Archive | August, 2009

Ambulance Involved In Friday Accident

Posted on 29 August 2009 by wyoskibum

CHICAGO, IL – Park Ridge paramedics responded to the scene of a traffic crash in Chicago after a Norwood Park ambulance was involved in the crash.

The incident occurred the evening of Friday, Aug. 21 at the corner of Cumberland Avenue and Higgins Road at the city’s southern edge with Chicago. The Norwood Park ambulance was transporting a patient when the wreck occurred, police said.

Park Ridge ambulances were sent to the scene to take over the transport of the patient. One driver in the wreck was also taken to the hospital for treatment of a minor injury.

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Cocke Co. family sues over ambulance response time

Posted on 29 August 2009 by wyoskibum

KNOXVILLE, TN – A Cocke County man’s mother and stepfather have filed a $7.5 million lawsuit claiming a long ambulance response left him in a permanent semi-vegetative state.

Tommy L. France, 29, was a passenger in a car headed north on Cosby Highway on November 3. Around 10:50 p.m., driver Dusti Webb lost control, overcorrected, and ran into a telephone pole.

According to witness accounts, France’s side of the car was essentially destroyed. He was partially ejected from the vehicle.

But it’s his long wait for an ambulance that family members believe led to his semi-vegetative state.

“He just lays there,” France’s mother, Sandra Valentine said. “He don’t walk, he don’t talk, he won’t look at you.”

She remembers France as a boy who loved all types of sports and was just starting to raise a child of his own, a son named Easton who will soon turn 3 years old.

France’s stepfather, Robert Valentine, says that’s about the age he entered France’s life. Now, the child he once played with is bed-ridden.

“It’s just hard to see him like that, knowing that I can’t do nothing for him,” he said. “I would trade places with him in a second. In one second, I would trade places with him.”

According to the lawsuit, the first 911 call arrived at 10:52 p.m. A member of the Cosby Fire and Rescue Squad placed a call at 10:53. The dispatcher was working to get an ambulance dispatched at 10:53.

The suit alleges that an Allied EMS ambulance didn’t arrive until 11:20 p.m. The ambulance was to take France to a waiting LifeStar helicopter transport, which had landed about 200 yards away from the crash site.

France had visible head and leg injuries. When emergency responders tried to move him, they discovered a groin laceration from which he was bleeding heavily.

The suit alleges the ambulance didn’t get France from the crash site to the helicopter until 11:50, fully 30 minutes after the ambulance arrived and nearly an hour after the crash was reported. LifeStar was in the air by 11:58.

“So, basically, this mistake, sending the wrong ambulance at the wrong time to the wrong place has created significant and catastrophic injuries for Mr. France,” attorney Greg Isaacs said.

The suit, which names Cocke County, Allied EMS and driver Dusti Webb, puts part of the blame on the ambulance being dispatched from Hamblen County, rather than nearby Shady Grove in Cocke County.

Isaacs allowed 10News to listen to the 911 recording:

Ambulance Dispatcher: “Yeah, that was my mistake. We just had it all going. We had another truck going, and we just said (unintelligible) and just sent them.”

911 Dispatcher: “OK.”

Ambulance Dispatcher: “Wasn’t even thinking.”

911 Dispatcher: “Well, I didn’t know, I didn’t know if it had to come out of there or what.”

Ambulance Dispatcher: No, no, you were right.”

The suit also claims, even without the ambulance dispatcher’s mistake, there were not enough ambulances available.

Isaacs also says county officials have not provided the public documents requested, including the county’s contract with Allied EMS. That claim is part of the lawsuit, which Isaacs says seeks answers to a number of questions.

“What are the response time requirements, have there been problems in the past, why does a dispatcher not know when to send an ambulance, where to send an ambulance, and why is she saying, ‘Oops, I made a mistake,’ as Tommy France lay there by the side of the road, bleeding to death,” Isaacs said. “These are serious questions, and unfortunately, no one has stepped forward with any answers.”

Cocke County attorney Fletcher Ervin declined comment on the case, saying the county’s insurance company would be retaining a lawyer to represent the county and insurance company in this matter.

Allied EMS has not yet been available for comment.

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Collier EMS director pulls certification of 25 paramedics

Posted on 27 August 2009 by wyoskibum

— Twenty-five North Naples firefighters are no longer allowed to work as paramedics because they haven’t met training requirements set by Collier County Medical Director Dr. Bob Tober.

North Naples Fire Chief Orly Stolts said the move puts good medics out of commission and endangers residents.

