Archive | May, 2010

Two injured in car vs. ambulance crash

Posted on 27 May 2010 by wyoskibum

Holland, MI — At least two people were injured in a three-vehicle crash involving an AMR ambulance at East 16th Street and Columbia Avenue Wednesday afternooon.

Although it wasn’t immediately clear what caused the crash, police on scene said they suspected a Saturn Ion ran a stop sign at the intersection shortly after 4:30 p.m.  It appeared the Saturn smashed into a Ford Bronco that was headed eastbound on 16th Street.

It was not yet clear what caused the ambulance to become involved in the crash, police said.  Three people were riding in the ambulance at the time of the crash, including one patient en route to Holland Hospital. None of the three appeared to have sustained serious injuries, an AMR supervisor said on scene.

The Saturn driver was extricated from the vehicle by Holland firefighters and taken to a hospital by ambulance.  At least one person riding in the Ford Bronco was also driven to the hospital by ambulance.  The extent of each person’s injuries was not immediately known.

Police continue to investigate.


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State: Nearly 200 EMTs falsified recertifications

Posted on 27 May 2010 by wyoskibum

Massachusetts public health officials said Wednesday nearly 200 emergency medical technicians, paramedics and other first-aid providers have been working without proper recertification, and the number could rise.

The extent of the problem was revealed during the past month. The Department of Public Health launched an investigation after receiving tips that a number of EMTs, paramedics, police officers and firefighters from Massachusetts and New Hampshire were getting documentation from certificate mills without attending the required classes.

They were supposed to attend classes for several hours every two years, but instead appear to have gotten certificates from trainers whom they paid off.

DPH spokeswoman Jennifer Manley said those who have been caught – including some Boston firefighters – still are qualified medical professionals, but they were banned from providing any more treatment until they are recertified.

“We’re pretty disturbed by it, that we would discover falsification by any health care professional,” Manley said. “We have undertaken a very thorough investigation and hope to identify every single person with a falsification.”

Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach said authorities may suspend or terminate some of the workers’ licenses, but a final determination is being withheld until the investigation is completed.

“The investigation determined that at no time was anyone’s health or safety at risk,” Auerbach said in a statement.

In a memorandum last week, the DPH reminded ambulance service providers and trainers of the penalties for falsifying documents.

“The implications of false documentation extend beyond the individuals involved and have a far-reaching effect on the public’s perception of (emergency medical services),” the memo said. “Inherent in such positions is the responsibility to uphold standards that exemplify the nature of EMS and the nature of the individuals who have committed their professional careers to aiding the sick and injured.”


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Ambulance involved in three car crash

Posted on 27 May 2010 by wyoskibum

HOLLAND, MI – Two people suffered non life-threatening injuries on Wednesday afternoon after an ambulance was involved in a three car accident.

Officials say it’s not yet clear what caused the crash at the intersection of 16th Street and Columbia Avenue that took place around 4:40 pm Wednesday.

The ambulance was taking a patient to Holland Hospital, another emergency vehicle had to be called out to transport that patient.

Officials say they do not know if the ambulance’s lights and siren were operating when the crash occurred.


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Two Injured in Ambulance Crash

Posted on 27 May 2010 by wyoskibum

MILWAUKEE, WI – A paramedic was one of two people injured when a car crashed into a Milwaukee Fire Department medical unit near 13th and Oklahoma Monday.

The paramedic and a patient inside the ambulance were both transported to the hospital.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing.


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Rutherford County EMS worker, 43, accused of sexually exploiting girl, 14

Posted on 27 May 2010 by wyoskibum

NASHVILLE, TN – A 42-year-old Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services worker has been placed on administrative leave with pay while Murfreesboro Police continue to investigate him for the alleged sexual exploitation of a 14-year-old girl.

Christopher Bryan, was charged with one count of soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor, according to Murfreesboro Police Detective Tommy Roberts. He’s accused of showing the girl pornographic images and then having her strip nude. He was charged with the crime Friday.

“The only thing we’ve done is our standard operating procedure,” said RCEMS spokesman Randy White. “In a case of this nature we put them off on administrative leave with pay until the police department concludes their investigation.”

Authorities began investigating Bryan, an 18-year employee of RCEMS, after receiving a referral from DCS May 21.

