Archive | August, 2010

Man accused of stealing ambulance from Stamford Hospital

Posted on 07 August 2010 by wyoskibum

STAMFORD, CT — Police say a 19-year-old New Jersey man stole a ambulance from Stamford Hospital early Friday and was arrested after paramedics pulled him from the vehicle and held him until police arrived.

Michael Hubbard, of 87 Kenwood Road, River Edge, N.J., was charged with first-degree larceny and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was held on $10,000 bond.

At 1 a.m. Friday, Hubbard was released from Stamford Hospital after being admitted for an unknown condition and asked for a ride to Westport from Stamford Emergency Medical Service paramedics waiting outside the emergency room, Stamford Police Sgt. Robert Shawinsky said. The paramedics declined his request. Hubbard hopped into a waiting ambulance and drove away, police said.

The paramedics jumped into another ambulance and followed Hubbard. After Hubbard stopped the ambulance at West Broad and Oak Hill streets, the paramedics rushed the ambulance and pulled him from it, reports said.

Police officers arrived shortly afterward and arrested Hubbard.


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nvestigator: Former prosecutor calls city ‘reckless’ for not disciplining EMS/paramedic

Posted on 07 August 2010 by wyoskibum

CLEVELAND, OH — Were patients transported by Cleveland EMS put at risk unnecessarily?

A lawsuit filed by former prosecutor and now private attorney Craig Weintraub accused EMS and Cleveland City Hall of violating its own policies by failing to discipline a paramedic who was accused of sexually assaulting a patient in the back of a city ambulance.

“My claim is against the city for not enforcing their policies and procedures that could have prevented the second situation from occuring,” Weintraub said.

The “second” situation Weintraub is referring to involves another sexual assault that occurred five months later.

The same paramedic, Glenn Burks, was also accused in that alleged attack.

Following the first incident, the city decided not to discipline Burks. Even Burks’ union representative, Steve Palek, was surprised at the city’s decision.

“When something is investigated of this nature, of this magnitude, the person is usually placed on administrative leave with or without pay,” Palek said.

Palek explained that EMS employees have been disciplined for things much less serious, such as failing to get a patient’s signature on a bill.

Palek argued that EMS employees are disciplined disproportionately compared to the city’s other safety forces.

“Our discipline is through the roof. It’s demoralizing to the membership,” Palek said.

Burks was cleared of all criminal charges but Weintraub said it’s remarkable he was involved in two allegations of sexual assaults on males who don’t know each other.

The mayor’s office refused to allow Channel 3 News to interview EMS commissioner Ed Eckart or anyone in the administration regarding the lawsuit, saying it’s still in court.

In a written response to allegations made in the lawsuit, the city denied allegations of any wrongdoing.

Three years ago, Burks was disciplined for five days for sleeping on the job.


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Wilson man accused of stealing ambulance

Posted on 07 August 2010 by wyoskibum

Wilson, N.C. — A Wilson man is accused of stealing an ambulance from an emergency room on Wednesday morning.

Chris Thompson, assistant director for Wilson County Emergency Medical Services, said a man took the ambulance while workers were transporting a patient to an emergency room at Wilson Medical Center.

A crew member went to put the stretcher in the ambulance and saw it was pulling away, Thompson said.

“The truck was pulling off with the back doors open,” EMS director Terry Barber said.

The crew member immediately called a supervisor.

At the corner of Glendale Drive and Downing Street, emergency workers said Dantral Pope, 22, stopped the ambulance and stepped out. The supervisor chatted with him until police arrived.

The supervisor stayed at the scene until the police got there, and Pope was taken into custody.

Pope, of 2303 Sutton Place Northwest, Apt. 100, was charged with larceny of a motor vehicle. He was being held Thursday under a $1,000 bond in the Wilson County jail.

Daniel Pope said his brother, Dantral Pope, has a mental condition.

“He hasn’t been taking his medicine for weeks now. He is on four or five types of medication,” Daniel Pope said.

Daniel Pope said his brother had just been discharged from the hospital.

“He went because he was hearing voices,” he said.


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Shots fired at Providence ambulance

Posted on 07 August 2010 by wyoskibum

ROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence police are investigating after shots were fired at an ambulance.

The incident happened on Douglas Avenue late Monday night.

