Archive | Health and Safety

Carbon monoxide monitor carried by Jersey City EMS may have saved lives

Posted on 29 January 2012 by wyoskibum

JERSEY CITY, NJ – Carbon monoxide monitors may have saved at least one life at a Jersey City warehouse earlier this month.

On Jan. 11 at 4:45 p.m., Jersey City Medical Center EMS paramedics responded to Continental Terminals, a coffee warehouse at 115 Port Jersey Blvd., when a person complained of nausea, vomiting and headache symptoms often associated with the flu.

As they entered the building, however, their carbon monoxide monitors went off.

“This was the first time it ever went off,” said 29-year-old paramedic Rob Kippel, whose medic bag was equipped with one of the devices. “At first I didn’t know what it was. When I put down the bag, I was trying to find out what was beeping. Everyone was checking their phones.”

He then realized it was the monitor. “I looked at the number on the alarm and it was flashing. It was very high 114 (parts per million, or ppm).

“We notified the fire department, who was already on the scene, and told everyone in the room ‘We have to get out of here,’ ” said Kippel.

Indoors, a normal carbon monoxide level is about 15 ppm, Jersey City Medical Center EMS Director Jim Dwyer said. In New Jersey, a reading over 35 ppm is unacceptable. At 114 ppm, he added, prolonged exposure could be fatal.

The sick warehouse worker, a man Kippel said was in his late 30s, was taken outside for oxygen.

“He started to feel a little bit better,” said Kippel. “He was there in the early morning. By the time we got to him, which was late afternoon, he said he was feeling very dizzy, he couldn’t stand and he had a headache.”

The man was taken to the JCMC, where he was treated and released, officials said, adding that the monitors helped make sure the man was properly treated.

Paramedics started carrying the devices after the deaths of Rosaria Ferreras-Matos, 24, in April, and Arthur Galloway, 48, in March. They were both residents at a Baldwin Avenue apartment that had high levels of the odorless, but deadly gas, Dwyer said.

Each crew has at least one monitor and there can be up to 20 units out in the field during peak hours, Dwyer said. Each unit costs $175.

“If we didn’t have (the monitors), there would’ve been no way we could’ve known that situation was present,” Kippel said about the warehouse incident. “We would’ve stayed on the scene a lot longer, being exposed. I’m glad we were alerted.”

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EPA says disinfectants used by N.J.’s largest ambulance provider are too powerful

Posted on 18 January 2011 by wyoskibum

NJ – The Environmental Protection Agency has warned the state’s largest ambulance provider to stop using fogging disinfectants in its ambulances, the agency said today.

The Monmouth Ocean Hospital Service Corporation, or MONOC, was warned to stop using Zimek QD and Sporicidin, disinfectants that kill viruses, bacteria, fungi and mildew, after employees complained of becoming ill from the sterilizer.

Zimek QD’s label lists it as a corrosive that causes “irreversible” eye damage and skin burns.

The company said it already has stopped using the chemicals. Scott Matin, MONOC’s vice president of clinical and business services, said the nonprofit service decided to use the fogging disinfectants in response to studies showing ambulances were never fully sterilized by hand-applied cleaning agents. The company stopped the use after about a year, when warned to do so by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

MONOC contends the disinfectants’ use in ambulances was appropriate, Matin added.

An EPA spokesman said no similar fogging-disinfectant complaints had been filed against other ambulance companies.

MONOC, which provides 100 ambulances covering 15 acute-care hospitals in the state, last year responded to 168,000 requests for medical transports, including helicopters, according to the company’s website.

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4 Firefighters Injured By Combative Suspec

Posted on 24 March 2010 by wyoskibum

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Columbus police called for a fire department medic squad early Sunday morning when a man they were dealing with on a domestic-disturbance call seemed to be experiencing breathing problems.

In the end, four of the medical responders reported injuries from the struggling, 400-pound patient who has been charged with two counts of assaulting EMS personnel, a fourth-degree felony.

The man, Apostle Sumlin, was still being questioned by police at 9 a.m. Sunday morning, six hours after the initial call came.

One medic was admitted to OSU Medical Center East for treatment for injuries to the face sustained when the suspect reportedly grabbed a set of handcuffs and flailed out at medics.

Three others reported back or knee injuries, resulting from a struggle with the man.

As for the original reason for the police call, there may still be charges related to domestic violence that will be filed.

The incident occurred on Harvard Avenue in Columbus at 3 a.m.

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Virginia EMS Supervisor Hits Firefighters With SUV

Posted on 10 March 2010 by wyoskibum

HERNDON, Va. – Two Fairfax County firefighters treating a bicyclist along a road were struck by a vehicle operated by a supervisor Tuesday night.

Both firefighters have been released from the hospital, and are recuperating at home, said Dan Schmidt, fire department spokesman.

He did not know the condition of the bicyclist.

Schmidt said the EMS supervisor was driving slowly when his vehicle struck the personnel.

“The supervisor was repositioning the SUV to provide better protection for the crew,” Schmidt said, adding that the engine was already in a blocking position.