“What he’s done is minimized the fire department’s ability to save lives,” Stolts said of Tober. “We’re going to have to stand there and wait to give life-saving medication until an ambulance arrives at the scene. That puts our guys in a pretty hard spot.”

But Tober said he’s actually protecting those residents. He said the 25 firefighters who haven’t met advance life support requirements can still provide basic life support — using defibrillators, administering oxygen, taking blood pressure and setting up intravenous lines.

“It goes without saying that I would do nothing to threaten the public,” Tober said. “As a matter of fact, everything I do is to protect the public.”

In an Aug. 19 letter to Stolts, Collier County EMS Chief Jeff Page identified 19 North Naples firefighters who have not complied with a February “ride time” mandate that requires each of the county’s firefighter-paramedics to work at least one 24-hour shift on an ambulance every quarter. Stolts said arranging to have his firefighters pulled from an engine once a month causes significant scheduling and overtime difficulties.

Six other firefighter didn’t have the proper training records on file, according to the letter.

Stolts said those six firefighters have been working under Tober since 2006, but haven’t yet met new training requirements.

“They understood this clearly. They didn’t meet the directive,” Tober said of the firefighters. “I think they just assumed I wrote the requirements that I wasn’t going to enforce.”

Stolts said Tober has decertified about half of the paramedics.

“We’re down to 17 paramedics that ride the trucks now,” he said. “Four or five a shift is all we have left.”

Tober has been in an ongoing feud with several Collier County fire departments for years.

Most recently he accused North Naples and East Naples firefighters of cheating on a protocols test. However, the state Department of Health declined to investigate Tober’s complaint, saying it was legally insufficient.

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Man Arrested, Charged With Threatening Co-Workers

Posted on 27 August 2009 by wyoskibum

Police Tuesday announced the arrest of an ambulance company fleet manager who allegedly made threats against his co-workers and had numerous weapons in his car when taken into custody.

Brandon Murray, 27, allegedly threatened to “hurt everyone at the office” at Alert Ambulance in the Midway District on Monday, said San Diego Police Department spokeswoman Monica Munoz.Officers went to the company’s Hancock Street headquarters and were there when Murray called to say he was coming to pick up his things, Munoz said. She did not reveal whether there had been a recent change in his employment status.

Around 2:15 p.m. Monday, officers spotted Murray and his wife in a car in front of their residence in the Mid-City neighborhood of Colina del Sol and arrested him without incident, Munoz said.Officers searched the car and seized four semi-automatic handguns, 18 additional ammunition clips, three knives and a box cutter, according to police.Murray was booked on suspicion of threatening to commit a crime which would result in great bodily injury and spousal abuse for allegedly battering his wife, Munoz said.She said it was not illegal for Murray to possess the weapons, but it is against the law to transport loaded firearms and conceal them without a permit.

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Ambulance, 2 other vehicles involved in accident

Posted on 26 August 2009 by wyoskibum

PICACHO, AZ –¬† Four people were injured in an accident involving an ambulance and two other vehicles near Picacho Tuesday night.

It happened shortly after 7:50 p.m. on the westbound I-10 at milepost 211.

The conditions of the four people who were injured were not made available Tuesday night.

DPS said it is unknown at this time whether or not the ambulance had any patients on board.

There are no reports of any road closures.

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Woman molested by paramedic sues ambulance company

Posted on 26 August 2009 by wyoskibum

Lanny Haszard

Lanny Haszard

PORTLAND, OR – The attorney representing a woman who was molested by paramedic Lannie Haszard in the back of an ambulance told a jury Tuesday that American Medical Response repeatedly ignored signs that the company had a sexual predator on its staff.

Greg Kafoury, attorney for 29-year-old Royshekka Herring, argued that if AMR had acted on three earlier complaints by female patients, his client would not have been molested in December 2007.

Haszard, an EMT or paramedic of 16 years, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in August 2008 for groping Herring and three other female patients. Herring is suing the ambulance company for $5 million in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

“This is a case about a predator who worked out of the back of an ambulance,” Kafoury said. “It’s about the woman — Royshekka Herring — who stopped him and the corporation that didn’t.”

James Dumas, an attorney representing AMR Northwest, which is based in Portland and its parent company AMR, strongly disputed Kafoury’s claims. Dumas said none of the first three women who complained about Haszard offered clear and convincing accounts, even though he said that AMR Northwest did its best to investigate.

Dumas also said Haszard was an expert at covering up his crimes, as sex predators often are.

