Archive | December, 2010

Police: ambulance in 2-vehicle wreck in Brusly

Posted on 29 December 2010 by wyoskibum

BRUSLY, La. (AP) – Louisiana State Police say an ambulance carrying a patient rear-ended a sugar cane truck in the Brusly (BROO-ly) area, causing the patient to hit her head.

Trooper Russell G. Graham II, a state police spokesman, says that was the only injury from the crash Monday morning, and it was not serious.

He did not know whether the ambulance had its lights or siren on, or any other details about the accident.

The accident occurred Louisiana Highway 1 North in West Baton Rouge Parish.


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SC woman charged with DWI in fatal wreck

Posted on 29 December 2010 by wyoskibum

CHARLOTTE, NC  - A group of young women were involved in a fatal car wreck during snow on Sunday morning and an ambulance transporting a woman from that crash was in a wreck itself while on the way to an area hospital.

The driver, 23-year-old Meagan Dacus, has been charged with driving while impaired.

Authorities say Dacus was injured and is still listed in serious condition at Carolina Medical Center.

The ambulance incident happened on snowy roads at 4:20 am as Medic Paramedics responded to fatal wreck on W.T. Harris Blvd, authorities said.  The initial wreck was around 3:30 am at Harris Blvd. on I-85 during snow and involved a single car, NC Trooper Mark Helms said.

Hannah Floyd, 24, of Chester, SC, was sitting in the passenger seat and died when the car hit a telephone pole, Helms said. Floyd was wearing a seatbelt. Friends of Floyd have created a Facebook page in her memory.

Troopers say weather conditions and alcohol contributed to the crash.

Another passenger, who called 911, was injured, but will survive, Helms said.

Medic unit 54 was transporting the passenger that survived that wreck to CMC Main with life threatening injuries when their ambulance was involved in an wreck with another vehicle, Jeff Keith, Deputy Director Mecklenburg EMS Agency (Medic), wrote in a press release.

The patient that Medic was transporting was transferred to a second Medic ambulance and continued on to CMC Main, according to Keith.

“The patient does not appear to have suffered any additional injuries in the second accident and patient care does not appear to have been compromised due to the brief delay in transport,” Keith said.

The driver of the passenger vehicle involved in the accident with Medic 54 was taken to Presbyterian Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Keith said.

There were three Medic employees on the ambulance at the time of the accident and all three were also taken to Presbyterian with non-life threatening injuries, Keith said.  All three Medic employees have since been released.

This accident is under investigation at this time and it is unclear what role, if any, the weather may have played in it, Keith said.


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EMS workers in a fog over disinfectant’s feared danger

Posted on 29 December 2010 by wyoskibum

TRENTON, NJ – It took a few months before officials with the Professional Emergency Medical Services Association of New Jersey (PEMSA) say they put two and two together.

In the months after the Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corporation (MONOC) began using newly acquired machines to disinfect its ambulances in May 2009 by pumping the vehicles full of pesticide fog, paramedics began experiencing troubling ailments, PEMSA officials say. PEMSA represents emergency medical personnel across New Jersey.

“In June, we started getting complaints from people about odors in the ambulances and people were developing different symptoms: migraines, nausea, asthma, eye irritation, skin irritation. It was a long list of symptoms,” said Deborah Ehling, the union’s president.

More than a year later, according to Ehling, more than 100 MONOC employees report they’re showing signs of illness, allegedly after exposure to the disinfectant chemical Zimek QD.

Based in Wall, MONOC provides patient transport services for the Mercer County-based Princeton HealthCare System.

“It’s bad, very bad,” said one paramedic with MONOC who declined to be identified for fear of retaliation by the company. “I went into respiratory failure several times. I’ve been admitted to an (intensive care unit). I’ve been seen by two pulmonologists. It starts off very innocuously. I got a sore throat. I got an ear infection. I got a little headache. It gets progressively worse.”

Now he says he’s been out of work for about six weeks, unwilling to go back for fear of further exposure to the chemical.

A number of state and federal agencies — including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) — have launched investigations to determine whether workers’ illnesses can be conclusively linked to their exposure.

liquid versus fogging

But Ehling and industry experts say it’s not the chemicals themselves that are causing the problems but rather the method in which they’re being applied.


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New ambulance contract in Leonia eliminates need for volunteer corps

Posted on 29 December 2010 by wyoskibum

LEONIA — After receiving only one complete proposal from hospitals and ambulance service providers in the area, the mayor and council decided to award Englewood Hospital and Medical Center the contract for the borough’s weekly overnight and weekend ambulance service.

