Archive | February, 2010

Ambulance crashes in Westmoreland

Posted on 27 February 2010 by wyoskibum

Several people were injured this afternoon in a Westmoreland County crash involving a Mutual Aid Ambulance.

According to emergency dispatchers, the accident happened at about 2:30 p.m. in East Huntingdon, at Route 119 and Route 31. The exact number of people injured and their conditions were not immediately available.

An emergency dispatcher said the ambulance was transporting a patient at the time. Four additional ambulances were sent to the scene of the crash.


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Narcotics Stolen From Ambulances At Fire Stations

Posted on 24 February 2010 by wyoskibum

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Narcotics have been stolen from two ambulances in the last month while the emergency crews were in fire stations in Westminster, officials said Tuesday.The second theft happened Tuesday morning, and Deputy Chief Bill Work said it was causing additional concern because fire department uniforms also were stolen.”Now we fear thieves may be impersonating fire personnel to aid in the thefts,” Work said.

On Jan. 26, narcotics were stolen from the locked cabinets of an ambulance at Westminster Fire Station #6 at 999 W. 124th Ave. Tuesday morning’s theft was at Fire Station #2 at 9150 Lowell Blvd.; ambulance narcotics and fire apparel were taken.Westminster fire officials said at least four neighboring jurisdictions have had similar station break-ins and thefts.Work is asking people to call 911 if they see suspicious activity around their local fire station.”This is compromising the public safety services we provide, and the perpetrators need to be stopped,” Work said.Anyone with information about the burglaries is asked to call Westminster police Detective Wright at 303-658-4231.


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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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Ambulance collides with car, flips over on busy metro-east street

Posted on 24 February 2010 by wyoskibum

Ambulance CrashEAST ST. LOUIS, MO — A MedStar ambulance traveling west in the 2400 block of Missouri Avenue Saturday afternoon was struck by a car, causing the ambulance to flip over.

The female driver of the car sustained minor injuries and the ambulance was not carrying a patient at the time. The driver of the ambulance was not hurt.

Police Chief Lenzie Stewart said the car was traveling north on 24th Street, approached the intersection of Missouri Avenue and struck then ambulance.

Capt. Bobby Cole said the car driver was issued a traffic citation. The accident occurred at 12:59 p.m.

“The ambulance was not proceeding in an emergency capacity. There were no patients on board.  We believe it was headed to the office,” Stewart said.


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Houston Firefighter Injured When Car Collides with Ambulance

Posted on 24 February 2010 by wyoskibum

HOUSTON, TX – One Houston firefighter was injured in after an ambulance and car collided at a southeast Houston intersection Wednesday afternoon. The accident happened around 4 p.m. on Fuqua at Sabo.

Aerial shots of the scene showed the front of a black sedan smashed into the front of the Houston Fire Department ambulance.

The injured firefighter was transported to a hospital with back injuries. His condition was not disclosed.

Meanwhile, emergency crews closed off the intersection as they worked to clear up the scene. No other details were immediately available.


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Man steals ambulance, followed closely by police

Posted on 19 February 2010 by wyoskibum

PHILADELPHIA, PA – A Philadelphia man attracted lots of ambulance-chasers this morning – law-enforcers, not lawyers – and they got an assist from technology.

Police received a report about 8:30 a.m. that an ambulance had been stolen from a kidney dialysis center in the 5900 block of North Broad Street in North Philadelphia.

Cory E. Chambers, 26, helped himself to a vehicle that was parked outside the facility with the engine running, police said. He then began a circuitous, rush-hour joyride around the city, but Philadelphia police were able to track his every move.

In addition to an internal GPS system in the ambulance that enabled police to monitor Chambers’ route, PennDot traffic cams captured images of him as he headed west on the Schuylkill Expressway, police said.

State police on highway patrol spotted the ambulance shortly before 9 a.m. near the Montgomery Avenue exit and tried to pull it over, said Trooper Danea Durham, a state police spokeswoman.

Chambers, his vehicle surrounded by police cars, refused to stop and troopers pursued it as it neared City Line Avenue, Durham said.

