Archive | October, 2009

3 Injured In Ambulance Crash On Route 28

Posted on 28 October 2009 by wyoskibum

O’HARA, Pa. — Two crew members and a patient were injured when an ambulance crashed on Route 28 Tuesday morning.¬† Police and medics responded to the accident on the southbound side of Route 28 near RIDC Park shortly around 3:45 a.m., emergency dispatchers told Channel 4 Action News.The ambulance crew was transporting a patient to Pittsburgh from Clearfield County at the time of the crash, dispatchers reported.The driver of the ambulance lost control causing the vehicle to slam into the Jersey barrier, reports said.The two crew members and the patient were all rushed to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.There is no word on their conditions.Police are investigating what caused the driver to lose control of the ambulance.


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Former Salisbury ambulance squad can’t serve township, study says

Posted on 28 October 2009 by wyoskibum

SALISBURY, PA – The Eastern Salisbury Fire Department’s former ambulance corps doesn’t have the manpower, call volume or finances to remain in business as an independent squad, according to a report released last week.

A firm hired to study the ambulance squad’s operations has recommended that Salisbury Township commissioners look elsewhere when choosing an ambulance corps serve the eastern portion of the township.

”Our recommendation for the township is to pursue a relationship with an established, financially secure EMS organization,” said Dennis P. Farkas, a consultant from Executive Service Corps of the Lehigh Valley.

Commissioners, who are responsible for selecting ambulance companies to serve the township, said they want time to review the report and discuss it at a meeting before making a decision.

Township officials commissioned the study after the fire department decided to close its ambulance service in August because it was becoming a financial drain.

Employees from the ambulance service told commissioners they wanted to reorganize independent of the fire company.

The report notes that relations between the fire department and ambulance squad became ”severely strained.”

Farkas told the board Thursday night that the former ambulance squad is ”highly dedicated and knowledgeable regarding EMS operations,” but too many obstacles are in the way of it standing on its own.

The Eastern Pennsylvania Emergency Medical Services Council, according to the report, said a basic life support ambulance corps, such as Eastern Salisbury, needs to respond to about 1,200 calls annually to generate adequate revenue.

Statistics from the Lehigh County 911 Center show that Eastern Salisbury received 472 calls in 2006, 564 in 2007 and 546 in 2008.

The report also notes the ambulance squad was struggling financially in 2008 and that the fire department believed the losses would continue in 2009. It also found missed Medicare payments and calls that were billed at an incorrect, lower rate, among other problems.

To operate independently, ”more skilled people are needed on the business end,” Farkas said.

The squad had two full-time and five part-time employees and 10 volunteers. The report said the squad was having trouble finding volunteers to cover evening and weekend shifts. It also noted that new state legislation signed into law in August would require basic life support units in the next two to three years to provide around-the-clock service. The squad would have to find 10 to 12 new volunteers to meet this requirement, the report states.

Given these hindrances, the study’s authors suggested Salisbury commissioners look to St. Luke’s Emergency Transport Services, Cetronia Ambulance Corps or Upper Saucon Ambulance Corps for coverage of the eastern portion of the township.

”We are confident the citizens of Salisbury would be adequately protected by any of these three companies,” said William Cosgrove, an ESC consultant who also worked on the study.

St. Luke’s ambulance has 80 employees, Cetronia has 141 and Upper Saucon has 23. These squads respond to 12,000 to 38,000 calls per year.

St. Luke’s and Cetronia have said they could have an ambulance in eastern Salisbury for a portion of the day. All three have shown interest in bringing the former Eastern Salisbury volunteers into their ranks. The western half of the township is served by Cetronia and Emmaus ambulance corps.

Gloria Hinkle, who had been chief of Eastern Salisbury for 34 of its 56 years, said she was not surprised by the study’s results.

She said the former crew is considering its options and talking to former paid and volunteer staff about coming back into service.


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Grandfather dies after ambulance crash in Tampa

Posted on 25 October 2009 by wyoskibum

TAMPA, FL — On Monday night, like every Monday, Jerry Hager took his two grandsons to their Boy Scout meeting. Hager, a longtime Scout leader, was helping the troop prepare for a Halloween event in Inverness this weekend.

On the way back home, an ambulance on the way to a call smashed into Hager’s truck, pinning the 64-year-old man inside. Rescue crews had to pry the roof open to free him.

Hager died at St. Joseph’s Hospital on Tuesday morning.

The grandsons were left with broken bones and stitches.

“They love their grandpa very much,” said Mary Beth Tarantola, Hager’s daughter and mother of 13-year-old Jamie and 11-year-old Joseph. “It’s just not right.”

Hager and the boys were heading west about 9:40 p.m. on Busch Boulevard in Hager’s maroon Ford F-150 pickup. Traffic on the other side of the road had stopped at Ola Avenue, and the driver of an eastbound ambulance noticed too late.