A Englewood Hospital and Medical Center ambulance sits outside the Leonia Volunteer Ambulance Corps headquarters next to the Leonia Library.

Englewood, which won a contract in September to take over the borough’s daytime ambulance service from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, will now take over the weekday shift from 6 p.m. to 6.a.m. and the entire weekend shift as well, eliminating the need for the borough’s volunteer ambulance organization after 65 years.

“This decision does not come easy for any of us,” said Mayor Mary Heveran. “Many of the volunteers have served many of our residents well for years, including some of us on this council.”

Councilwoman Ingrid Brennan, who is the liaison to the Volunteer Ambulance Corps and chairwoman of the Leonia Ambulance Committee, said the decision was very difficult.

“We have really great people that work for us. So to go down this path with a wonderful group that serviced our community for 65 years has been very emotional,” said Brennan as she was moved to tears. “So I don’t go there lightly, and I want to thank the ambulance corps for all their service.”

Councilmen Frank Raucci, who is on the ambulance committee, and Councilman Philip Choi echoed Brennan’s sentiments.

The new contract will run from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, after which the borough will revaluate Englewood Hospital’s service and decide whether to renew the contract.

During the Jan. 3 reorganization meeting, the mayor will choose new members for the ambulance committee.

Capt. Leonel Morales of the ambulance corps could not be reached for comment.


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Fire, medic vehicles crash in Logan

Posted on 29 December 2010 by wyoskibum

PHILYDELPHIA, PA – Seven emergency responders and three civilians suffered non-life-threatening injuries in an accident in the city’s Logan section late Tuesday afternoon, said Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

Several fire vehicles and a medic unit were responding to an accident report shortly before 6 p.m. when two of the vehicles collided with a taxi and two other private automobiles at Tabor Road and Wagner Avenue, Ayers said.

Four firefighters and one paramedic were transported to nearby Albert Einstein Medical Center, Ayers said. Two others were taken to Temple University Hospital. All were execpected to be treated and released overnight. Three civilians whose injuries were not reported as serious went to Einstein and Temple.


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NJ suspends 5 EMTs after man dies in their care

Posted on 29 December 2010 by wyoskibum

MILLVILLE, N.J. – (AP) — Five emergency medical technicians have been suspended in New Jersey as authorities investigate a death of a patient who was restrained face-down on a stretcher.

The Daily Journal of Vineland reports Cumberland County prosecutors are investigating whether homicide or another crime was committed in the case.

Twenty-seven-year-old Michael Burris fell and hit his head in his Millville home on July 31.

Responders said in a report they restrained him because he was combative.

An autopsy found the manner of death was homicide.

Three members of the Millville Rescue Squad and two paramedics from Underwood Memorial Hospital received the suspensions last week from the state Office of Emergency Medical Services.


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Ambulance crew injured in accident

Posted on 24 December 2010 by wyoskibum

PITTSBURGH, PA – A two-vehicle crash involving a Robinson ambulance in Kennedy injured four people Saturday afternoon, emergency dispatchers said.

The accident occurred about 4 p.m. in the 1800 block of McKees Rocks Road, near a Giant Eagle, dispatchers said. One of the vehicles was a Robinson EMS ambulance transporting a patient to Ohio Valley Hospital; the patient was transferred to another vehicle.

The four members of the ambulance crew were taken to Allegheny General Hospital for treatment of neck and back pain. The two occupants of the other vehicle refused treatment at the scene.


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Police: Idaho patient fled in ambulance

Posted on 24 December 2010 by wyoskibum

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) – Police say a northern Idaho man being loaded into an ambulance threw punches at emergency workers and was stunned by an officer’s Taser before he managed to flee in the vehicle.

Authorities say 25-year-old Cody Wayne Mills commandeered the ambulance late Monday and drove about 35 feet while crashing into trees before he fled into the nearby woods on foot.

Mills, of Sagle, was arrested less than an hour later and treated for hypothermia.

He faces charges of driving a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, a misdemeanor, and has pleaded not guilty to felony resisting an officer.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports EMS workers responded to reports of a seizure at about 10:30 p.m. and found Mills, who became combative.


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Ambulance worker dies while treating wreck victim

Posted on 24 December 2010 by wyoskibum

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Authorities say an ambulance worker is dead after being hit by a vehicle while assisting victims of a wreck on Interstate 65 near Montgomery.