“It was a slow-speed chase,” said Durham. “We’re talking about rush hour on I-76, and we all know how that is.”

Police threw a spike strip in front of the ambulance, and it stopped on the highway near City Avenue, with at least one flat tire; Chambers surrendered without incident but refused to give his name, Durham said.

Once again, technology intervened. Police were able to identify Chambers through fingerprints, said State Police Cpl. Gregory Broaddus.

Broaddus said the police have used internal GPS systems before to track stolen vehicles. In fact, he wishes such systems were standard equipment.

“It would be a sad day for car thieves,” he said.


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Ambulance Overturns In Gallatin Co.

Posted on 19 February 2010 by wyoskibum

GALLATIN COUNTY, Ky. — The patient in a Gallatin County ambulance, as well as the medic were taken to the hospital after the vehicle overturned.

Emergency crews were called to Gallatin County after an ambulance overturned Wednesday morning.

Officials say the accident happened in the 2000 block of U.S. 42, west of Verona.

The driver, an EMT, was not injured.

Police have not released any other information at this time.


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Two injured in ambulance accident

Posted on 19 February 2010 by wyoskibum

DELTA COUNTY, MI — Two people are recovering after an ambulance accident in Delta County.

According to the State Police in Gladstone, it happened around 10:30 last night on US-41, north of 27.75 Road.

The Marquette General Ambulance was transporting a patient.

The ambulance left the right side of the road, got caught in slush, and then went into the ditch.  After hitting a driveway embankment, the vehicle went air born for about 33 feet.

The patient and the attending paramedic were hurt in the incident and treated at Saint Francis.

The ambulance driver, who was not hurt, was found at fault.


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Man Dies After Ambulance Can’t Reach Him In Snow

Posted on 19 February 2010 by wyoskibum

PITTSBURGH, PA — A lack of system and communication is being blamed for the death of a man who died after an ambulance was unable to reach his home during the storm that dumped 20 inches of snow on Pittsburgh earlier this month.”It’s unacceptable. You’ve got to get out of your truck and you’ve got to go there,” Public Safety Director Michael Huss said Tuesday.

Sharon Edge said she called for help when her longtime partner, Curtis Mitchell, started having severe abdominal pain at their Hazelwood home early on the morning Feb. 6 and was unable to walk. “His pains were real bad.  He was suffering, had shortness of breath, and the next thing I knew, he was gone,” said Edge. “I just blame the system, that’s what I blame, the system.

“Records show the first of three calls to 911 was made at about 2 a.m. “They said they are going to send an ambulance when they get in the neighborhood, and so I hung up, and then I kept calling back.  Every half-hour, I kept calling back,” Edge said.

At one point, the ambulance was able to reach the Elizabeth Street bridge, a few blocks from the couple’s Chaplain Way home. “They said, ‘The ambulance is by the bridge, can you get to the bridge?’ I said, ‘He can’t walk, he can’t get to the bridge.’  I couldn’t carry him because he’s, like, 189 pounds,” Edge said.

Dr. Ron Roth, a physician with city EMS, said medics started shoveling and requested a four-wheel drive for help, but said when Edge learned the paramedics were stuck, she canceled the call, saying they would call back later “should he hurt anymore.” Less than an hour later, pain could be heard in Curtis Mitchell’s voice during his second 911 call.  Audio tapes were made available by city officials Tuesday. “I called earlier.  My name is Curtis Mitchell. I need a paramedic here right away,” Mitchell says on the tape.”Yes sir, they have the call. As soon as they have a medic, they’ll come out. I’ll advise them that you’re calling back,” the dispatcher says on the tape.

When medics asked if Mitchell could make his way to their truck, he said he couldn’t walk the steps at his home and that “they can come back later,” according to the report. A third call to 911 came 4.5 hours after the second. Roth said the ambulance still could only make it about 1/4 mile from the house, but when medics called to say the snow was too deep, Edge canceled the call because Mitchell took prescription medication and she couldn’t wake him. “The issue is that information gained on the first call was not transmitted to the second call and was not transmitted on the third call. Each time we were destined to repeat the mistakes we made along the way,” said Roth.Huss said crews still needed to find a way to reach Mitchell.”