Officials said Rescue 4 was en route to pick up a patient, when the EMT heard gunfire.

A star-shaped mark was found on the vehicle’s windshield. Deputy Fire Chief Jeffrey Crawford said a pellet gun may have been used.

Crawford said the ambulance continued on to the call, but the victim did not need to go to the hospital.

Police continue to investigate the incident.


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Ohio highway crash kills ambulance driver, patient

Posted on 07 August 2010 by wyoskibum

PROSPECT, Ohio — Police say an ambulance has collided with a truck on a central Ohio highway, killing the ambulance’s driver and a patient.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Gary Lewis says a preliminary investigation shows the private ambulance was traveling north Tuesday afternoon when it crossed the center line and hit a semitrailer in Delaware County.

He says the ambulance driver and passenger and the semitrailer driver were the only people in the vehicles. He doesn’t know if the semitrailer driver was injured.

A woman who answered the phone at the Stofcheck Ambulance Service Inc. in Columbus said no one there could comment.

The highway was closed for more than three hours after the crash.


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Woodbridge ambulance squad, township battle over safety concerns

Posted on 04 August 2010 by wyoskibum

WOODBRIDGE, NJ — Alleged stripper parties with prostitutes at the Avenel-Colonia First Aid Squad may have gotten the town talking, but township officials say it was the squad’s response times and policies that should keep residents up at night.

Officials have documented several instances when the embattled ambulance squad took an “unreasonably long” time to respond to emergencies, in one case showing up unprepared to deal with a bleeding woman who later suffered a miscarriage.

Despite frantic calls by police with the woman on June 8, the squad’s ambulance didn’t arrive for 15 minutes.

When the ambulance did get there, it was only staffed by its driver. Officials say state law requires two certified EMTs to transport a patient to the hospital. Squad board member and captain Carmen Parisio later arrived in his own vehicle.

The ambulance left with the bleeding woman, three-months pregnant, for the hospital nearly 30 minutes after the first call for help. Her child didn’t survive.

Mayor John E. McCormac said this is the more important reason why his administration last month effectively suspended the non-profit squad’s operation by redirecting 911 calls to the township’s other three ambulance services. The township plans to remove the squad from its first-aid map if its leadership does not step down and allow for township supervision.

McCormac and the Township Council made the move after seven squad members, including Parisio, took squad vehicles on a joy ride to Edison, where they admittedly entered a vacant skating rink building. Woodbridge police charged them with trespassing.

Last week officials accused the squad of using its building as a strip club and brothel. A Kenilworth man has been charged with promoting prostitution in connection with the squad’s alleged sex parties.


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Two killed when car hits ambulance on I-5

Posted on 04 August 2010 by wyoskibum

SEATTLE,WA – Two young men were killed early Saturday morning when their car slammed into an ambulance in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Mercer Street.

The Washington State Patrol reports that alcohol appears to be a factor in the collision.

Witnesses reported seeing a silver BMW travelling at a very high speed around 2:45 a.m., just before it clipped another vehicle and spun out of control.

The BMW then crashed into the rear of a moving Seattle Fire Department ambulance as it was returning from a run to the hospital.

The BMW’s driver, a 24-year-old Tumwater man and the passenger, a 23-year-old Lynnwood man, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Two paramedics, a man and a woman, were inside the ambulance when it was hit. They were taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The occupants of the vehicle that was clipped were not hurt.

The crash and its aftermath closed the freeway for about five hours.


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Ambulance accident causes no injuries

Posted on 04 August 2010 by wyoskibum

PITTSBURGH, PA – No one was injured early Monday when an ambulance transporting a patient to the hospital ended up partially in a creek near West Shamokin High School in Armstrong County.

An ambulance from Citizens’ Ambulance Service Inc. was traveling south on Route 839 and apparently went through the intersection with Route 85 and landed in a grassy area by the high school, said Rural Valley fire Chief Kevin Nelson. The accident occurred shortly before 5 a.m. It was foggy at the time, Nelson said.

Kittanning Hose Co. 6 ambulance responded and transported the patient to ACMH Hospital. State police said the accident was minor and noneportable.


