Archive | September, 2010

Accident involving ambulance injures 3

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Three people were hospitalized Tuesday following an accident involving a Guilford County ambulance. The accident happened on Highway 68 near West Market Street.

Police said the ambulance was heading south when it ran off the road and flipped over. “The ambulance was out of service and not responding to a call,” said Billy Livingston with Guilford County EMS. “It did not have a patient on board at the time of the event and was running non-emergency traffic, or routine traffic, at the speed limit posted for regular vehicles.”

Two emergency medical technicians and a trainee were in the ambulance. They were taken to Moses Cone Hospital with minor injuries.

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Woman Killed In Crash With Ambulance

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

WYE MILLS, Md. (AP) ? Maryland State Police say a Cordova woman was fatally injured when the car she was driving collided with an ambulance.

Twenty-four-year-old Tabitha Brooke Howden was taken to Memorial Hospital at Easton after the Thursday morning crash and pronounced dead.

Troopers say the Howden’s vehicle crossed the path of the ambulance, which hit Howden’s car on the passenger side. Both vehicles went off the road and came to rest in a field.

The ambulance driver, 57-year-old Catherine Milliken of Easton, was also taken to Memorial Hospital.

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Ambulance driver dead after crash in Avondale

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

AVONDALE, W.Va. — A Bradshaw man is dead after an ambulance crash in McDowell County.

Emergency vehicle operator James Bailey, 36, was driving the ambulance on W.Va. 80 in Avondale around 3 a.m. Wednesday, transporting a patient from English to Welch Community Hospital, when the ambulance crashed, according to the McDowell County Emergency Ambulance Authority.

Bailey was fatally injured and died at the scene.

The EMS attendant, Kevin Brooks, was also injured and was being evaluated Wednesday at a local hospital. His injuries do not appear to be life threatening, according to the ambulance authority.

The patient being transported sustained minor injuries in the accident and a family member accompanying the patient was injured and airlifted to a Charleston-area hospital, according to the ambulance authority.

The McDowell County authority had employed Bailey since November 2009. The accident is being investigated by the McDowell County Sheriff’s Department.

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Garner Rescue chief quits amid sex assault probe

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

arner, N.C. — The chief of Garner Rescue Squad resigned Tuesday, six days after a department employee was accused of a sexual assault.

A woman reported to Garner police that she was assaulted on Sept. 1 in the former offices of Garner EMS & Rescue Squad on Seventh Avenue by a Garner Rescue employee, Lt. Chris Hagwood of the Garner Police Department said Wednesday.

Rescue Squad Chief  Bill Frederick resigned Tuesday, but it wasn’t immediately clear if the move was linked to the assault allegation.

Ralph Smith, the chairman of Garner Rescue’s board of directors, said Frederick didn’t provide a reason for stepping down, other than saying it was “a personal matter.”

Fourteen years ago, Frederick resigned from the Sanford Police Department amid allegations that he traded leniency on criminal charges for sexual favors. He was later convicted of attempted obstruction of justice and was placed on probation.

Frederick couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

Smith said no other Garner Rescue employees have resigned or been fired.

“Personally, I really regretted it. He has great experience. He’s done a good job for the Garner EMS operationally for years,” he said.

Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams said the situation has left him frustrated.

“There are so many good things happening in Garner. To hear about something like this (is difficult),” Williams said. “I’m borderline angry, but I stopped at frustration. Probably the longer I think about it, the more angry I will become.”

The assault allegation is the latest problem for the troubled rescue squad, which was formerly known as Garner EMS & Rescue. Wake County EMS took over emergency medical services in Garner in May because of Garner EMS’ mounting financial difficulties.

The squad continues to provide rescue services to Garner and non-emergency ambulance services, which operates as Garner Medical Transport, under a one-year, $280,000 contract with the town.

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Former Paramedic Charged With Fondling Female Patient In Ambulance

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

CHATTANOOGA, TN -  former county paramedic has been charged with fondling a female patient in an ambulance.

The Hamilton County Grand Jury indicted Michael Lamar Johnston, 40, of 6366 Stony River Dr., Harrison, on counts of sexual battery and unlawful photographing in violation of privacy.

A woman who was in the ambulance on July 25 said Johnston lifted her shirt, fondled her and took a picture of her private parts, thinking she was unconscious.The indictment says Johnston “…did unlawfully and intentionally engage in sexual contact with (female) and the defendant knew or had reason to know that the victim was mentally incapacitated or physically helpless at the time of the offense.”

