Archive | Lessons Learned

Police say paramedic shot himself in hand during training at southern Indiana high school

Posted on 25 June 2011 by wyoskibum

BEDFORD, Ind. — Authorities say a paramedic accidentally shot himself in the hand while training with police officers at a southern Indiana high school.

The chief deputy of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department says the man is a special officer with its emergency response team that was conducting a training exercise Thursday at Bedford North Lawrence High School.

Chief Deputy Mike Branham tells The Times-Mail that the officer’s injury wasn’t serious and that he was taken to a Bedford hospital for treatment.

Branham says the officer neglected to remove a round from the barrel of his handgun as he was taking out its live ammunition. He says no one else was injured.


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Man Fires Shot After Ambulance Crew Enters Wrong Apartment

Posted on 01 June 2011 by wyoskibum

WILKINSBURG, Pa. — Two ambulance workers escaped without injury after a man pointed a gun at them when they accidentally tried to break into his apartment early Thursday morning.”That scared the hell out of me. I could have killed someone,” 85-year-old Charles Honesty said.Channel 4 Action News’ Amber Nicotra reported that an Eastern Area Prehospital Services crew was called to McNary Boulevard in Wilkinsburg because of reports of a person having a stroke at about 4 a.m.When they arrived, the building manager led them to the apartment, but no one responded. Dispatchers gave the crew the go-ahead to enter the apartment, Nicotra reported.”Sometimes we don’t get acknowledgement, so we have to force our way in to make sure they are not in cardiac arrest,” said Stephen Shurgot, of Eastern Area.

“I heard somebody crash against the door. That woke me up. And the next there was another crash. And then it dawned on me, somebody is trying to break in,” Honesty said.It turned out that the building manager had led paramedics to the wrong apartment, but all Honesty knew was that there was someone in his home.”I keep a gun under my pillow because nobody’s here but me,” Honesty said. “And when I got out here, somebody was standing in the living room.”The ambulance crew kept identifying themselves, but because Honesty had trouble hearing, he didn’t know what they were saying and thought they were intruders.”Sometimes you wake people up and you don’t know how they are going to react because they are in their home and it’s scary,” Shurgot said.Honesty fired a warning shot from a .32-caliber handgun into the ceiling, then aimed at the chest of one of the men.”I was getting ready to fire because he kept coming to me, and then somebody called my name,” Honesty said.That “somebody” was the apartment manager, and Honesty realized what was going on and decided not to fire. He said his heart was racing so fast that he almost needed those paramedics himself.”I can’t begin to put it into words. I still a little up in the chest when I talk about it,” Honesty said.

Authorities said Honesty realized his mistake and apologized. Police interviewed him and determined no charges would be filed.”Naturally, everyone is shaken up, but everyone is fine and they will be back on the job to take care of our patients,” said Shurgot.The ambulance crew found their real patient and took him to the hospital.

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Woman involved in crashes that killed 4 charged

Posted on 07 December 2010 by wyoskibum

HOWARD CITY, Mich. — A western Michigan woman accused of running a stop sign and killing two people has been charged with negligent homicide and manslaughter. An ambulance responding to the crash killed two others.

The Daily News of Greenville says 35-year-old Stephanie Bass of Grandville struck a vehicle with three people aboard Oct. 4, west of Howard City.

The crash killed 46-year-old Mark Spillman of Comstock Park and 55-year-old Kenneth Sullivan of Newaygo. Sullivan’s 46-year-old wife Shelly was seriously injured. Bass also was hurt.

A Montcalm County ambulance responding to the crash with its lights and siren on ran a stop sign and struck a vehicle, killing 61-year-old Shirley Narloch and 74 Max Young, both of Lakeview. That crash remains under investigation.


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Man steals ambulance from hospital, crashes

Posted on 02 June 2010 by wyoskibum

AURORA, Ind. – A routine run to the hospital for an Indiana rescue unit turns into a total loss.

Aurora Emergency Rescue Unit Inc. says one of their ambulances was stolen Thursday night while it was parked outside of Dearborn County Hospital.