The referral “stated a 14-year-old female was possibly the victim of sexual abuse when she was 11- or 12-years-old,” Roberts reported. “I, along with Department of Children’s Services Case Manager, Kevin Smith, interviewed the victim at her school.”

Roberts reported that the girl did “disclose inappropriate behavior by the suspect.”

Roberts and Detective Wayne Lawson interviewed Bryan at the Murfreesboro Police Department Friday.

“Investigation showed that the suspect showed pictures of a sexual nature to the victim,” Roberts reported. “Investigation also showed that the victim was made to take off her clothes and touch herself in a ‘sensual’ nature while the suspect watched.”

Bryan did not comment when contacted by The Daily News Journal about the charges early Monday.

“I’m in an area that has poor reception,” he said. “Can I call you back?” The call then ended. A return call had not been received as of approximately 11:45 a.m. Monday.

The MPD are still investigating other allegations in the matter, according to Roberts. Bryan was arrested Friday and transported to the Rutherford County jail.

He was booked in on a $5,500 fine and is scheduled to appear in court June 10.


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5 taken to hospital after Broadway crash involving ambulance

Posted on 27 May 2010 by wyoskibum

LOUISVILLE, KY – Five people were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following a crash between an ambulance and a car at Broadway and Jackson Street Monday morning.

The accident, which occurred about 11:40 a.m., left the ambulance lying on its left side in the eastbound lanes of Broadway and closed the busy street during lunch. The other car involved in the wreck was a Lincoln Mercury Cougar sedan traveling north on Jackson.

The ambulance, owned by Rural Metro Ambulance, a private company, was not in emergency mode at the time.

Company official Jason Carlisle said people in the ambulance — the driver and an EMT — were taken to University Hospital. The three people in the Mercury were also taken there.

Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell said traffic officers are investigating but it was too early Monday to say which vehicle may have been at fault.


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Motorist cited after broadsiding ambulance on NW Side

Posted on 27 May 2010 by wyoskibum

CHICAGO, IL – A motorist was cited after apparently broadsiding an ambulance Monday morning on the Northwest Side, injuring the motorist, a patient in the ambulance and a paramedic.

The wreck happened at 7:06 a.m. at the intersection of West Foster and North Austin avenues, according to a Jefferson Park District police lieutenant.

Chicago Fire Department ambulance No. 39 was on its way to a hospital with a patient inside when the offending vehicle t-boned it, sending the driver, patient and the attending paramedic to Resurrection Medical Center, according to the lieutenant.

Both the paramedic and a person in the other vehicle were hospitalized in good condition, Fire Media Affairs spokesman Richard Rosado said. A condition for the patient in the ambulance was not available.

It was not immediately known which direction the vehicles were traveling.

Police said the driver of the vehicle that struck the ambulance was cited for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.


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Wake EMS worker charged in morphine theft

Posted on 27 May 2010 by wyoskibum

Raleigh, N.C. — An employee has been accused of stealing morphine from Wake County Emergency Medical Services, according to an arrest warrant.

Jordan Coats, 23, of 208 E. Holt in Smithfield, was charged with one felony count of embezzling a controlled substance by an employee of a regulated agency.

The warrant states that Coats took two syringes containing between 20 mg and 2 ml of morphine.

He was being held in the Wake County jail under a $3,000 bond.


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Ambulance in crash in Desert Center

Posted on 27 May 2010 by wyoskibum

PALM SPRINGS, CA – Two people were hurt Sunday in a crash in Desert Center that involved an ambulance that had been transportation a patient.

The crash was reported at 5:45 a.m. on the westbound Interstate 10 near Highway 177 also known as Rice Road, said Riverside County Fire Capt. Fernando Herrera. Few details were immediately available, fire officials said.

Firefighters and an air ambulance responded to the scene. Crews had to cut out the passenger in the ambulance’s passenger side, Herrera said. An ambulance employee and the patient were both taken to hospitals.


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Vermont to create own paramedic training program

Posted on 27 May 2010 by wyoskibum

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – Vermont officials hope a grant to train and equip paramedics — and changes to a state law announced Friday — will draw more emergency medical workers to ambulance crews.

First responders in Colchester, Essex and South Burlington have been awarded a $600,000 grant, $500,000 of it from Federal Emergency Management Agency and $70,000 from the state Legislature, to provide training and equipment so that each squad has 24-hour paramedic coverage.