Troopers say 29-year-old Laura Elizabeth Pullam of Lowndesboro was helping victims of a crash when she was struck and fatally injured by a pickup truck Wednesday morning.

Authorities say a preliminary investigation showed the truck was speeding and passing other vehicles that had slowed down because of icy road conditions. Troopers say the driver of the pickup wasn’t injured, and the crash is under investigation.

Pullam worked as an emergency medical technician for Care Ambulance.


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Witness of I-25 fatal crash had close call with suspect minutes before

Posted on 24 December 2010 by wyoskibum

SANTE FE, NM – If his van was another six inches to the left, 68 year old Joe Mascarenas could have been killed.

It’s a thought that crosses his mind whenever he sees images of Tuesday’s accident when a woman driving on the interstate the wrong way crashed her Nissan Altima head on into an ambulance at high speeds, killing herself and sending two others to the hospital.

Police say 20 miles north of that fatal crash that same Altima clipped Mascarenas as it passed by while driving into oncoming traffic.

“All I saw was headlights coming towards me and the car zipped right past me,” Mascarenas said. “I didn’t even hardly have time to react or do anything.”

A small paint scuff on his driver’s side mirror and another scuff mark on the lid to his gas tank are the only signs that the two vehicles cars actually touched as they drove past each other at a combined speed of over a hundred miles an hour.

The near-miss happened near the Glorieta exit in the northbound lanes of I-25 around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The Altima continued south in the northbound lanes of I-25 for another 10 to 15 minutes, narrowly avoiding other oncoming vehicles including a truck and a sheriffs deputy who turned around to try and stop the car.

Near the Cerillos exit in Santa Fe, it was too late. The Altima, driven by 26-year-old Kylene Holmes of El Paso, smashed into an ambulance, killing Holmes instantly and sending her passenger Jennifer Belvin, and the EMT driving the ambulance, Vanessa Carrillo, to the hospital. At last check, Belvin’s condition had stabilized while Carrillo had been upgraded to serious condition following intensive surgery yesterday.

Investigators are now looking into where Holmes was before the crash happened. Santa Fe Police Chief Aric Wheeler says he thinks Holmes may have been in Santa Fe before the crash happened. “We are trying to determine what they were doing in Santa Fe and where they may have been earlier in the evening,” said Wheeler.

One theory is Holmes may have been trying to head to Albuquerque where she has family before the crash happened, but instead headed north by mistake and then doubled back.

Wheeler says an autopsy and blood draw has been performed on Holmes’ body to see alcohol may have played a factor in this crash.


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Ambulance winds up in ditch

Posted on 24 December 2010 by wyoskibum

PETERSBURG, IN – A Pike County ambulance crew on the way to an emergency call slid through an intersection and into a ditch Thursday morning.

Pike County has been hit especially hard by the storm, with side streets and rural roads ice coated and virtually impassable at times.

County EMA director Matt Wells says the ambulance crew was able to walk to the home where a person had fallen and suffered severe trauma.  After treating the patient on scene, a police SUV was called, driving through yards to reach a main road where another ambulance met them and transported the patient to a local hospital.

There is no word on the condition of that patient.

Wells said while state roads in the county appear OK, conditions are still dangerous.

The county says residents should stay off the roads until they can be cleared of ice.


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Accident Involving Ambulance Injures 4

Posted on 14 December 2010 by wyoskibum

BALTIMORE, MD — City fire officials said an accident involving an ambulance injured four people Saturday.The accident occurred shortly before 9 p.m. at the intersection of Northern Parkway and Resiterstown Road.

Two people and two paramedics were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries.Fire investigators said the cause of the accident is still under investigation.


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Family Says EMS Refused Treatment Of Burned Baby Boy

Posted on 14 December 2010 by wyoskibum

SINTON – The family of a little boy who suffered second degree burns is claiming paramedics refused to transport their child to a hospital.

Sinton EMS said it’s not equipped to transport young children, and spokesmen say they would never deny treatment to a patient.

15-month old Julius Joseph Cantu is recovering at home after the baby boy got a hold of a hot can of beans and badly burned his face. Cantu spent the past few days receiving treatment at a burn center in Galveston.

“They gave him a skin graf, they give him a placenta, they put placenta to restart his skin back,” said Mary Cancino, the boy’s grandmother.

