goes through intersection...everyone stops, they see lights and sirens....then the cop passes...people drive again...wham they hit the station wagon behind that does not have the proper safety equipment to warn other drivers whats going on...stupid move....although while under stress I can see how this error can be made...but think of it this way...there is no life threatening event taking place...ANYwhere in fairfax...you will have BLS or ALS within 5 minutes TOPS...thats a fact. So why endanger everyone else..and yourself by tring to what just happend.....including the above mentioned mental stress one would be under in that situation...might not be the best thing to blaze through traffic anyways.......will probly just get thrown out in court...but they were in the wrong


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July 30, 2004, 09:24 AM

I agree. Having someone drive down the shoulder of the highway is dangerous. They should have just stayed there and let the rescue truck take the risks.

Sounds like he let them off easy.


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July 30, 2004, 09:27 AM



FOREVER #47 "Walking In The Echo...."
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July 30, 2004, 12:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by GUZZLER
Tater,

You always seem to be defending these guys in one way or another. So let me add this. You don't know that it wasn't a life threatening situation, I think many babies, as well as mothers have died due to unforseen complications brought on by child birth.

I do agree with your point that they may stop for the police car and then hit the station wagon......but wait...here's an idea....How about putting her in the Police car and driving here there???

Let's face it, Fairfax County Police continue to embarress themselves with there martial law attitude of policing citizens (I beleive you called it proactive/ preventative policing) and their true lack of the laws. Arrest/ or ticket first then ask questions.

As I have said before, this is one of the main reasons that I moved out of Fairfax County. And before you think it, no in my 23 years of driving, I have never had a ticket, I have never been arrested. I truly try to abide by the laws, but am nervous that departments like theirs make up the laws as they go along. I had a neighbor when I stiill lived in Centreville that was a Police Officer for another county that I used to do ride alongs with, and he told me in no uncertain terms that if he really wanted to get you for something he could. Kind of like article 134 of the Code of Military Justice.

It is my Opinion that Fairfax County Police live, eat, and breathe with this same attitude.

You are entitled to your opinion, but I think that if the citizens of Fairfax County really paid attention to how the police act in there county, they would become outraged.
Ive defended actions which were just and done how they should be...in NO instance should someone do what that guy did with his wife in his car...he did more to danger themselves thanhelp.....about putting the woman in his cruiser then transport her to the hospital...well think of that one for a second..pretty much every single car fairfax uses has a "cage" in the back...if you have never been in the back of one...you wouldnt know that its a very very tight squeeze...Just ask Kepi, im sure hes seen a few in his wild days lol....but anyways...on top of that...the police are not trained nor have the skill to provide the women the treatment that she would need...hence the radio call for ems (only 5 minutes tops...most arrive within 2 or 3) and medical help that is trained to respond to this exact situation is there to help.....how do I know there was no life threatening situation? Im going by what the article said...dosnt appear any complications...her water broke..and they freaked...and I dont blame them either...when its my time for the same situation..Im going to freak too lol...however when that happens...Ill have to remain in the right frame of mind to provide my wife with the BEST possible care I can..and thats by NOT driving her in that situation...its listening to the person who knows what to do (the police) and waiting the 2-3 minutes for the proper care to be given by the people who can do it. Thank god nothing bad happend...other wise the headline would of been a lot more different, and much more sad. I just find it funny that when the police do their job...people bitch about it...when they dont do their job...people bitch about it...thats all...when fair fax does stupid things (yes they are guilty of that too) like the "herndon bar grab"....I was one of the first to say thats f'ed up....but if they were not out there doing their job..there would be 1200 criminals that you dont want living next to you out and free doing their will.....oh well..hope that helps you know a little bit of the reason why I "defend" proper action.


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July 30, 2004, 02:35 PM

I agree with the police in this case. The policy is designed with the safety of all parties in mind. I'm also guessing a good portion of the policy is to protect the department from litigious members of society. The instant the officer agrees to escort them, he becomes a liability. The husband and wife do not have a case and are wasting everyones' time and money by taking it to court. Don't they realize lawsuits like their's are the foundation for writing these policies? Just my $.02.


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July 30, 2004, 02:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by GUZZLER
why the edit? its cool to have an opinion.....


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July 30, 2004, 03:20 PM

By no means am I trying to get in the middle here, but how have you arrived at these short arrival times for the EMS?

footnote: I have no experience with dispatch times, I'm only going off the fact that I can't get anywhere that fast in this area. Especially around rush hour. I know they have the lights and such but still...
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July 30, 2004, 03:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by djetch
By no means am I trying to get in the middle here, but how have you arrived at these short arrival times for the EMS?

footnote: I have no experience with dispatch times, I'm only going off the fact that I can't get anywhere that fast in this area. Especially around rush hour. I know they have the lights and such but still...
100% fact, Fairfax has one of the best fire/ems crews around....and whats cool is they have these really neato red lights on top which let them get there quicker, ok dont being a smartass lol....Its mainly due to the shear number of stations in fairfax...theres a crap load of them...so there is always one "closeby".


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July 30, 2004, 08:00 PM

cop cut them some slack, he could have written them up for reckless for driving on the shoulder.

not that he should have
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July 31, 2004, 06:44 PM

As long as there is somebody medically qualified to deliver the baby - it's cool with me. Haven't had one in traffic yet - but should it arise, I'd prefer to have the EMT's have the baby in the car. Last thing I need is a screaming wife, and traffic to worry about.

This isn't the movies...


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August 1, 2004, 09:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by djetch
By no means am I trying to get in the middle here, but how have you arrived at these short arrival times for the EMS?

...
He may well have just pulled the numbers out of his ass, but he is correct.

By Jon Ward
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published February 11, 2004

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Response times for Fairfax County paramedics fell slightly during the past three months of last year as many medics were retiring or dropping their advanced life-support certification.
According to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, advanced life-support (ALS) personnel arrived at medical emergencies within six minutes of being dispatched 75.7 percent of the time from October through December.
Paramedics arrived within six minutes 76.98 percent of the time in fiscal 2003, which ran from July 1, 2002, to June 30.
Despite the drop, Fairfax's response times remain among the region's best.



The husband was a danger to his wife, his unborn daughter, and the other motorist. A husband driving his wife who is in labor through the traffic around here, is not in a stable mindset. Having done it twice, I know from experience. While I may well have driven on the shoulder to get to the hospital, if a cop told me to stop, I would have stopped.
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August 2, 2004, 05:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by snearing
cop cut them some slack, he could have written them up for reckless for driving on the shoulder.

not that he should have




OR he could have been happy for the couple with the new born and said " if you ever do that again I will nail your ass to the wall" and let the new father enjoy his new baby and not worry about the fine. A few of us know that babies are not cheap. Just my .02


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DT
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August 2, 2004, 11:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TricknR1
Quote:
Originally Posted by snearing
cop cut them some slack, he could have written them up for reckless for driving on the shoulder.

not that he should have




OR he could have been happy for the couple with the new born and said " if you ever do that again I will nail your ass to the wall" and let the new father enjoy his new baby and not worry about the fine. A few of us know that babies are not cheap. Just my .02
Exactly - not speaking across the board, but I have a few buddies who are Alrington Cops. All would have driven the couple to the Hospital or at least not given the guy a ticket. All of them are Dad's however.

It's kind of hard for Single Cops (regardless of Department) to understand what it's like to have a child. He could have been more lenient. From my past experience with FFX's Finest, it depends on the individual cop. Met a lot of cool ones, met some real a$$holes. I'm sure it's the same everywhere.


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