As Dr. Roth tried to explain, that was working for us on some calls because we didn’t want to get the ambulance stuck in some neighborhoods. I understand that, but you get out of the damn truck and you walk to the residence. That’s what needed to happen. We could have carried him out across the West Elizabeth Bridge,” Huss said.

When Edge checked on Mitchell at about 4 a.m. on Feb. 7, he was dead, she said.”It hurts. I’m alone,” Edge said. “Somebody that I love, and now he’s gone, and I can’t do nothing about it, and he shouldn’t have had to die that way, because he was suffering, and he shouldn’t have had to die like that.”

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Emergency Medical Services Chief Robert McCaughan issued a statement that expressed “our deepest condolences” on Tuesday morning and pledged to make whatever changes are necessary.While an investigation continues, the ambulance drivers who were unable to get to the home are continuing to work and serve their regular duties in the field.”I say to them: I hope they do better with the next person than they did with us,” Edge said.


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Ambulance falls into hole at water-main break

Posted on 19 February 2010 by wyoskibum

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – A Wishard Hospital ambulance dropped nose first into a sinkhole caused by a water main break on the eastside this morning.

The ambulance ignored barricades where a 12-inch water main had burst at 38th and Rural streets, said Veolia Water spokesman Paul Whitmore. The break had forced authorities to close Rural between 38th and 39th streets.

The ambulance was not on an emergency run, but the driver was apparently trying to take a shortcut about 7:30 a.m., Whitmore said.

Whitmore said the street was covered in about two feet of water and the ambulance dropped, front first, into a collapsed piece of road.

He said neither of the two occupants of the ambulance was injured. The ambulance was towed from the sinkhole, he said.

Todd Harper, a spokesman at Wishard, said officials at the hospital were investigating the accident but he could not provide specifics on where the ambulance was going or why it was within the barricaded area.

Water officials hoped to have the main repaired and the street re-opened this afternoon, Whitmore said.


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Ambulance Involved In Collision

Posted on 19 February 2010 by wyoskibum

KETTERING, Ohio — Emergency personnel were called to a Kettering intersection after getting a report of an ambulance that was involved in a collision.

The collision happened Monday morning at the intersection of Stroop and Marshall roads. Police said a Beavercreek ambulance was on an emergency run to Kettering Medical Center when an SUV slid and slammed into it.News Center 7’s Jim Otte arrived at the scene and said only minor injuries were reported.

Police said the ambulance suffered minor damage, but the SUV suffered a bit more.Michael Burke with Kettering Police said, “Roads are starting to get wet and slick. It is important for drivers to drive with caution and exercise some patience.”


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Two hurt when ambulance, car collided

Posted on 19 February 2010 by wyoskibum

MARION, NC – Two people were injured and no one faulted when an ambulance and car collided on a snow-covered highway Friday evening.
At 6 p.m., Aaron Lee Wheeler, 21, of Marion was driving the 2008 Ford ambulance south on U.S. 221 South near the entrance to Chapel Hill Church Loop with its emergency equipment activated.
Paramedics were responding to a wreck on Interstate 40, according to a press release by EMS Director William Kehler.
Brenda Stotts Camp, 50, of Old Toms Creek Road was driving a 1994 Subaru north on U.S. 221 South.
A report by Sgt. D.B. Brown of the N.C. Highway Patrol said the ambulance crossed the centerline to pass an unknown vehicle that was either stopped or moving very slowly. As the ambulance attempted to re-enter its lane of travel, the emergency vehicle and Subaru collided due to heavy snowfall, the report stated.
“There were no lines visible on the roadway and this investigator was unable to determine the exact point of impact due to conflicting statements from the drivers and any physical evidence being quickly covered by snow,” the sergeant said in the report.
Kehler released the following statement: “We are very thankful that no one sustained serious injuries in this accident. Our agency takes the safety of our patients, employees, and citizens very serious.”
Brown’s report stated that Camp was taken to The McDowell Hospital. Kehler’s press release said two people were transported to The McDowell Hospital with minor injuries, the second being Kevin R. Ledford, 26, of Conover, a clinical student who was riding in the ambulance..
Camp was the only occupant of her vehicle. In addition to Ledford and Wheeler, who is an EMT-intermediate and employed with McDowell EMS, William K. Bishop, an EMS paramedic, was also in the ambulance.
No charges were filed in the wreck that shut down the highway for approximately an hour.
Damage to the car was estimated at $1,500 and to the ambulance, owned by the county, $2,500.