The company says crew members transported a patient in to the hospital when a Switzerland County man got inside the vehicle and stole it.

Police pursued the vehicle until Kenneth Hull Jr. crashed into a ditch along Nelson Road in Ohio County.

Hull, 40, was arrested and charged with auto theft, failure to stop, OWI and endangering a person. Police say Hull’s blood alcohol level was .10. The legal limit in Indiana is .08.

There were no injuries reported but the 2009 Ford F-450 sustained heavy damage, according to police.

The company now only has one ambulance. Spokesperson Ed Opp on Friday says a rental unit will be delivered later in the evening and that neighboring departments would aid his company if needed.

Opp says the company’s policy is to secure equipment and vehicles when crew members are not inside. He says no disciplinary action would be taken because the incident was a “simple oversight by the crew.”

Police are not sure why Hull was at the hospital. He remains behind bars at the Dearborn County Jail.


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Ravenstahl punishes 4 EMS workers

Posted on 24 March 2010 by wyoskibum

At 5:50 a.m. on Feb. 6, more than 3 1/2 hours after Curtis Mitchell and his girlfriend began calling 911 to summon help for his abdominal pain, an ambulance idled at Second Avenue and West Elizabeth Street in Hazelwood.

The ambulance was about four blocks from the couple’s home, but citing poor driving conditions in a major snowstorm, acting paramedic crew chief Josie Dimon wanted Mr. Mitchell to walk across the Elizabeth Street Bridge to them.

By 6:09 a.m., according to a city investigation and 911 recordings, Ms. Dimon had grown tired of waiting.

“He ain’t (expletive) comin’ down, and I ain’t waitin’ all day for him,” she told a colleague, crew chief Kim Long, at the dispatch center. “I mean, what the (expletive), this ain’t no cab service.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl on Tuesday announced discipline against Ms. Dimon, Ms. Long and two other EMS workers, saying they didn’t do enough to help Mr. Mitchell, 50, who died after he and his girlfriend, Sharon Edge, called 911 10 times in 30 hours.

By the time an ambulance arrived Feb. 7, Mr. Mitchell had died for reasons that remain undetermined.

Ms. Dimon, an 11-year veteran, faces a five-day unpaid suspension and possible termination. Facing three-day unpaid suspensions are Ms. Long, who has been with EMS 19 years, and district chiefs Norman Auvil and Ron Curry, who have been with the service 31 years and 34 years, respectively.

Ms. Long was stationed at the dispatch center, where she helps dispatchers process medical calls; Ms. Dimon, Mr. Auvil and Mr. Curry were in the field.

Ms. Dimon and Ms. Long are members of the paramedics union, while Mr. Auvil and Mr. Curry are nonunion. None of the four has a history of discipline problems, city officials said. In August, Mr. Auvil was named “Rescue Technician of the Year” by the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council.

Ms. Long will receive a separate three-day suspension for another storm-related call in which a North Side mother of 2-year-old twins was told to walk to an ambulance to receive care for one of the children, city Public Safety Director Michael Huss said.

Union President Anthony Weinmann said he would challenge the discipline for Ms. Long and Ms. Dimon. The district chiefs may appeal their suspensions to Mr. Huss.

Mr. Huss said paramedics could have walked to Mr. Mitchell or summoned firefighters or 4-wheel-drive vehicles to reach his home during the snowstorm.

But it wasn’t only a lack of resourcefulness that troubled Mr. Ravenstahl and Mr. Huss; rather, they expressed outrage at the paramedics’ lack of compassion.

At one point, told about repeated calls from Mr. Mitchell’s home, Mr. Auvil said, “How about that? He can wait,” according to dispatch center tapes.

“That type of philosophy, that type of culture, does need to change,” Mr. Huss said.

Ms. Edge, briefed by Mr. Huss on the discipline, said she was sorry a medic might lose her job but believed “somebody has to answer for what happened.”

The couple’s first call for help came in to 911 at 2:09 a.m. Feb. 6.