The grant will also help to set up a statewide training program in collaboration with Vermont Technical College and the University of Vermont’s Initiative for Rural Emergency Medical Service.

The three Chittenden County towns currently have well-trained intermediate-level EMTs, said Dr. Steve Leffler, medical director for Fletcher Allen Health Care’s emergency department and IREMS, which will be training the paramedics.

“So for most patients they pick up, you wouldn’t notice a difference. But for certain life-threatening problems, for certain painful conditions, paramedics have advanced training so they can do other things,” he said.

For one, they can administer pain medication, said South Burlington Fire Chief Douglas Brent.

“Somebody who’s got a half-hour ride in from Essex or Jericho and they’ve got a broken leg, they’re going to be in a lot of pain by the time they get to the hospital. It’s a huge difference,” he said of the addition of paramedics.

The Legislature also has eased the certification requirements for EMTs, who will no longer have to take a test every two years, instead participating in continuing education, like other medical professions do and many other states now require of EMTs.

The changes also allows military medics who are nationally certified to become certified in Vermont and nurses and physician’s assistants to become emergency medical service providers without having to take a yearlong class.

“As with many other organizations around Vermont and across America, it’s becoming more and more difficult to attract and retain volunteers for civic organizations, and so, through a series of actions in this legislation, we believe that there will be more volunteers, more active participants in our emergency medical service community,” said Illuzzi, R-Essex-Orleans.


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Volunteer charged with theft of ambulance funds

Posted on 27 May 2010 by wyoskibum

LYNDHURST, NJ— A township emergency services volunteer has been charged with stealing money from the squad’s donations.

Haniel Lora, 30, of Lyndhurst, allegedly admitted on May 18 that he had withdrawn $5,100 from the Lyndhurst Police Emergency Squad’s account.

Lora originally reported the squad’s debit card stolen, but a police investigation pointed to Lora as the thief. When confronted with evidence, including video surveillance tapes from banks where cash was withdrawn, Lora admitted to taking the money himself, according to Chief James O’Connor.

Lora’s actions are not characteristic of the squad as a whole, according to township officials, who urged people not to distrust the ambulance crew as a whole.

The squad’s other volunteers are people who come out in the middle of the night and on holidays to help in emergencies, O’Connor said.

“I just hope that it doesn’t tarnish all the good that they do,” he added.

Mayor Richard DiLascio agreed.

“This is an unfortunate situation for a great organization,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Based on the quality of the individuals who served in the past and continue to serve, the commissioners are confident about the future of the squad.”

The squad’s financial secretary had an instrumental role in bringing the theft to light, according to O’Connor. The financial secretary first noticed discrepancies in the account and urged Lora, who serves as a captain in the group, to go to law enforcement. He did, allegedly telling O’Connor on May 11 that the card had been stolen.

Lora had access to the squad’s pin number and debit card, and the money was withdrawn in New York, where Lora works, according to Detective Capt. John Valente.

Bank surveillance videos show someone who bears a “striking resemblance” to Lora and made “feeble attempts to disguise his identity,” O’Connor said.

Lora was called into police headquarters for an interview. When confronted, he admitted taking the money, according to police.

He was charged with third-degree theft and with filing a false police report; Lora was eventually released on summons.

A call to Lora’s home was not immediately answered.

The police emergency squad is a mix of 20 volunteers and 11 paid employees — one full-time and 10 part-time. Lora was one of the volunteers, Valente said.

In addition to the donated money allegedly tapped by Lora, the township funds and controls a separate account for the squad. That money was not affected.

“The only accounts accessible in this instance were donations, DiLascio confirmed. “Insurance reimbursements are handled through bonded agents.”

Will the squad get its cash back?

It’s an open question. A judge could require it, or a lawyer could advise it, O’Connor said.

“We would hope that either way the squad would be made whole,” O’Connor concluded.

New safeguards will be put in place to protect accounts in the future, DiLascio indicated, and he urged people to continue their generosity.

“I have forwarded a donation today to the Lyndhurst Police Volunteer Emergency Squad to show my appreciation for their hard work, dedication and assure them of my continued support,” DiLascio said. “I encourage others will follow suit.”


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Paramedic swapped painkillers with tap water to feed addiction

Posted on 21 May 2010 by wyoskibum

SEATTLE, WA – Federal prosecutors have charged a Southwest Washington paramedic accused of swapping painkillers with tap water.