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Ambulance service will get paramedics

Posted on 19 February 2010 by wyoskibum

REEDSBURG, WI  – The Reedsburg Area Ambulance Service will be making the switch from EMT-Intermediate to Paramedic after it was approved by their board 9-2 Tuesday night, with two members absent.

No other details – when it will be implemented and potential cost increases – were discussed.

“We are going to have paramedic and that is all we are going to do tonight,” Wayne Ballweg, RAAS president, said after the vote.

The decision to go paramedic came on the heels of Monday night’s Reedsburg Common Council meeting that got tense at times when a price jump from $3 to $10 per capita was discussed.

“I took a lot of heat from that council,” Ballweg said, adding later that “I just had to walk out on that meeting.”

Ballweg told RAAS members that building up their general fund to $150,000 hurt them in the eyes of the council, who questioned the need for an estimated $250,000 surplus with increased per resident charges in the first year of the switch.

“To listen to that council berate us was difficult,” Ballweg said. “I think they were just green with envy when they looked at our general fund. They said theirs was nothing apparently.”

Phil Raupp, RAAS director, said they could approach the council at any time again and potentially ask for less, perhaps $7 or $8 per resident, once they are closer to implementation.

Raupp said ambulance staff will start the paperwork right away to advance levels, but doesn’t anticipate a snappy response from the state.

“It could be more than a year before we are actually approved by the state,” he said, adding the paramedic service would be phased in over a two-year period.

“We’ll just be getting our feet wet to start,” Raupp said. “It’s like sticking your foot into the pool.”

After the first six months the service will be required to have a certified paramedic 25 percent of the time, followed by 50 percent of the time after one year, 75 percent of the time after 18 months and finally full time in two years.

They can choose to discontinue the higher level of service at any time along that journey; however, “Once we get to full paramedic, we’re locked in,” Raupp said.

Because the program will be phased in, there are several different ways the per resident charge can be applied. It could happen the first year there is any paramedic on staff, part way through the implementation of the service or once it has been completed.

Raupp said he wasn’t sure which direction the board would want to go on that matter. He added that the full time director, who would need to be hired to begin the process of becoming paramedic, would also help determine how much and when any extra charges may show up on tax bills.

“The further we get into it, the closer and more accurate the numbers will be,” Raupp said.

During the meeting, the board determined it would be best to post the director position in ambulance journals or newspapers for 15 days after posting it internally for some time.


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Ambulance driver cited in Milton crash

Posted on 19 February 2010 by wyoskibum

MILTON, MA — An ambulance driver has been cited for running a red light and causing a crash that injured six people late Thursday night, police said.

The ambulance’s emergency lights and siren were being used, but the driver, Steven McCarthy, 29, of Franklin, did not stop for a red light, as required by law, before driving through the intersection of Blue Hill Avenue and Dollar Lane, Deputy Milton Police Chief Charles Paris said.

The ambulance, owned by McCall’s Ambulance of Brockton, collided with a Honda that was turning from Dollar Lane onto Blue Hill Avenue at about 11:45 p.m. Thursday2/11, Paris said.

McCarthy and his partner, whose name was not released, were taken to Quincy Medical Center.  A patient in the ambulance was taken to the hospital where he had been going, and was not believed to have been injured.
The Honda driver, Jill Connors, 17, of Dedham, was taken to Boston Medical Center for evaluation, Paris said. Three others from her car, all in their late teens, were taken to nearby  hospitals. The teens are from Scituate, Quincy and Weymouth but their names were not released.

None of the injuries appeared to ber life-threatening, Paris said.


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