By 3:38 a.m., an ambulance, Medic 5, got stuck in snow. It was sent away — at the request of Mr. Mitchell or Ms. Edge, the report said — when Mr. Mitchell couldn’t walk to the medics.

Another ambulance — Medic 8, with Ms. Dimon in charge — was dispatched at 5:33 a.m. and arrived at Second Avenue and West Elizabeth Street by 5:50 a.m.

After making the taxi service remark at 6:09 a.m., Ms. Dimon said minutes later, “Is he on his way? Because we are not going to wait all day for him.” At 6:15 a.m., the report said, Mr. Mitchell, unable to walk, canceled the call.

A third ambulance, Medic 7, was dispatched at 8:53 p.m. Feb. 6 and had arrived at West Elizabeth Street and Chaplain Way by 9:17 p.m. Medics got out of the ambulance and began looking for Mr. Mitchell’s home at 5161 Chaplain, but a dispatcher told medics that Mr. Mitchell was walking to meet them.

That wasn’t the case. At 9:28 p.m., Ms. Edge called 911 to say Mr. Mitchell was sleeping, and a dispatcher sent the ambulance away.

The report said Ms. Long had numerous phone conversations with Mr. Mitchell or his girlfriend; knew he was too ill to walk; and failed to impress that information upon colleagues and a district chief in the field. It said she also failed to get a 4-wheel drive vehicle to the scene.

The report said Mr. Auvil, a night-shift district chief, made inappropriate transmissions over the radio; failed to take steps to determine the seriousness of Mr. Mitchell’s condition; and failed to determine whether additional resources should be deployed to reach him.

According to the report, Ms. Dimon failed to call for a 4-wheel drive vehicle to reach Mr. Mitchell; failed to go after Mr. Mitchell on foot; made inappropriate radio transmissions; and failed to render the respect due a patient.

The report said Mr. Curry, the daylight-shift district chief, failed to determine the seriousness of Mr. Mitchell’s situation and decide whether additional action was warranted.

The city announced no discipline against dispatchers or the crews of Medics 5 and 7.

Announcement of the suspensions capped an emotional day at the City-County Building.

About 50 paramedics attended a Tuesday morning City Council meeting, calling themselves scapegoats for the city’s overall failure to handle the Feb. 5-6 storm.

Medics said they trudged through deep snow, worked around downed power lines and shoveled out stuck ambulances, all while answering an unusually high number of calls.

Union officials said the city’s decision to discipline medics flew in the face of a state report, which found gaps in EMS communication and logistics but no violation of laws or regulations governing patient care.

Mr. Weinmann, the union president, said medics on all three ambulances dispatched to Mr. Mitchell’s home Feb. 6 aborted their calls only after a dispatcher or district chief told them to do so.

“They were simply following orders,” Mr. Weinmann said.

But Mr. Huss didn’t want to hear it.

If medics had shown more effort, he said, the calls wouldn’t have been aborted in the first place.

He said other medics, plus police officers and firefighters, did a “marvelous job” during the storm. In emergencies, he said, public servants must “step up.”

Mr. Ravenstahl called the 911 tapes chilling.

“Oh, well,” an unidentified paramedic said at one point of Mr. Mitchell’s calls. “He’ll be fine.”

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State clears EMS workers in Pittsburgh snow death

Posted on 24 March 2010 by wyoskibum

PITTSBURGH, PA – The state health department says Pittsburgh emergency workers didn’t violate state laws when they asked a man who later died to walk to them during a snowstorm.

Health department spokeswoman Stacy Kriedeman says the agency found no violations of state emergency response laws in the hours before 50-year-old Curtis Mitchell died February 7.

Mitchell and his wife repeatedly called 911 seeking help for his abdominal pain during a winter storm that dropped 20 inches of snow on the city.

Medics asked Mitchell to walk to an ambulance because of hazardous road conditions but he was in too much pain. He died after waiting 30 hours for help.

Autopsy results are pending, awaiting toxicology test results.

