Legal Issues in EMS with Wes Ogilvie

In this week’s episode of the EMS Handoff, the crew talks with Wes Ogilvie, MPA, JD, NRP, LP, as he addresses the “lawyer boogeyman” issue, as well as documentation tips you can use today to improve your practice.

He also discusses Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act and its impact on patient care, specifically in stroke and heart attack cases. Being a patient advocate is of supreme importance and has implications medically, legally and ethically for your patient. 

Refusals are an often source of medical liability and it’s all about consent. Wes discusses best practices for legal consent and the importance of capturing present mental capacity. 

Wes wraps up with scene safety considerations, including restraints and excess of force. 

Wes is a practicing attorney for the state of Texas. He has been in EMS since 2004 and a paramedic since 2007. His experience has been primarily volunteer with a variety of agencies in Central Texas and the Houston area, both suburban and rural.  

Wes is currently a paramedic/field training officer with West EMS and a paramedic with Huffman EMS. He has taught both initial and continuing education EMS courses. Throughout his career, he has been published in several EMS periodicals and co-authored the Medical-Legal chapter of Paramedic Care: Principles and Practice. In addition to both chasing and driving ambulances, he’s an active blogger. Visit his blog at

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