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Ambulance district missing equipment

Posted on 04 August 2010 by wyoskibum

EUREKA SPRINGS, AR — Western Carroll County Ambulance District (WCCAD) commissioners learned at their July 20 meeting that around $9,000 worth of equipment has been missing for some time from the Inspiration Point Fire Department. Nine radios and two Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are unaccounted for.

The information came as part of a semi-annual report turned in by the Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) Alliance. This organization oversees recruiting and training volunteer EMRs, who respond to medical calls within their various fire districts as part of the greater Western District.

WCCAD funds equipment for the EMRs, which consists of hand-held and vehicle radios, AEDs and equipped medical bags. WCCAD’s funds come from 15 percent of the two-mill property tax collected by ordinance from property owners in the Western District. The other 85 percent is paid by contract to the City of Eureka Springs to provide ambulance service.

Each department keeps track of its equipment and reports its assignment back to the alliance, which prepares the overall report for WCCAD. Holiday Island Fire Chief Jack Deaton is charged with that task.

Deaton said at the meeting he thought the missing equipment totalled around $15,000, but later revised that figure down to $9,000, which represents WCCAD’s initial cost to purchase the equipment.

Among the missing equipment are seven hand-held radios, costing $350 each; two vehicle radios, at $675 each; and two AEDs, which cost $2,800 at the time of their purchase but cost $1,850 now to replace, as they are now almost obsolete.

Current Inspiration Point Fire Chief Jason Sprenger, who has been fire chief for about 18 months, said the equipment was missing before he took over.

“It could have been two to four years ago or more,” he said. “I don’t have all the records. I’ve gone through everything I’ve ever had.”

The alliance lists show equipment by serial number and who it was assigned to.

But fire departments are often “revolving doors,” in which volunteers come and go. A piece of equipment may change hands several times in its useful life.

Some EMRs who may have had the equipment no longer serve on the department and have been gone for some time, Sprenger said.

He said he contacted everyone on his list to ask if they still had equipment. In the case of one person, equipment was in a storage unit while he was working a job out of state. The unit was then opened up for non-payment, and Sprenger recovered two radios and a hose nozzle.

As for other missing equipment, he said. “I can say so-and-so had this radio, but if they tell me they turned it in, I’m not going to point fingers and accuse them of stealing.”

Inspiration Point Fire Department has had a difficult history, with infighting among its ranks and cycling through a number of different fire chiefs in the last several years. The department has had trouble recruiting and keeping volunteers.

Sprenger said when he took over as chief — a job he didn’t ask for — records were incomplete, and when people turned radios in, he did not at first document as carefully as he has since.

“None of those radios or AEDs were lost in the last year-and-a-half,” he said.

Technically, WCCAD?still owns the equipment, although the chief of each fire department is responsible for assigning and accounting for it.

No police reports have been filed yet, WCCAD Chairman John Dolce said.

Sprenger will bring what lists of equipment and assignments he has to the next alliance meeting and compare them with Deaton’s list. The alliance can then make a recommendation to WCCAD?on how to proceed.

“It may come to where we have to write it off,” Dolce said.


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Ambulance knocked on side in crash

Posted on 04 August 2010 by wyoskibum


An ambulance was flipped on its side during a crash Thursday night at Ottawa Street North and Burlington Street East.

The crash happened at about 8:30 p.m.; the intersection was closed for about two hours to aid investigating officers.

Police say the ambulance was responding to a call and was heading north on Ottawa Street. It entered the intersection and was struck by an eastbound truck.

Police say the ambulance was operating its emergency lights and sirens.

The driver of the truck was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The investigation is continuing.


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Ambulance crashes into western Pa. creek

Posted on 04 August 2010 by wyoskibum

OWANSHANNOCK, PA. — Police in western Pennsylvania are investigating a crash involving an ambulance that ended up in a creek.

Armstrong County emergency dispatchers say the ambulance crashed around 5 a.m. Monday in Cowanshannock, about 50 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

The ambulance was transported a patient at the time. Another ambulance took the patient to a hospital but the driver was unhurt.

State police are investigating.


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3 dead in crash of medical helicopter in Tucson

Posted on 04 August 2010 by wyoskibum

TUCSON, Ariz. — A medical helicopter crashed on a Tucson street and burst into flames Wednesday, killing all three people aboard. A witness said the pilot steered the plummeting chopper away from a house.