Personnel were wearing gear with reflective striping as required by law.

Schmidt would not release the names of the medic or engine crew from Herndon or EMS 401, a captain.

The incident is under investigation by Fairfax County Police.

Schmidt said he wasn’t sure the nature of the original call other than an injured bicyclist.

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East Dundee man charged with assaulting firefighter

Posted on 09 February 2010 by wyoskibum

CHICAGO, IL – An ex-military man who exhibited “some erratic behavior” that required medical attention Monday, pushed a fireman/paramedic out of the ambulance that had come to take him to the hospital, authorities said.

Brian J. Backes, 29, of the 400 block of Dunridge Court in East Dundee, was charged with aggravated battery to a fireman, a Class 2 felony that carries a prison sentence up to seven years, if convicted.

According to police, an ambulance arrived at Backes’s home at 5:48 p.m. to take him to St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates for evaluation.

“After he was placed in the ambulance, he became combative and he forcefully pushed one of the paramedics twice,” East Dundee Police Chief Terry Mee said.

The paramedic fell against the rear door and out of the parked ambulance on the second push and onto the ground.

“Fortunately, he was not injured,” Mee said.

After that, authorities restrained Backes and the ambulance took him to the hospital.

During his hospital evaluation, police pursued criminal charges and arrested him Thursday.

During a bond hearing Friday, Backes told Kane County Judge Karen Simpson he has been living with his parents since being released from the military in 2007.

Backes said he takes prescription medicine for obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and he sees a counselor weekly.

Simpson set Backes’s bond at $30,000, and he must post $3,000 to be released from Kane County jail.

His next court date is Feb. 10 at the Kane County Judicial Center.

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Violent patient damages D.C. ambulance, medics flee

Posted on 06 January 2010 by wyoskibum

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A man who became violent in an ambulance, forcing medics to flee, is in custody of the D.C. police.

D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Pete Piringer says the ambulance responded to an address on Q Street in northwest Washington shortly after 9 a.m. Monday.

Piringer says the patient was believed to be suffering from an overdose, possibly from PCP.

He says that after the patient became violent, the crew got out of the ambulance and radioed for police. The man damaged the ambulance, which has been taken out of service. Nobody was hurt.

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North Port man charged after fighting to escape ambulance

Posted on 02 December 2009 by wyoskibum

NORTH PORT, FL — A man on his way to the hospital after an alleged drunken fight tried to open the doors of the ambulance he was riding in while it was still moving, according to police.

Rudy Eichendorff, 42, of the 6000 block of Biscayne Drive, faces three counts of battery on a law enforcement officer or firefighter for reportedly fighting the emergency workers who were trying to help him.

North Port police said Eichendorff voluntarily went with paramedics after police found him bloodied and sitting on the front porch of his house Friday evening after a 911 call reporting a fight at a nearby convenience store.

Eichendorff refused to talk to police about the fight or how he received cuts on his neck.

While Eichendorff was being taken via ambulance to an area hospital, he sat up from his stretcher and began punching and shoving one of the paramedics in an attempt to leave the ambulance, police said.

He was restrained from exiting the ambulance and turned over to North Port Police. Eichendorff is also charged with resisting arrest without violence for allegedly refusing to cooperate with police.

Eichendorff remained in Sarasota County Jail on Tuesday.

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Chicago woman accused of punching paramedic

Posted on 02 December 2009 by wyoskibum

CHICAGO, IL – A 40-year-old Chicago woman faces battery and drug possession charges after allegedly punching a paramedic and spitting on a nurse.

Chicago police say Kimberly Jones was due in bond court Saturday.

Police say officers were responding to a suspicious person call Friday when they stopped Jones. She said she was having breathing problems after consuming illicit drugs.

Officers called for fire department paramedics, who began interviewing Jones. She allegedly punched one of them in the face.

She was taken to a South Side hospital, where she spit in the face of a male nurse.

She’s charged with felony aggravated battery to first aid personnel, misdemeanor battery and possession of a controlled substance.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether she has an attorney.

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Elderly man being helped by EMS team threatens to pull gun on paramedics

Posted on 15 September 2009 by wyoskibum

SAN ANTONIO, TX – When an elderly man being helped by paramedics was told he needed to go to the hospital, the man disagreed.

Then, police say, he threatened to pull a gun on the EMTs.

Around midnight Sunday, EMS was called to an apartment complex at the 10000 block of Sahara to help Rodney Ray, 53. After checking Ray out, the paramedics told him his oxygen levels were low, and they said he needed to go to the hospital for further medical assistance.

But according to police, Ray became upset and refused to go to the hospital. While paramedics argued their case, Ray threatened to pull out a pistol.

Police say the man was under the influence at the time of the incident.

So the paramedics left and called police. A SWAT team — with police backup — surrounded the house. When officers determined that Ray was not a threat to himself or others, they left him alone.

But hours later, after he continued to have trouble breathing, Ray called EMS back to his home. He was taken to the hospital without incident.

Meanwhile, officers searched Ray’s apartment. They did not find any weapon inside his home.

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