Hypothetically, a man is arrested after being chased by police and is being taken back to cop cars. On the way, he is shot in the chest and needs immediate medical attention. My idea right now is to have a helicopter called to take him to a hospital. Is this realistic? (If it makes any difference, he is arrested in a wooded area, about half a mile from the nearest road). For reference this is taking place in the U.S. (in Texas).

  • helicopters can
    – Tiger Guy
    Mar 19 at 13:14
  • It's a complex mix of law and facts. Even though shot, the suspect might still be dangerous. The carrying capacity of the helicopter might not be enough to carry a police officer. The most appropriate hospital might be in another state, or even another country. Mar 19 at 13:48
  • Your overall questions seem to be either 'is it realistic for the police to call a helicopter' or 'how would police proceed if arrestee is injured'. For the first question, that's hard to say, that's a stressful situation for everyone involved and probably anything that happens is realistic. For the second question, it seems like you're seeking some clear-cut procedure for such a situation and there might not be one; what one officer chooses to do is equally as valid as what another officer chooses to do. Mar 26 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


This depends, like so many legal questions, on where it happens.

In most countries, the police would be obliged to call an ambulance. The dispatcher would then make the decision if a helicopter is required, based on the description of the situation. Both the perceived severity of the injury and the logistics of getting a helicopter to a suitable landing zone would matter. It would be quite unusual to instruct the police to transport the patient/suspect in a police car.

In , a medical doctor would likely be dispatched to the site to stabilize the patient. The doctor may arrive with the first paramedics, or later with the helicopter if one is dispatched. (This system is sometimes criticized for spending too much time on site stabilizing the patient, and delaying the move to a well-equipped hospital.)

Either way, once the suspect is clearly unconscious and not a threat, medical professionals would make the decisions for the benefit of the patient. Police procedures would have to wait.

There are several hospitals attached to prisons, but those would be unlikely to receive a patient with a chest wound until much later in the recovery process.

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