Witnesses told The Arizona Daily Star the helicopter crashed into a fence in front of the house on Park Avenue just south of Glenn Street.

The helicopter was owned by Colorado-based Air Methods. Officials with the air ambulance company confirmed that the pilot, flight nurse and paramedic were killed in the crash of the AS350 B3 Eurocopter, which was not transporting a patient at the time.

Air Methods officials said the names of the victims would not be released until Thursday at the earliest.

Federal Aviation Administration officials said the helicopter was traveling to Douglas from Marana at the time of the crash. The helicopter was in contact with air traffic controllers before the accident, and there was no indication of trouble, FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said.

Ricardo Carrasco told the Star he saw the helicopter plummet to the ground after the rotors stopped working. He said the pilot managed to steer it away from the house.

Tucson firefighters extinguished the fire. No injuries were reported on the ground.

The FAA was sending inspectors to the crash site and will conduct the investigation along with the National Transportation Safety Board.


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Ex-volunteer harassed ambulance crews with e-mails

Posted on 04 August 2010 by wyoskibum

NORRISTOWN, PA— A Lansdale woman who allegedly sent e-mail messages claiming some members of Plymouth Community Ambulance were homosexual was charged with harassment and stalking.

Kelli Thomasen, 39, posing as one of the paramedics in the squad, reportedly sent 29 e-mails “harassing, embarrassing and threatening in nature” to four squad members between April 2009 and July 2010, accusing three men of engaging in homosexual activity at the ambulance’s Germantown Pike station in Plymouth Meeting, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

Thomasen, of the 900 block of Stockton Court, is a former ambulance squad volunteer. She also allegedly sent the paramedic’s wife similar inflammatory messages, accusing the husband of homosexual behavior.

“This woman who had formerly been associated with Plymouth Ambulance was identifying herself as another individual, or anonymously sending e-mails to people at the ambulance company and harassing them,” said District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

Investigators learned the suspect had sent messages from Montgomery County Community College and the Lansdale Public Library in an effort to hide her activity, authorities allege.

“As best we can tell, she was looking to embarrass certain members of the ambulance squad by sending around messages about them, making false accusations, suggestions about their sexuality and trying to embarrass them,” Ferman said.

In January, an ambulance employee complained to East Norriton police and state police that the paramedic had sent her e-mail messages threatening her and her family; however, the medic denied any involvement and was cleared of any wrongdoing, according to a criminal complaint.

About that time, Sheriff John P. Durante referred the matter to the D.A.’s Office. Eventually, County Detective Mary J. Anders got a court order compelling Yahoo to reveal the IP address log for a the suspect account issued by Verizon.

Responding to a June 30 court order, Verizon provided the detective with the name and address of the subscriber. And when Anders questioned an ambulance official, he reportedly recognized Thomasen’s e-mail address. She did volunteer work for the squad between December 2008 and February 2009.

That same day, Anders interviewed Thomasen, and she allegedly admitted in a written statement that she sent the harassing e-mails and used false identities to send the messages from the college and library. The motive, however, remains a mystery.

“That’s what’s so mystifying about this situation,” Ferman said. “There’s nothing we’ve learned about her so far that would answer the question why she was doing this.”

The D.A. said the continued harassment and allegations for more than a year compelled authorities to track down the suspect.

“At some place, it reaches a tipping point, where law enforcement has to get involved and make it stop,” she said.

Thomasen was arraigned in district court before Judge Francis J. Bernhardt in Conshohocken Monday and released on $5,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Friday, July 30, at 8 a.m. in the judge’s court.

Assistant D.A. Wallis Brooks has been assigned to prosecute the case.


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Yellow Pages sends callers to EMS for road kill removal

Posted on 04 August 2010 by wyoskibum

CHATTANOOGA, TN – A misprint in the phone book is causing problems for Chattanooga – Hamilton County Rescue.

According to CHCR President, J.C. Thompson the 2011 edition of the AT&T Yellow Pages lists the rescue organization as an animal rescue.

Hamilton County Emergency Services spokesperson Amy Maxwell says the organization has been overwhelmed with calls for animal carcass removal and animal rescues.

The emergency rescue organization normally takes calls to save the lives of the residents of Hamilton County.

Maxwell says the correct organization to call for animal rescue and carcass removal is Hamilton County Animal Control Services.


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