The city could soon release the findings of its own investigation.


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Paramedic hit by distracted driver

Posted on 04 March 2010 by wyoskibum

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) – Chad Lowery is home from the hospital, sporting a neck and back brace.  “I know that I’m pretty fortunate to come away with just the injuries that I have,” he said.

The 37-year-old engineer paramedic with the Orange County Fire Department was working a motorcycle accident two weeks ago when a driver, who was on a cell phone, plowed right into him.

Lowrey’s physical pain is manageable. It’s not being able to interact with his new baby girl, Elyse, that hurts him the most.

“That’s probably been the toughest part, not being able to get down on the ground and play with her and be the dad that I want to be. This is a special time for her. She’s 8 months and the next 3 months, shes going to change a lot.”

The veteran firefighter has his wife by his side. He doesn’t remember getting hit but he remembers seeing his wife at the hospital afterward.

“When I saw her for the first time, it brought me to tears; they’re most important, most important two people in my life.”

When asked how she felt about the distracted driver that left her husband temporarily impaired, wife Nikki said, “It’s a good reminder for people to pay attention on the road.”

For now, Chad Lowrey will have to take it easy as he has a long road to recovery.

“His will is stronger than his bones right now though and it’s going to be really important for him to remember that,” said Nikki.

As far as his baby girl is concerned, she still has her daddy.


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EMT sentenced to 10 years for fatal ambulance crash

Posted on 24 February 2010 by wyoskibum

LOUISVILLE, KY – Calling her crime “inexcusable” and a violation of the public trust, a judge sentenced a former emergency medical technician to 10 years in prison on Monday for driving an ambulance while on methadone and causing a wreck in which a patient was killed.

“You are not a bad person, but you did a terrible thing,” Jefferson Circuit Court Judge McKay Chauvin told Tammy Brewer while deciding against giving her probation on a manslaughter conviction.

However, Chauvin said he will consider giving Brewer shock probation in 120 days if she gets substance-abuse treatment in prison.

The prosecution and family of the Vickie Whobrey, the patient killed in the 2008 crash, argued against probation Monday, saying Brewer has not admitted she was on methadone during the crash and has shown no emotion over the death.

Brewer was driving Whobrey, 54, to Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital at 1850 Bluegrass Ave. in southwestern Louisville when the crash occurred April 3, 2008.

The ambulance struck and severed a telephone pole, went through a drainage ditch, crossed Van Hoose Road, entered another drainage ditch, hit an earthen embankment, continued up the embankment and hit a chain-link fence before coming to rest in a yard.

Besides second-degree manslaughter, Brewer pleaded guilty in December to second-degree assault, wanton endangerment, criminal mischief and driving under the influence.

Maggie Whobrey, the daughter of Vickie Whobrey, told Chauvin in court Monday that her mother’s death has changed her life and made her fear ever having to call EMS for help.

Someone that was supposed to help her mother instead was responsible for her death, Maggie Whobrey said.

“It just tears me apart,” she said.

Brewer wiped tears away from her eyes as Whobrey spoke, the first time she has shown emotion during a court hearing in the case.

“I do have remorse, and I do want to apologize to them,” Brewer said in a short statement to the court.

As part of the plea agreement, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Van De Rostyne will not object to shock probation, leaving the decision up to Chauvin.?

Chauvin told Brewer not to “sit on your hands” for the next four months and to address her drug problems and convince the judge that she will not be a risk to the community if released early.

Maggie Whobrey said she and her family will be at the shock probation hearing and object to her release.

“She’s not even admitted she has a problem,” Whobrey said. “How can she get help for something she hasn’t admitted?”

Van De Rostyne said Brewer still denies that she took methadone that day.

Brewer told investigators she lost control of the ambulance when she swerved to avoid a pedestrian who darted in her path on Rockford Lane.

But a female witness driving behind the ambulance told The Courier-Journal she saw no pedestrian and the ambulance had been traveling erratically for at least half a mile.