In a criminal complaint filed Wednesday, prosecutors contend Camas paramedic Bradley C. Allen admitted to siphoning the prescription painkiller Fentanyl out of pre-loaded syringes, then refilling them with tap water. He’s been charged with product tampering.

The thefts were discovered May 7 by other paramedics examining drugs stored in an ambulance, according to the criminal complaint. They noticed safety seals on the drug vials appeared to have been broken.

Further investigation showed the fire department’s entire supply of the painkiller had been taken, Food and Drug Administration Special Agent Jim Burkhardt told the court.

Camas police investigating the thefts soon turned to Allen, a 22-year veteran of the department who’d been in charge of ordering supplies for more than a decade.

Questioned, Allen admitted to stealing morphine and Fentanyl for the past three years, Burkhardt told the court.

The thefts, he allegedly told investigators, fed his own painkiller addiction. His arms backed his story — according to charging documents, photographs taken by police show contusions and inflammation indicating multiple injection sites.

Prosecutors contend Allen admitted to siphoning the Fentanyl out of the syringes and replacing the drug with water from the station’s janitorial sink.

“Although the audit of missing drugs from the fire department is not yet complete, Camas police detectives have stated that they expect the amount of missing morphine and Fentanyl to be significant,” the FDA agent told the court.

“Allen admitted to police that he was injecting as many as five, 2 ml carpujets (pre-loaded syringes) of Fentanyl per day in the months leading up to his arrest.”

Allen is also accused of forging requisition forms for Fentanyl.

Following his arrest, Allen was jailed and charged in state court.

Writing in the federal criminal complaint, Burkhardt noted that the tampered drugs could have been deadly if injected.

“As a trained paramedic, Allen knew that Fentanyl was a drug designed to relieve serious pain,” Burkhardt said in court documents.

Allen, he continued, “also knew that by placing needles into sterile drug containers to both steal the drugs and replace them with tap water, the possibility existed of introducing harmful bacteria into the drug containers.”

Charged by complaint with one count of product tampering, Allen remains confined. A federal judge has agreed to release him to a secure treatment facility until the case is resolved.


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Patient Dies After Ambulance Crash On I-70

Posted on 21 May 2010 by wyoskibum

BELMONT COUNTY, OH – Ohio State Highway Patrol brought in an accident reconstruction unit Tuesday to continue the investigation.   It’s unclear whether charges will be filed against the ambulance driver. There were no lights and no sirens on at the time of the crash.

It was just a routine medical transport when 79-year-old Wonona Carpenter, of Quaker City, was inside an Emergency Medical Transport ambulance.” She was being transported from a medical facility in Dover, Ohio, to a nursing home, or care center, in Barnesville, Ohio,” said Sgt. Jason Greenwood, of Ohio State Highway Patrol.

It was raining on Interstate 70 in Barnesville when the crash happened.  Ambulance driver, 27-year-old Rachel Bowers, of Cadiz, told troopers that caused her to crash into an oncoming Jeep.” In her statement, she said that the ambulance she was driving had possibly hydroplaned.   It was raining at the time and there were no skid marks at the scene that we could locate.   She was within the speed limit. She just came around the sharp curve and drifted left of center,” said Greenwood.

Several people involved had minor injuries after the crash, but two days later, Carpenter died at Ohio Valley Medical Center. Her family members told troopers the Ohio County coroner said she died from her injuries from the crash.” Right now, our reconstruction unit is looking at the vehicles, analyzing the damage to the vehicles and we’re waiting for the medical examiner from Ohio County to give us the official cause of death to the victim,” said Greenwood.”

Due to HIPAA laws, we can not comment on [Carpenter's] medical condition prior to the accident, but we can not be sure at this point what contributed to her death. In any case, our hearts go out to the family,” said Ken Joseph of EMT.


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Car, Ambulance Collide In Duquesne; 3 Injured

Posted on 21 May 2010 by wyoskibum

DUQUESNE, Pa. — A car crashed into an ambulance that was responding to a call Tuesday morning in Duquesne.The ambulance driver said she had a green light as she passed through an intersection on Grant Street.She told police that the car involved came out of nowhere as it was headed south on Route 837.Police said two paramedics and the driver of the other vehicle were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.


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