“AMR had absolutely no reason, no incentive … to allow a sex abuser to work on their staff,” Dumas said.

Kafoury described the three earlier incidents in which women complained about Haszard in opening statements this week.

In February 2006, a 35-year-old woman said Haszard stared at her, panted and sweated while a hospital worker undressed her. Unable to speak because she was having trouble breathing, she was unable to tell him to leave. She testified that an AMR manager later told her that she must have imagined things.

In December 2006, a 73-year-old woman who was having heart problems said Haszard cupped her breasts and slid his hand up under her gown and up her inner thigh, asking her questions such as “Are you hot?”

In March 2007, a 40-year-old woman found lying near Barbur Boulevard covered in blood said that Haszard stuck his hand down her pants. The woman complained to police, who decided not to make an arrest. Kafoury said AMR managers failed to seek out the woman and interview her for themselves.

In each case, Kafoury said, AMR failed to discipline Haszard or take him off the job.

In December 2007, Herring arrived at the hospital screaming, saying the paramedic had stuck his hand down her underwear and fondled her.

Portland police arrested Haszard two days later. He was sentenced to five years in prison. Prosecutors believed there were other victims, including a woman who died before charges were brought.

Kafoury said AMR discounted the words of the first three women who complained because the company chose to believe Haszard’s accounts over the women’s.

Dumas said in the case of the first woman, there was another explanation for the way the paramedic appeared as she was undressed. Dumas said Haszard could have been sweating and panting “because he was an old out-of-shape paramedic who just got done wheeling a patient to the hospital.”

In the case of the 73-year-old who complained about Haszard fondling her breasts and inner thigh, Dumas said Haszard’s partner, who was driving the ambulance, didn’t see any inappropriate touching and heard the woman laughing.

Dumas said the third woman to complain had been drinking, and another one of Haszard’s partners said she was periodically glancing into the back of the ambulance while driving. She said Haszard couldn’t have molested the patient.

In Herring’s case, Dumas said, AMR was so swift to act that one of its managers arrived at the hospital before police did.

“He got there before the police did because that’s the kind of company that AMR is,” Dumas said.

Dumas said Haszard resigned, just as the ambulance company was about to tell him he was fired.

Herring’s suit against the ambulance company is the first of five to go to trial. Kafoury had wanted to try four of the cases together, but Judge Judith Matarazzo ordered the trials separated. A fifth woman is represented by another attorney.

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Paramedic arrested in drugs’ theft

Posted on 26 August 2009 by wyoskibum

BATON ROUGE, LA – Police arrested an EMS paramedic after she allegedly stole prescription drugs from an undercover narcotics detective posing as a patient.

On Friday, Margaret “Peggy” Lignieres, 29, was part of a two-paramedic crew that responded to a 911 call for a man needing medical attention at the Red Roof Inn, 11314 Boardwalk Drive, an affidavit of probable cause said.

Alerted by EMS about a potential problem with one of their employees, Baton Rouge Police Department narcotics detectives had wired the room with audio and video recorders.

After Lignieres helped load the patient into the ambulance, she went back inside his hotel room and was caught on camera taking multiple pills of hydrocodone as well as Soma, a muscle relaxant, and Adderall, an amphetamine, out of his prescription bottles, the affidavit said.

After the patient was dropped off at the hospital, another detective met with Lignieres at the EMS station on Coursey Boulevard and confronted her about the tape, the affidavit said.

Lignieres confessed to taking the drugs and showed the detective where she had them stashed: inside a black plastic glove in the front of her ambulance, the affidavit said.

Lignieres said she had developed a prescription drug problem after injuring her back and had run out of pain medication, the affidavit said.

Lignieres, 1135 E. Lynne St., Gonzales, was booked into Parish Prison on two counts of possession of Schedule II drugs and one count of felony theft, booking documents show.

Lignieres’ bond was set at $10,000.

“This was a result of an investigation started internally by EMS,” said Mike Chustz, an EMS spokesman, declining to describe the incidents that sparked the investigation.

Lignieres, a five-year employee of EMS, was placed on leave without pay following her arrest, Chustz said.

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Man who hid in ambulance charged with burglary

Posted on 26 August 2009 by wyoskibum

URBANA, IL – A Champaign man who rode around in the back of a Pro Ambulance unnoticed for a few hours Monday has been charged in Champaign County Circuit Court with burglary.

Terrance Jones, 28, of the 1400 block of Aztec Drive was charged with burglary for entering the ambulance with the intent to steal.

Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Carlson said Jones got in the ambulance about 8:30 a.m. Monday while the emergency medical technicians staffing it were inside Farm and Fleet on North Cunningham Avenue in Urbana. A video from the store showed him getting in.

Jones apparently remained inside the ambulance for the next few hours while the technicians ran errands. Once the ambulance got back to the Urbana Fire Department on South Vine Street, Jones got out and ran. He was caught about 1 p.m. behind the Champaign County Courthouse, Carlson said.

Jones had taken a breathing mash and latex gloves. Carlson said officers reported Jones was intoxicated and smelled of cannabis.

Judge Richard Klaus set his bond at $2,500 and ordered him to be back in court with a lawyer Sept. 9.

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Ambulance Runs Over Homeless Man’s Foot

Posted on 25 August 2009 by wyoskibum

An ambulance responding to a call early Monday accidentally ran over the foot of a homeless man who was sleeping in front of a Sacramento firehouse, officials said.Capt. Jim Doucette said Sacramento Fire Medic No. 20 hit the apparent transient, who was in asleep in front of the apparatus doors at Fire Station 20, located at 2512 Rio Linda Blvd.The injured man, whose name was not released, was taken to a local hospital by Sacramento firefighters, Doucette said.The accident, which occurred at 4:01 a.m., is being investigated by the Sacramento Police Department.

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Elderly woman killed in ambulance crash

Posted on 25 August 2009 by wyoskibum

GILROY, CA – A 96-year-old Morgan Hill woman was killed Friday when a pick-up truck slammed into an ambulance taking her from a Gilroy hospital to a nearby nursing home, according to the California Highway Patrol.Police did not arrest the unidentified 38-year-old male from Salinas whose 2007 GMC pickup truck slammed into the ambulance and tipped it over, but officers are still investigating the crash, CHP Spokesperson Matt Peters said.

The lone driver, traveling west on Buena Vista Avenue, crashed into the 1998 ambulance as it attempted to turn left onto No Name Uno in north Gilroy. Police said they are looking into the likely possibility that the ambulance driver, who sustained minor injuries along with another passenger, made an unsafe turn. The truck driver did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the conditions along Buena Vista Avenue about 2 p.m. Friday were clear and dry, Peters said.

“This appears to be driver error, but we’re still trying to determine if the death was a result of the accident or the woman’s condition,” Peters said.

The Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office was not releasing the woman’s name or cause of death Monday morning, and it was unclear why the woman was receiving medical treatment to begin with. After the accident, the elderly woman sustained lacerations and was transported to Saint Louise Regional Hospital. She was then airlifted to a regional hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

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Paramedic quits after being sent to the wrong city

Posted on 24 August 2009 by wyoskibum

Quit in disgust due to mis-management

Quit in disgust due to management and working conditions

PARAMEDICS were ready to break into a Mackay home to treat a suspected heart attack victim when they learned the emergency was actually in Brisbane.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – Eric Fleissig who later quit the Queensland Ambulance Service in disgust at its management and working conditions, said he was met by a startled and confused person when he attended a Code 1 emergency call.

He said he went to an address provided by ambulance dispatchers where the resident told him he knew nothing about an emergency.

The paramedics queried the communication centre, which then realised that the street name was correct but the emergency was in the Brisbane suburb of Ashgrove and not the Mackay suburb of Andergrove.

“It happens all the time,” Mr Fleissig said.

Paramedics say the QAS hasn’t done enough to make sure the best maps and direction-finding equipment are available, or to train communications staff who know their areas.

QAS Commissioner David Melville said dispatch systems were not perfect but Queenslanders were given the best possible service regardless of where they lived.

“I’d like to think we will get it perfect, but I can’t give you a 100¬†per cent guarantee on it,” he said. “We try to give the best possible service no matter where people are.”

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Burnley paramedic ‘stole thousands of litres of painkilling gas’

Posted on 24 August 2009 by wyoskibum

BURNLEY, UNITED KINGDOM – A BURNLEY paramedic could be kicked out of the profession after stealing thousands of litres of painkilling gas from ambulance supplies.

Timothy Standing dosed himself up on the addictive nitrous oxide based substance Entonox – commonly used to provide pain relief during childbirth and dental operations, a misconduct probe heard.

Bosses at the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) launched an enquiry after 133 cylinders, each containing 360 litres of Entonox, went missing in 2007.

When investigators searched Standing’s home in Burnley they found six canisters.

He now admits taking between 15 and 20 cylinders in 2007, and claims he used it to get over a recent break-up.