Johnston, who was fired after the incident, last worked out of the EMS station on Highway 58.

He is set to appear before Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern on Sept. 17

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Rescue Squad volunteers are accused of having marijuana on ambulance

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ — Two North Plainfield Rescue Squad members were charged with drug possession after taking their ambulance on a detour through neighboring Plainfield early Wednesday morning, Plainfield police director Martin Hellwig said.

At 12:34 a.m., a person on Brokaw Boulevard near Richard Street called 911 to report potential drug activity going on in the ambulance, Hellwig said.

“That ambulance was seen at that location. It wasn’t the first time,” Hellwig said.

Police caught up with the ambulance about four blocks away at Clinton Avenue and West Front Street, Hellwig said.

The two volunteer rescue squad members, Yanis Laureano, 23, and Dennis Lopes, 19, both of Plainfield, were charged with possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana, Hellwig said. The ambulance was not responding to a call at the time, but both men were on call, Hellwig said.

The North Plainfield Rescue Squad provides free ambulance services to the borough and neighboring towns. It operates with some funding from the borough and donations from the community.

Bail was set for each man at $2,500, Hellwig said. The Union County Jail had no information about them Wednesday afternoon. A phone number listed for Laureano at the address both men shared was disconnected.

Lopes is listed as a captain and Laureano is listed as a second lieutenant on the all-volunteer squad’s website. Both have been relieved of their duties and have been asked to resign, squad president Stephen Phillips said.

Phillips met briefly Wednesday with North Plainfield Mayor Michael Giordano about the incident, and the 30-member squad is working on a plan to keep up and running without the two, he said.

“I hate to see this reflection of our squad,” he said. “It’s two individuals who made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes.”

North Plainfield police chief William Parenti said Lopes had been a parking enforcement officer for the borough but resigned from that post about a month ago.

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Ambulance driver accused of rolling rig while under influence of Ambien

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

MONROE, NY— A volunteer ambulance driver veered off Route 17M and rolled his rig on the roadside early Monday morning while taking an idle spin, according to Village of Monroe police.

Paul Casson, 30, told police he had taking the sleeping drug Ambien before his fateful ride, which ended in a grassy field at about 12:55 a.m. They are awaiting toxicology tests to confirm that account.

Casson, who was not responding to a call at the time, has been charged with driving while impaired by drugs and unauthorized use of a vehicle – both misdemeanors – and released to await further court action. He lives in the Bronx but has continued to drive for the Monroe Volunteer Ambulance Corps, according to Monroe Police Chief Dominic Giudice.

The accident happened across the street from the ambulance corps garage. Police say the vehicle appeared to be totaled.

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Man Stole Ambulance with Paramedic Still Inside

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Police said a man took a paramedic on a wild ride when he stole an ambulance from an Oklahoma City hospital.

The ambulance was parked Monday at Integris Southwest Medical Center at S.W. 44th Street and Western. A paramedic was in the back when he suddenly felt the ambulance start moving. He thought his partner was behind the wheel until he received a call from his partner, who was standing outside watching the ambulance drive away.

Police said 34-year-old Daniel Booth had jumped behind the wheel and taken off.

The paramedic could not get to the front of the ambulance because of a partition, so he tried to get Booth to stop by beating on the glass and yelling at him. He also stayed on the phone with his partner, who in turn called police and gave them updates on where the ambulance was headed.

When officers started following the stolen ambulance, police said Booth suddenly turned around and went back to the hospital. When he parked, the paramedic jumped out. He wasn’t hurt.

Police arrested Booth at the scene. He’s charged with kidnapping and larceny of a motor vehicle.

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Paramedic Re-Hired After Stealing Drugs Three Years Ago

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

White Bear Lake, Minn. – For years as a paramedic, Christy O’Neill dedicated her life to saving others.

For the past few months, O’Neill has been helping out at the fire department doing ride-alongs and helping out in the office… to make amends for what she did.

After stealing drugs for her own personal use while on the job, O’Neill may have found a way to salvage her career.

O’Neill lost her job and her paramedic’s certification after she admitted stealing an IV system and Benadryl while working for the White Bear Lake Fire Department back in 2006. She also admitted to stealing more powerful narcotics like morphine and fentanyl while working as a paramedic for Allina Healthsystems the next year.

“She was going through a bad time in her life,” says Tim Vadnais, White Bear Lake’s fire chief. “Single parent. From our standpoint, she used the Benadryl to help her sleep.”