The baby’s mother said she was forced to take the baby to driscoll hospital herself, after paramedics told her they couldn’t transport an infant and refused to treat little Julius.

“She already had gone inside the ambulance, and they made her get back off of it,” Cancino said, adding that the mother even offered to use her own car seat.

Privacy laws inhibit the Director of Sinton EMS from speaking about the specifics of this incident, but said he had never heard of situation like this occurring before.

“There’s really nothing I can say to comment on this specific incident,” said Sinton EMS Director Darrell Wood. “I can say that at Sinton EMS we do not refuse transport to anyone.”

Paramedics load a lot of equipment into small ambulances, and the EMS supervisor said a car seat just doesn’t make the cut. He said in previous experiences it’s never been a problem, because the parents have always provided there own.

Wood said, “It is a policy to use the car seat that the parents can provide us to provide safe transport for the child.”

The director admits, they are exploring new ways to transport young children like Cantu.

“We’re looking at different products…to help facilitate our treatment of children, more adequately. It’s an EMS decision, and it is definitely something we’re looking at,” said Wood.

The recovery process for baby Julius is expected to take about year, the boy will head back to Galveston in january for his next treatment and after that he will have to return once a month.

The EMS director wants to remind everyone not to hesitate to call 9-1-1 if you feel you need an ambulance, and policy dictates that you will be treated.


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Fallout Over Suspended DC Firefighter on Paid Administrative Leave

Posted on 14 December 2010 by wyoskibum

WASHINGTON, DC – There is more fallout tonight from a FOX 5 investigation into a D.C. firefighter who has been on the payroll for the last three and a half years, but has not worked a day. By some estimates, taxpayers have paid a quarter of a million dollars while D.C. Fire and EMS sits on her case.

On Wednesday, there was a call for answers and accountability.

“I’d like to know and I think the public ought to know,” said D.C. Council Member Phil Mendelson, who is the chair of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary.

There are lingering questions after FOX 5 discovered a female firefighter, assigned to Engine 14, has been on paid administrative leave for nearly three and a half years.

“It says the department is not serious about discipline,” said Mendelson. “It says it’s going to pick and choose and some people aren’t going to get disciplined quickly when other people are being disciplined quickly. It sends bad message in terms of how fiscally responsible they are. It’s just wrong many different levels,” said Mendelson.

On Tuesday, FOX 5 revealed firefighter Natalie Overton, on administrative leave, has been paid her yearly salary, estimated to be in excess of $72,000. All the while, she has also been racking up sick and leave time and getting benefits.

Internal fire department computer documents say the leave goes as far back to May 2007 until present day. The D.C. Firefighter Union President stepped forward to say enough is enough.

“It’s ridiculous to be perfectly honest with you. What we should do is go back and complete this investigation and if there’s something there, then we deal with it. If there’s nothing there, then put her back to work,” said Ray Sneed, President of the Local 36 Firefighter’s Union.

When we asked if there should there be a resolution in the next 30 days, Sneed said, “It shouldn’t take that long.”

Sources say Overton was caught up in an alleged money scheme around CPR certification.

By FOX 5’s estimates, taxpayers have paid out as much as $255,000 while someone decides if she should be disciplined. Her salary is not the only cost; replacing her on Engine 14 has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime.

Official figures show the fire department has chronically overspent for overtime since 2007; anywhere from $11 to $13 million. Some of it as we’ve shown is used to pay workers to sit at home and collect a check while the fire department sits on discipline cases for extended periods.

“If there was some wrongdoing done, they ought to identify it and discipline and move on, instead of having this just languish forever. That department is fraught with overtime management problems and when you have someone on administrative leave, it means that somebody else has to backfill the position and we’re paying overtime for that,” said Mendelson.

“To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t know how many other cases out here that will fall into this category. But I think by you bringing this to attention of the citizens as well as elected officials, I think we’re going to look into this and see what’s out there,” said Sneed.

Sources provided FOX 5 with a list of 22 people who are on administrative leave as of Wednesday. The list does not indicate how long each had been on leave. Official requests for a list from the fire department have gone unanswered.

D.C. Fire and EMS told FOX 5 that this investigation is out of their hands and blamed the delay on the Inspector General’s office for dragging its feet.

The Office of Inspector General was quick to respond Wednesday, saying they thought this was two separate investigations. A spokesman for the Inspector General said Wednesday, “The fire department was advised by us that they were free to pursue administrative action if it warranted. We were told by their investigators that they were going to initiate action.”


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