Vickie Whobrey, who was being taken to the hospital because of a prolonged nosebleed, was taken by another ambulance to University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead of blunt-force trauma.

Brewer told police she had not taken any narcotics that day, and a drug screen conducted by University Hospital after the accident showed no traceable amounts of any drugs in her system.

But a test by the Kentucky State Police lab found Brewer had a “therapeutic” level of methadone in her system. Brewer was not being treated at the closest clinic for methadone, a synthetic narcotic often used as a painkiller and to treat heroin addiction, according to court records.

EMS records indicate that before coming to work at 10 p.m. April 2, about 2½ hours before the crash, Brewer had a headache and took two pills that she later told a supervisor she believed were over-the-counter headache medications.

During the shift, Brewer’s partner, paramedic Gregory Gavin, sent a text message to a co-worker saying, “You should see her (Brewer), she is loopy,” and requesting that a supervisor be contacted, according to court records.

The co-worker, EMT Robert Tousignant, said he replied: “OK to drive?” Gavin’s response, according to Tousignant: “Her, no.”

Concerned about her behavior, Gavin told Brewer to turn off the ambulance’s lights and sirens and proceed “Code 1, not Code 3, to the hospital,” according to court records.

“I felt Code 3 would have compromised the safety of everyone,” Gavin said, adding that Whobrey’s condition was stable at the time.

An EMS official “had started to take action by attempting to call” Brewer’s ambulance and “put them out of service and have Brewer taken for a drug screen,” but the crash occurred first, according to court records.

Brewer told police she was turning off the sirens when she saw a teen dart in front of her and she swerved.


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Washington Heights Man Barricades Himself in Ambulance

Posted on 17 February 2010 by admin

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — A Washington Heights man barricaded himself inside of an FDNY ambulance and allegedly said he was armed with a gun on Wednesday morning, witnesses said.

The man, who witnesses describe as a twenty-something living at 190th Street and Audubon Avenue, called 9-1-1 and requested an ambulance, saying he was feeling ill.

When paramedics put the man into the ambulance, he started shouting that he had a gun and was going to shoot, according to witnesses.

“There was a driver in the front of the ambulance and a technician in back with the patient and when the patient threatened them with the gun he didn’t have, they retreated from the vehicle and called the police,” a Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital EMT who responded to the call for police backup told DNAinfo.

NYPD Emergency Services, FDNY, and additional ambulances arrived on the scene and taped off a two-block radius around the ambulance in which the patient barricaded himself on 189th Street and Audubon Avenue.

“I opened the door to see what was going on and the police and SWAT team were right out front telling us to go back inside immediately,” said Sherryanne Martinez, 26, who works on the corner at which the ambulance was parked.

Police entered the ambulance and determined that the man was unarmed, according to the EMT. They negotiated with him for about 15 minutes before drawing him out of the ambulance and placing him in handcuffs.

“Police did a thorough search of the vehicle after cuffing the patient to make sure there wasn’t a discarded weapon,” the EMT said.
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Man allegedly steals ambulance with patient inside

Posted on 12 February 2010 by wyoskibum

MADISON, Wis. — Authorities say a drunken man stole an ambulance from a Wisconsin ski area with the patient and paramedics still inside. The Dane County Sheriff’s Department says emergency responders were treating a patient in the back of the ambulance at the Tyrol Basin Ski and Snowboard Area in Mount Horeb on Monday night. They say a 24-year-old Illinois man got into the vehicle and drove it around the parking lot.

The sheriff’s department says deputies arrested the man. But it is unclear how he was stopped.

Fitch-Rona Medical Service Deputy Chief Dale Dow says the ambulance’s emergency brake was on and paramedics were still in the back when the man got inside. He says he doesn’t know what happened after that.

No other details were immediately available.


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Lawsuit: Woman Claims Ambulance Company Caused Mother to Suffocate

Posted on 09 February 2010 by wyoskibum

SYRACUSE, NY – Police reports say officials responded to a suicide attempt at the home of an aggressive and hallucinating Dorothy Caniff in May 2006, so her hands were placed in handcuffs behind her back for protection to herself.When Menter Ambulance workers arrived, they strapped Caniff face down on the gurney, according to police reports.