Chief Vadnais says since then, O’Neill has gone through treatment and has been sober for the last three years. After keeping tabs on her recovery, last week the department decided to re-hire her and put her back in a rig.

“Because she was an excellent paramedic and probably saved more lives than we can count,” the chief explains. “People change, and she’s going through all the proper steps to get back in this line of work.”

While some in town question the wisdom of bringing a person with a history of substance abuse back to an environment where they once again have access to drugs, but Chief Vadnais says everyone deserves a second chance.

“I have full confidence we are not going to have a problem with that,” he says. “What she did was take some drugs, but she never put a patients care in jeopardy.”

Christy O’Neill has been re-certified, and this time she will always work with another paramedic and she will be monitored as well.

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Three killed in air ambulance crash

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

CLINTON — A medical helicopter en route to pick up a patient crashed early today near Scotland in Van Buren County, killing all three crew members aboard, authorities said.

The crash occurred about 4 a.m. as the Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter, based in Vilonia, was on its way to Crabtree to meet an ambulance to pick up a patient, Air Evac spokeswoman Julie Heavrin said.

She identified the victims as pilot Kenneth Robertson of Searcy, flight nurse Kenneth Meyer Jr. of Center Ridge and flight paramedic Gayla Gregory of Clarksville.

The crash was the fourth for Air Evac since 2005, bringing the death toll to nine crew members and a patient.

The Bell 206 helicopter went down about 30 feet off Arkansas 95 in the Walnut Grove community, near a church. Debris was scattered along the highway.

The cause of the crash was not immediately determined. Federal Aviation Administration officials arrived at the scene at mid-morning to begin its investigation. The area was cordoned off and people were asked to stay away from the site.

Witnesses reported hearing pieces of debris falling through trees, followed by an explosion. Van Buren County Emergency Management Coordinator Jeana Williams said 911 Dispatch heard a call about 3:53 a.m. from Air Evac, saying, “Air Evac 30,” but got no response when the dispatch radioed back.

Within three minutes, 911 was inundated with calls of a fire, an explosion and a crash, and the Walnut Grove Volunteer Fire Department was called out, Williams said. State police and Van Buren County sheriff’s deputies also rushed to the scene.

The helicopter had been flying through fog, according to witnesses. It was not immediately known if weather played a role in the crash.

Van Buren County Sheriff Scott Bradley said the accident could have been worse as people gathered in the area for the annual National Chuckwagon Races. The craft also cleared several houses in the area of the crash site.

Williams said the patient the Air Evac crew was to have pick up, a 50-year-old man, was transported by ambulance to a hospital.

According to its website, Air Evac Lifeteam is the largest independently owned and operated membership-supported air medical service in the United States, conducting its operations with 90 air medical bases across 14 states. Air Evac was formed in 1985.

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EMS worker charged with stalking teenl

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

CORRIGAN, TX  – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Corrigan EMS worker and charged him with stalking a 16-year-old girl.

According to the press release, Allen Lane Marcotte Jr., 39, of Coldspring, used the girl’s Facebook page to obtain her phone number. He then sent obscene texts to the girl and tried to get her to meet him somewhere to have sex with her.

Lufkin P.D.’s cyber crimes expert, J. B. Smith,  says our familiarity and comfort with social networking has increased the amount of personal information we post.

“It’s not uncommon these days for people post their phone numbers or addresses – truly personal information on their web pages,” said Smith.

That lack of discretion is what’s putting people at risk.  Smith says everything you post online is fair game for predators.

“You may believe that you’re only friending people that you know, but there are plenty of people that are linking to your site through your friend’s sites,” said Smith.

Experts say the biggest part of keeping your information private is taking control of the privacy settings on all your social networking profiles, and staying on top of it.

Charlie Free with DP Solutions says much of his job involves their client’s online security.

“A lot of times your privacy settings are not set properly. Friends of friends can see that or by default, everybody can see that,” said Free.

Most social networking sites allow you to customize their profile security.  On Facebook, you can allow only certain friends to view your pictures, but leave status updates visible to everyone.  However, most default settings include little protection for users.

“They’ll set your profile default as pretty wide open. So you need to go in there and lock that down,” said Free.

Your kids may not like it, but parents should keep tabs on their kids online. Being involved in who your kids are talking to, could keep cyber predators at bay in the digital age.

For more tips on keeping you and your family safe while social networking, click here for the Federal Trade Commission’s guide.