Graham Lovatt, a sector manager for NWAS, told a Health Professionals’ Council disciplinary hearing in Central London that he was asked to investigate the matter in September 2007.

He said: “I was made aware of the usage of the cylinders prior to the discovery of the gas at the property of Mr Standing.

“The Entonox usage had been going up. In July 30 canisters were used; in August around 50; and in September 180.

“The number of canisters we were having to order was very high.

“There was this increased usage without any explanation.”

Mr Lovatt said normally only 15 to 20 cylinders needed to be ordered per month.

He added that after speaking to other managers in the ambulance service, Standing’s name soon cropped up.

The paramedic was known to have had a number of personal difficulties, including the recent separation from his partner and the death of his father.

In September 2007, he was interviewed and came clean about taking the gas.

The hearing was told that after Standing came clean, the use of the gas returned to normal levels.

Greg Oceallaigh, for Standing, said the case was complicated because of his client’s poor memory.

He said that at the time of the allegations his client was suffering from ‘a minor depressive illness’ and was also taking the drug Champix to give up cigarettes.

He said this affected Standing’s memory to the extent he could not remember what he was doing in September 2007.

As a result Mr Oceallaigh asked the HPC panel if it would adjourn the case and re-open it before a health committee.

But his request was dismissed by the HPC panel.

He denies misconduct or that his fitness to practise is impaired.

Standing, formerly of The Moorings, Burnley, faces a single charge of taking an unspecified quantity of Entonox in 2007.

The hearing continues tomorrow (Monday).

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Ex-student sues over EMT course

Posted on 24 August 2009 by wyoskibum

EDMONTON, CANADA – An Edmonton man is suing the Canadian College of Emergency Medical Services for $88,000, alleging the emergency medical technician course he took was not up to snuff and he was unjustly failed after unsuccessfully completing the ambulance practicum.

In a statement of claim filed July 13, Jason Tschetter alleges he paid $5,618 to take the six-month EMT course beginning on Jan. 7, 2008, and says the tuition was to include the courses and practicums as well as textbooks.

Tschetter claims the students did not receive their textbooks until halfway through the 12-week classroom portion, their instructor quit a month into the class, the replacement instructor had no prior EMT teaching experience and the Class-4 drivers’ training program was not being taught.

He also alleges he had a personality conflict with the instructor of the emergency ambulance practicum, an advocate brought in to help acted unprofessionally and verbally abused him and he was denied a practicum site replacement.

Tschetter claims he was then failed in the emergency ambulance practicum, denied an appeal and terminated from the program.

He says he later got a job with Oilfield Medical Services in Hinton, but was underpaid due to his lack of certification and EMT licence.

Tschetter is seeking a review of the dismissal decision and damages for the cost of the course, lost wages, lack of diploma and cost for a future refresher course.

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Arrest Made After Bryan Ambulance Stolen

Posted on 24 August 2009 by wyoskibum

BRYAN, TX – A Bryan Fire Department ambulance in service was stolen Sunday morning from an area hospital and later ditched in a neighboring county. The suspect in the theft has been arrested.

Lawrence Eugene Reyes Jr. of Richards was taken into custody at 8:20 a.m. Sunday, more than two-and-a-half hours after he allegedly took an ambulance from St. Joseph Regional Health Center. According to Bryan Police, Reyes was found along OSR and Highway 6 wet, dirty and scratched up.

In addition to a public intoxication charge, multiple charges of theft of a firearm and other charges, Reyes faces a first degree felony charge of theft of property of more than $200,000.

According to authorities, at 5:12 a.m. Sunday, the ambulance was in the middle of a stop at St. Joseph. Two medics were on that crew.

Both had delivered a patient to the emergency room, and as one stayed with the patient, Bryan Fire Chief Mike Donoho says the other crew member came out to begin clean-up in the patient portion of the vehicle. That’s when Reyes allegedly got behind the wheel and drove off.

Authorities began pursuing the ambulance, though they kept their distance because, according to police, the circumstances did not meet the department’s close pursuit policy.

Police followed it to Robertson County, where at Old Hearne Road at 5:40 a.m., Reyes allegedly ditched it and ran.

The ambulance, Medic 2, was not damaged and nothing was stolen.

An investigation is underway on the police end, and Donoho says one on his department’s end will be conducted.

The current policy, according to the chief, is for all ambulances to be turned off when parked at the hospital, in part due to fumes from the vehicle that could make their way into the emergency room area. Donoho and the department will look into the handling of ambulance keys during stops and update the policy if necessary.

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