On the way to the hospital, Caniff suffered cardiac arrest in the ambulance and was pronounced dead when she arrived at the emergency room. A medical examiner at A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital ruled the cause of death was from the position Caniff was lying on the gurney: arms behind her back, face down.

Caniff’s daughter, Crystal Blake, said she did not find out until months later that her mother’s death was accidental from positional asphyxia. Positional asphyxia is a death due to a person’s position making the chest unable to rise enough to take in air.

“Someone suffocated my mom,” said Blake, 25, who is suing Menter Ambulance Service over the conduct of its two emergency medical technicians.

Blake’s lawyer, Michael Kenny, said the way the paramedics placed Caniff on the gurney was in violation of state protocols for EMTs. Protocols for basic life support say that patients should be restrained on their side or back in order for EMTs to monitor the airway.

Menter Ambulance’s owner, Zach Menter, said his employees were not the ones who placed Caniff face down.

“All I can say is that’s how she was placed — not by us,” Menter said.

Caniff, who was a longtime smoker, suffered from emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a condition that increases difficulty in breathing. She’d been on oxygen for almost two years, according to her daughter.


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Madison EMS workers dodge punishment

Posted on 01 February 2010 by wyoskibum

DANIELSVILLE, GA – Emergency medical service employees who falsified their timecards will not face any disciplinary action, Madison County Commission Chairman Anthony Dove said.

The department, which provides ambulance service throughout Madison County, now must move forward with a new director and a new time-reporting system, Dove said.

“The appropriate action has been taken with the resignation of the department head,” he said.

Former EMS Director Dwayne Patton resigned Jan. 7, after Dove confronted him about the false-timecard allegations.

Dove found that employees in the department signed their time sheets on shifts they did not work. Instead, they had a colleague fill in and then paid the substitute in cash when they got paid.

“The time sheets were misrepresented; the department head knew it, and the department head approved it,” Dove said Monday. “This action has been going on for a long time, perhaps as long as the service has existed.

“The employees thought this was OK since the practice had always been a part of the department.”

Dove met with District Attorney Bob Lavender last week, but Lavender left the case for the county to handle. Dove does not believe the employees or Patton acted with any criminal intent, he said.

Dove opted not to suspend or fire any of the EMTs or paramedics so that ambulance service would not be affected.

On Monday, Dove called Patton a good man whose heart was with his department and employees, but who could not tell his employees “no.”

“I cannot see where Dwayne benefited from this at all, except for people to love him more,” Dove said. “I think Dwayne, the EMS, the county and I have paid a heavy price.”

Commissioners voted Monday to name a board that will hire a new EMS director and oversee the department’s practices. Dove recommended that the department look at a new time-reporting system, perhaps a system like Oglethorpe County has that scans employees’ thumbs when they clock in at work.

Commissioners plan to go along with Dove’s recommendations, Commissioner Stanley Thomas said Tuesday.

“We intend to move forward with the process of finding a director,” Thomas said. “We’re going to take the steps we need to take to make sure this doesn’t happen anymore.

“As much as we look after the money and the process in the county, we have to look after the safety of our citizens first.”


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Attorney: Ambulance driver who killed man was not reckless

Posted on 13 January 2010 by wyoskibum

PITTSBURG, PA – A Penn Township ambulance driver did not act recklessly when he drove through a red light and struck another motorist’s vehicle, a defense attorney told a jury Monday.

The vehicular homicide trial of Jason Fait, 33, of North Huntingdon started yesterday afternoon.

Fait is charged with running a red light shortly before 6 a.m. Oct. 30, 2006. The ambulance struck the side of a Ford Bronco driven by Frank Scalise Jr., 46, of Murrysville, who was on his way to work as a prison guard at the state prison in Hempfield. Scalise died from injuries he suffered in the crash.