Tampa Fire Rescue reported that the private emergency vehicle was on its way to a call, headed toward Interstate 275.

The driver, 28-year-old Justin McKenzie, hit the brakes and swerved over the double yellow lines into oncoming traffic.

“All indications are that he was trying to avoid a rear-end collision,” said Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis. “He took a chance that no one would be in the other lanes.”

The ambulance smashed into Hager’s truck.

Police initially said Hager’s injuries were not life-threatening, but he died at the hospital about 7 a.m., Davis said.

It was a “terrible, unfortunate accident,” Davis said, and there are no signs of criminal wrongdoing.

McKenzie, of Palm Harbor, had minor injuries. He was cited for careless driving. One of his passengers, Ashley Prazza-Odom, 48, had minor injuries, and the other, 18-year-old Jasmine Alcantara, was not injured. No patients were on board.

McKenzie’s state driving record shows that he was cited nine years ago in Taylor County for driving 92 mph in a 65-mph zone. That led to a conviction. He was cited in Pasco County with failing to obey a traffic sign or device in 2003 and speeding in 2004, but adjudication was withheld in both cases.

Doug Moore, a spokesman for American Medical Response, which operates the ambulance, said McKenzie has been with the company for two years. Moore said the company performs background checks on every candidate.

Under company policy, McKenzie was placed on administrative leave during the investigation, Moore said.

In a prepared statement, Tom Diaz, American Medical Response’s director of operations, said the company was cooperating with police and could not release any information about the people involved.

“As an organization dedicated to protecting and saving lives, we are sincerely saddened by this tragic death,” Diaz said. “Our thoughts are with the family at this time as well as our crew members.”

Mary Tarantola said her father, a former Marine Corps reservist from West Virginia, became a Boy Scout leader when his son, David Hager, now 26, became a Scout as a kid.

When Tarantola’s sons got involved, Hager was there with them. Tarantola says the boys thought of their grandfather as a second dad.

On weekdays, Hager worked at his diesel engine shop in Ybor City, called Direct Injection of Florida. Tarantola said that before her father started the business, he taught night classes for diesel mechanics and worked on trucks.

But the weekends were for the Boy Scouts.

“He was a big enthusiast on that,” Tarantola said.

Most weekends were spent at the nearly 5,000-acre McGregor Smith Boy Scout Reservation in Inverness, she said. Hager was helping to build a firearms range at the camp to teach the boys gun safety.

This weekend, he was signed up to help with the camp’s “haunted woods” celebration.

George Faugl, another Scout leader, has worked with Hager for eight years. When the two met, son David Hager had been promoted to Eagle Scout and moved on. But Hager stayed, waiting for his grandsons.

He and Faugl served as district leaders, then became co-scoutmasters of the same Temple Terrace group.

“He just truly loved the program,” Faugl said. “He thought it was the greatest thing for boys.”

Hager had a penchant for neatness and tucking in shirts, perhaps from his Marine Corps days, Faugl said.

When Hager’s grandsons finally joined Troop 188, Hager didn’t favor them, Faugl said. If anything he was tougher on them than anyone else.

Faugl said this weekend’s Halloween camping trip will go on, but he plans to shuttle a group of boys back to town for Hager’s memorial service on Saturday.

Monday, like every Monday, Troop 188 will meet. But Faugl plans to hold a campfire and share stories about Hager.

“Then, we’ll just go back on scouting again,” he said. “Because that’s what Jerry would want.”


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Ambulance driver cited after Dover crash

Posted on 25 October 2009 by wyoskibum

An ambulance driver was cited after colliding with a minivan in Dover, leaving the driver hospitalized.

The crash occurred about 8 a.m. Wednesday at U.S. 113 and Court Street in Dover, police spokesman Lt. Paul Bernat said today.

The ambulance, owned by Prime Care and driven by George Diaz, 46, of Dover, was responding to a call when the crash occurred.

Diaz was cited for failing to obey a traffic device.

Bernat said Diaz was stopped at South Little Creek Rad and U.S. 113 southbound and went through the intersection with emergency lights and siren activated.

At the same time, a Mazda MPV minivan was traveling southbound in the right lane of U.S. 113 southbound.

The female driver did not hear the ambulance’s siren or see the vehicle, Bernat said.

The ambulance proceeded through the intersection and hit the driver’s side of the minivan, totaling it.

The injured driver in the minivan was flown to Christiana Hospital for treatment.

Diaz and an occupant in the ambulance were not injured.

There were no patients in the vehicle, Bernat said.

The ambulance sustained heavy front-end damage.


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Paramedic killed on way to drop zone call

Posted on 25 October 2009 by wyoskibum

Fort Bragg, N.C. — A paramedic was killed Wednesday night when the ambulance he was riding in hit a tree near Plank Road on Fort Bragg.

