Dead Baby Hoax: Looking for Administrative Failures
By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest
For most people, finding a dead body is traumatic and shocking, because it is not something that happens every day. For public safety officials, there are protocols in place to make sure that a body is truly deceased and is no longer "workable" from an emergency medicine perspective.
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The Dead Baby Hoax in New York alarmed those in leadership positions because it appeared that administrative protocols might not have been handled properly. More importantly, the hoax could be a litmus test showing that employees also may not be following the appropriate protocols.
According to the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, police received a 911 call last month, claiming that someone had found a dead baby in a park. When police arrived, they found a baby lying facedown in the grass with the discoloration associated with corpses.
Emergency Medical Services was also called. But no one realized that the baby was actually a doll until the Medical Examiner's Office arrived. An investigation was launched.
Protocols Are in Place for a Reason
An article by Skip Kirkwood in EMS1.com highlights just how problematic these sorts of incidents are. Some individuals who were thought to be dead were actually alive. Protocols keep everything in check and make sure that people are still being attended to if there is a chance to save lives.
While it certainly is important to review the protocols and to make sure that employees are following them, the Dead Baby Hoax may be an opportunity for managers to understand whether their policies are actually being followed.
More importantly, managers may have the opportunity to determine whether it was an isolated error or indicative of a larger administrative problem.
Policy blunders like this often indicate a problematic administration. Administrative failures were evident in Hurricane Katrina and the Challenger disaster. Thus, it is important for those in leadership positions to carefully review the decisions made in the Dead Baby Hoax to fully understand the incident. Only through investigating these types of events can a department correct future administration issues.
The Dead Baby Hoax was likely awful for those involved, considering that they were working what appeared to be a horrific incident. Because of the nature of this incident, it will be of strategic importance for management to determine whether there was a breach of administrative policies at any level in order to prevent incidents like this from happening in the future.