There is no dispute that Fait, driving a Penn Township ambulance, traveled through a red light. Jurors will be asked to decide whether that was a reckless, negligent act.

“Anyone who doesn’t pay attention to a red light, goes through a red light is grossly negligent. Everyone knows you have to stop at a red light; it’s common sense,” Assistant District Attorney Wayne Gongaware told jurors in his opening statement.

At the time of the accident, Scalise’s Bronco was the second vehicle to cross Route 130 from North Greengate Road in Hempfield.

Mark Marizzaldi of Hempfield testified he made a left turn onto Route 130, when he saw the ambulance swerve and pass behind him. The ambulance then hit the Bronco on Route 130 in the intersection, Marizzaldi said.

The ambulance and Scalise’s car were traveling about 40 mph, according to Sgt. Michael Schmidt, a state police accident reconstuctionist.

Schmidt played for jurors two videotapes recorded from the ambulance that showed the moments before and during the collision. The first video showed the ambulance driving through the red light, while the second recorded the ambulance driver and a passenger looking at the roadway.

After the crash, Fait can be heard on the tape saying, “I just wasn’t paying attention.”

Defense attorney Ken Burkley pointed out to jurors that while the initial traffic light was red, two other lights at intersections immediately beyond the crash site were green.

Under questioning from Burkley, Schmidt testified that Marizzalidi and Scalise drove through a yellow light when they traveled through the intersection.

Burkley said Fait, who was not responding to a call, was not speeding or driving erratically in the moments leading up to the crash.

“The evidence will show you that Jason Fait did not act recklessly. This conduct that night was negligent, at worst,” Burkley said.

Fait is expected to testify when the trial resumes today before Judge Rita Hathaway.

The case against Fait was reinstated last year by state Superior Court, which reversed a ruling by Judge Debra Pezze, who dismissed the criminal charge.

Pezze described Fait’s actions as a “momentary lapse of attention” and found that he was not reckless or grossly negligent.


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Idling Ambulance Stolen

Posted on 13 January 2010 by wyoskibum

WINNIPEG, CANADA — An idling and unoccupied ambulance’s anti-theft system wasn’t engaged when it was stolen outside a Winnipeg home while paramedics assessed a patient early yesterday, a city official says.

No one ruled out the possibility the unlocked ambulance’s keys were in the ignition when it was taken in the 200 block of McGregor Street, leaving a pair of paramedics in the cold, but no explanation was given for the emergency vehicle’s factory-installed immobilizer not being activated.

The ambulance was driven a short distance before it was recovered intact and the only thing stolen from its interior was a pair of winter gloves, said Christian Schmidt, a Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service assistant chief.

“It’s quite rare and we’d like to keep it that way,” Schmidt said. “We’re confident we’ve equipped our vehicles with the appropriate devices.”

Step missed

The most recent ambulance theft in Winnipeg occurred outside the Stock Exchange Hotel in 2006.

Schmidt said the service’s no-idling policy allows vehicles to idle at emergency scenes such as yesterday’s to keep the interior warm for patient comfort and supplies and equipment within.

Schmidt said the anti-theft system, which allows the vehicle to idle without the keys in the ignition, is activated during a multi-step process but a step was missed yesterday.

Schmidt was awaiting a supervisor’s report and said he wasn’t aware which step was missed.

For the system to be activated, the keys must be removed from the ignition. When active, the engine automatically shuts off when someone attempts to put the ambulance in gear, Schmidt said.

This didn’t happen yesterday. Police said the ambulance was left running when it was stolen.

The theft was discovered when paramedics exited a home at 4 a.m.

They arrived about 30 minutes earlier to assess a patient but determined the person didn’t require transport to a hospital, police and Schmidt said.

The ambulance, equipped with GPS tracking, was found a short time later in an alley in the 400 block of Bannerman Avenue, a source said.

Schmidt wouldn’t say if the paramedics may be disciplined.

Schmidt said the ambulance is based at station No. 6 at Redwood Avenue and McGregor Street. It remains in service.


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