Officials have not released the man’s name.

It happened about 10:30 p.m.

The ambulance from Womack Army Medical Center was headed to a call at a parachute drop zone, said Tom McCollum, Fort Bragg spokesman.

The driver lost control of the ambulance as the road surface changed from asphalt to dirt, he said.

The driver was treated at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and later released, McCollum said.

The ambulance had not picked up a patient.

Both occupants were civilians, according to a spokeswoman at Womack.

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Ambulance Driver, Patient Killed In I-65 Wreck

Posted on 25 October 2009 by wyoskibum

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two people were killed when an ambulance was involved in a crash with a Tennessee Department of Transportation truck on Interstate 65 North on Thursday afternoon.

The crash occurred near the Wedgewood Avenue exit at about 2:50 p.m.The driver of the ambulance, David Cline, and a patient inside the ambulance, Sue Bly, were both killed. Cline was a Franklin, Tenn., firefighter who was working off-duty. “The ambulance was traveling without the emergency lights and transporting an elderly woman from her dialysis treatment back to her retirement home.¬† For reasons unknown at this time, the ambulance rear-ended the TDOT truck,” said Kristin Mumford, Metro Police.An off-duty Metro firefighter, Evans Johnson, who was inside the ambulance and working as an EMT for the ambulance company, was also hurt in the wreck.¬† Johnson was taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center and in critical but stable condition.

The driver of the TDOT vehicle, Robert Green, was taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center but released on Friday. The ambulance belongs to a private company that was based in Franklin, Tenn. When the crash occurred, the TDOT truck was pulled over in the emergency lane without its hazard lights on. However, TDOT policy says the lights only have to be flashing when a worker is outside the vehicle helping a driver.  So, it was still unclear why the TDOT truck had pulled over.  The Franklin Fire Department will provide grief counseling to its firefighters. The Franklin city manager issued a statement on Friday night echoing the sentiment that Cline will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.


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Dialysis patient dies after ambulance crashes

Posted on 25 October 2009 by wyoskibum

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Police say a dialysis patient being taken by ambulance to a hospital in Dayton died after the vehicle crashed into a concrete retaining wall on the highway.

Dayton Assistant Fire Chief Jim Beech says the private ambulance crashed Wednesday after trying to avoid some cardboard boxes on Interstate 75.

Police say the 66-year-old female patient died after arriving at Miami Valley Hospital.

It was not immediately known if the woman died from injuries suffered in the crash or because of medical issues. Dayton police Lt. Robert Chabali says investigators will have to await an autopsy to determine the woman’s cause of death.

Beech says two other people inside the ambulance suffered minor injuries.


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Ambulance Taking Woman To Hospital Hits Cow

Posted on 25 October 2009 by wyoskibum

COLUMBIA, KY — An ambulance run, taking a south-central Kentucky woman to a hospital, ended with the patient and two ambulance crew members being treated there.

Kentucky State Police said the ambulance struck a cow in the road early Tuesday on Ky. 433, one mile south of Willisburg.

The 71-year-old patient, Virginia Lewis of Mackville, was belted into place. She was admitted to Springview Hospital in Lebanon, but for her illness — not a crash injury.

Troopers said the ambulance driver was 45-year-old Donald Milburn of Springfield. The EMT in the back with the patient was 50-year-old William Hagan of Lawrenceburg.

Both men were released from the hospital after treatment.


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Lawsuit filed in Kane County ambulance crash

Posted on 25 October 2009 by wyoskibum

Chicago, IL – A wrongful-death lawsuit has been filed in Kane County by the family of an elderly Elgin man who died after the ambulance he was riding in crashed en route to the hospital.

According to the lawsuit, Alfred Lazow, 88, had been involved in an unrelated crash July 6 in Aurora and was being taken to Rush-Copley Medical Center for a “nonemergency medical evaluation” when the ambulance transporting him was hit by a car at the intersection of Galena Boulevard and Edgelawn Drive.

Lazow died 12 days later, the result of “severe physical injuries” he received in the second crash, which happened when the ambulance went through the intersection against a red light, according to the lawsuit filed Oct. 13.

Named as defendants are Aurora-based First Care Ambulance, its driver and the driver of the other vehicle, all of whom are accused of negligence.

A message left at the ambulance company was not immediately returned Tuesday.

The lawsuit, which demands a jury trial, goes before Judge Stephen Sullivan on Jan. 4.


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Former paramedic may have died trying to get drugs

Posted on 25 October 2009 by wyoskibum

CALDWELL, ID – The sister of a former Canyon County paramedic who died after being crushed to death by a garage door says she believes her sister may have been trying to enter the facility to obtain prescription medication, according to a police report obtained by 2 News.