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Wreck puts ambulance of of service for a while

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

NORMAN PARK, GA – An ambulance responding to a call Thursday afternoon was damaged in a two-vehicle accident and will be out of service for a few weeks.

Georgia State Patrol Trooper First Class Chad Wynn said he was called to an accident at the Cool Springs Road and Doc Darbyshire Road intersection in Norman Park at 2:18 p.m. Thursday. A Colquitt County EMS ambulance, driven by William Houston, 30, of Norman Park, was driving on Cool Springs Road responding to a medical call.

As the ambulance was driving on Cool Springs Road, Wynn said a Windstream work van, driven by Timothy Morgan, 47, of Moultrie, was stopped at the Doc Darbyshire Road intersection. Morgan told Wynn he had stopped to make a left turn onto Doc Darbyshire Road while Houston stated he thought the van was stopping to let him pass.

As the ambulance went to pass the van, Wynn said Morgan began to make the left turn, and the two vehicles collided. The right front corner of the van hit the left rear corner of the ambulance, and the van spun around, and both vehicles went onto the shoulder of Doc Darbyshire Road.

The van overturned following the collision, and Morgan was taken to Colquitt Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. A hospital spokesperson said he was treated and released Friday.

Morgan stated he did not see or hear the ambulance coming as he turned even though its lights and siren were activated, Wynn said. Neither driver was charged, but it was determined both were at fault in the collision. Morgan was cited for making an improper turn and Houston was cited for not showing due regard for other vehicles.

The van was totaled in the collision and was towed from the scene, but Wynn said the ambulance was able to be driven away. A second ambulance was needed to respond to the medical call.

Colquitt County EMS Director Amy Williams said the ambulance involved in the collision is out of service for repairs, which should take two to three weeks to complete. Even without the ambulance, EMS has enough ambulances available and in back-up to respond to all medical calls without any interruption of service to residents.

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One Confirmed Dead In Minivan-Ambulance Crash

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

ROBERTSON COUNTY, TX—Traffic was being rerouted Monday afternoon on a stretch of Highway 6 between Hearne and Calvert after a collision between a minivan and an ambulance that left one person dead.

The accident occurred near the Mud Creek construction area about halfway between Hearne and Calvert.

Two people who were riding in the minivan were taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan and one later died, the Department of Public Safety said.

The victims’ names weren’t immediately released.

The ambulance was not carrying a patient at the time of the accident.

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Seymour cops arrest man driving ambulance stolen from New Haven

Posted on 15 September 2010 by wyoskibum

NEW HAVEN, CT – A man who stole an ambulance that was parked outside the Sister Anne Virginie Grimes Health Center in New Haven early this morning told police “he was just trying to go home to Waterbury,” according to the general manager of American Medical Response.

Seymour police used stop sticks to catch the ambulance a short while later, after it eluded New Haven police.

AMR General Manager Charles Babson said the ambulance had been parked outside the nursing home for a short time while its staff went inside to pick up a nonemergency patient.

According to Seymour police Lt. Paul Satkowski, New Haven police pursued the ambulance to the Woodbridge line, then broke off the chase when it left town.

Seymour police then responded to a broadcast from New Haven and sent officers to Route 67 near the Woodbridge line.

At about 5:30 a.m., the ambulance was seen driving into Seymour. Officers deployed stop sticks, spiked strips of plastic, and deflated three of the ambulance’s four tires, bringing it to a stop, Satkowski said.

Police took the driver, Michael Chowka III, 36, of 64 Esther Ave., Waterbury, into custody and turned him over to New Haven police.

Babson said the ambulance is equipped with GPS “so the dispatchers were able to watch it and relay that information to police, so they got turn-by-turn descriptions.”

“The whole time, he was driving normal traffic and travel. No lights, no sirens. Didn’t go higher than 35 miles per hour,” Babson said.

The ambulance was returned to American Medical Response of Connecticut. Satkowski said it suffered no damage other than the flat tires.

“It wasn’t even a half an hour before we had the truck back. A couple of tires (and) it was back on the road this morning,” Babson said.

“I think this was a first for us here in Seymour. It’s definitely one for the memory books. I’m sure the officers will be talking about it at some point in their career,” Satkowski said.

Babson said AMR has had a few ambulances stolen in the past decade, but said, “It’s not a very common thing at all.”

A spokesman for the New Haven Police Department wasn’t immediately available for comment.

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