Thread: 5150 Holds. . .
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Old 07-03-2009, 3:29 PM
AirflowPimp AirflowPimp is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Central Valley
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Didnt spend the time to read all the replies, but 5150 holds are for evaluation purposes only. If I recall correctly, they used to have to report them to the DOJ but don't anymore. I think it was '98 or something when they changed the law about that.

The issue is that some, (by all means not all of them and in fact its a small amount, but it still happens) law enforcement officers write 5150's for stupid/non-legit reasons based on their lazyness in not wanting to deal with them, so they pass them on to us (EMS).

When I first started in EMS I transported quite a few BS holds and they were evaluated and released within the hour. I had an S.O. try to put someone on a hold for gravely disabled. It was a 36 y/o female who was walking home from a friends house. She had 3 blocks to go and had already walked 2. She was drunk, but not totally wasted. We showed up, asked him what he was holding her for and he said that she didnt know where she was and didnt know the address of the house she came from, nor the house where she was going. I put her in our unit and started asking her some questions. Keep in mind we were in a tract home subdivision.

me: "do you know where you are?"
her: "i dont know the cross streets here, but i know im in the **** and **** area. (major cross streets)"
me: "do you know where you are coming from?"
her: "my friend ****'s house a few blocks over, but i dont know her address"
me: "do you know where you are going?"
her: "to my house, but i just moved in there a few weeks ago and don't know the address there either. But its only 3 blocks down **** street."
me: "what year is it?"
her: "2008" (was correct)
me: "who is the president?"
her: "bush" (was correct)
me: "so do you want to hurt yourself or others?"
her: "nooooooo, I just want to go home and go to sleep."

So i talked to the officer and asked him what was going on and he said that he didnt want her walking down the street because she was too drunk. And he didn't want to take her down town to holding because he had no reasons to detain her. I nicely informed him that he couldn't 5150 hold her for the reasons he was using, and that i would not transport her based on those reasons. He then started talking to another officer who showed up late, trying to figure out what to do with her and after 10 minutes of them trying to figure it all out I made a comment along the lines of "if you guys would be willing to take her 3 blocks to her house, we can all go back into service." He thought about it for 10 seconds and decided to take her home so we could all be done with that BS. LOL... To his defense, I think he was newer.

If my partner and i wouldn't have said something, then she would have been 5150 held for those BS reasons. I honestly think that whole system needs to change. I honestly don't feel LEO's should have the ability to 5150 a person. As it stands now LEO's, doctors, and mental services workers can 5150 a person. An LEO is not schooled in the medical field whatsoever, mental, or physical, and should not, IMO, be able to do it. They should pass that torch to EMS. If LEO has someone they think might meet the criteria, then should have to call for a medic unit, or a social worker to determine whether the person should be held on a 5150 for evaluation.
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Last edited by AirflowPimp; 07-03-2009 at 3:36 PM..
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