Melissa Farris died Oct. 2 when a garage door at a Caldwell Paramedic Station crushed her as it closed. Little was known about the events surrounding her death until now.

2 News exclusively obtained the investigation report from Caldwell Police. On the night of her death, her husband told police Farris couldn’t sleep because of pain in her leg.

She told her husband she was heading to the Flying J for a soda at about 10: 50 p.m.

But, according to the police report, she went to the Best Western across the street from the paramedic station in Caldwell. About 10 minutes later, 911 dispatch received a call from a woman calling herself “Staci” who said there was a traffic accident on Interstate 84.

“My name is Stacy and I am driving toward Ontario and a car went off into the median at mile marker 22 and I am trying to get stopped,” Farris states in the call.

There was no crash on the Interstate as the 911 call was fake. Six minutes later, however, emergency personnel received another 911 call from the same number – only this call was for real.

Police say it was Farris – crying for help and gasping for air.

“Medic…4…help…door,” Melissa said to the dispatcher.

The dispatcher asked where she was at and she once again said, “Medic…4.”

The police report goes on to say that Farris was trying to get into the station after the ambulance left to go to that fake accident.

When officials arrived at the station, they tried to release the door and save Farris, but the entire system was broken. When the ambulance used for the fake call returned to the station, they used their garage door opener to free Farris and begin CPR.

She was transported to West Valley Medical Center and later to St. Alphonsus where she was pronounced dead.

Canyon County Paramedics said earlier in the month that it would not state the reason why Farris’ employment ended. But in the report, her husband told Caldwell Police that Farris was fired from the Canyon County Paramedics back in November of 2008.

“He (the husband) said that Melissa was fired for using his medications and she failed a drug test at work,” the report states.

According to the report, Farris had been on a prescription pain-killer that she just had refilled on August 28th, but when police searched her clothes at the hospital they found an empty prescription bottle.

Police also say that Farris was seen on video surveillance leaving a motel parking lot across the street from the paramedic station. It appears Melissa attempted to slide under the door as it was closing.

She was found pinned face down between the door and concrete driveway.

Although her true intentions may never be known, Farris’ sister did say in the report that her sister had been battling a leg injury and recently had been on crutches. The sister says she may have tried to get inside the Canyon County Paramedic’s station to gain access to prescription meds.


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Busch Blvd. reopens after ambulance hits pickup

Posted on 25 October 2009 by wyoskibum

Ambulance Crash

Ambulance Crash

TAMPA, FL – An ambulance driver lost control of his vehicle Monday night and crashed into a pickup truck on Busch Boulevard, Tampa police said, closing the road in both directions for hours.

Justin McKenzie, 18, of Palm Harbor, was driving the ambulance east on Busch about 9:40 p.m.

When he realized traffic was stopped in front of him, he hit the brakes but couldn’t stop in time. He drove over the double yellow line and into oncoming traffic, striking a 2001 Ford pickup truck head-on that was driven by Gerold Hager, 64, of Palm Harbor.

Tampa Fire Rescue had to cut Hager free from the pickup. Hager was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries. Hager’s grandsons were taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital with minor injuries, police said.

McKenzie and his passenger had minor complaints. McKenzie was cited for the crash, police said.

Busch Boulevard at Ola Avenue was closed in both directions after the crash and was reopened about 12:30 a.m.


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Paramedic injured in ambulance involved accident

Posted on 25 October 2009 by wyoskibum

HENRICO, VA  РA paramedic was injured Saturday morning when his ambulance was hit by a car.

The Tuckahoe Volunteer ambulance was parked on the side of Staples Mill Road near the Dickens Road intersection.

Police say the emergency lights were running when another car hit the ambulance.

The driver of that car, Brandon S. Pence, was arrested and charged with DUI.

The paramedic suffered minor injuries.


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Paramedic accused of drunken driving

Posted on 25 October 2009 by wyoskibum

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – A paramedic with the Albuquerque Fire Department is accused of driving drunk.

Nicholas Wilson, 34, has been with AFD for 10 years, but now he’s on suspension.

Police said he was driving his personal vehicle erratically early Saturday morning at Coors and Namaste NW.

Wilson showed signs of impairment during a series of field sobriety tests, and also admitted to police that he had a few drinks at a downtown bar, according to the criminal complaint.

Wilson has bonded out of jail.


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Bone drill added to front-line ambulances

Posted on 20 October 2009 by wyoskibum

GRAND ISLAND, NE - The bone drill.  It sounds ominous. Maybe something to be featured in a creepy Halloween movie.

In reality, it’s a life-saving tool that has been added to Grand Island’s four front-line ambulances.

“It’s in lieu of an IV,” said Troy Shubert, the Emergency Medical Services Division chief for the Grand Island Fire Department.

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