Archive | January, 2011

Ambulance with patient involved in Phoenix crash

Posted on 29 January 2011 by wyoskibum

PHOENIX, AZ – An ambulance carrying a patient was involved in an accident in central Phoenix during rush hour Thursday.

Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Scott Walker said there were no injuries reported in the crash that happened at Indian School Road and 7th Avenue.

Walker said the patient in the ambulance involved in the accident was transferred to another ambulance and continued on to the hospital.

Air15 video showed the ambulance and two passenger cars with damage. Southbound 7th Avenue was blocked to traffic until right around 6 p.m.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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No one injured in ambulance roll-over

Posted on 29 January 2011 by wyoskibum

DICKINSON, ND – No one was injured this morning when a Dickinson ambulance rolled while on its way to a call for a vehicle roll on Interstate 94 between Gladstone and Dickinson.

A Dickinson Area Ambulance was traveling east on 94, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

As the ambulance was cresting a hill and negotiating a curve, the rear end of the vehicle spun out of control. The ambulance slid into the median, where it rolled onto its driver side.

The ambulance had minor damage, according to the NDHP. No occupants were injured and there were no patients in the vehicle.

There are no charges.

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Problems revealed with Detroit EMS

Posted on 29 January 2011 by wyoskibum

DETROIT, MI – Mismanagement — not money — is to blame for much of the slow response times of ambulances in Detroit, the City Council said Monday.

At a hearing on the matter, public safety officials revealed serious problems with the city’s Emergency Medical Services.

EMS hasn’t filled 57 vacancies for paramedics and emergency medical technicians, even though the money has been available for months. The reason, EMS officials said, is because they can’t get enough people to apply for the positions.

“With today’s unemployment rate, it seems like we should be able to find qualified candidates,” Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown countered.

With inadequate staff, paramedics often are delayed 30 minutes or more before responding to grave emergencies, such as heart attacks and car crashes, said paramedic Wisam Zeineh.

“People are dying needlessly,” Zeineh said.

Complicating matters are dispatchers who send ambulances to non-emergencies, the department’s top brass and Deputy Mayor Saul Green told the council. In some cases, ambulances rush to the homes of residents who call 911 dozens of times a year for minor medical problems, while people with real emergencies are waiting for help, EMS officials said.

Also revealed was that only 19 of the city’s 46 EMS rigs were in service Monday because the others needed repairs or maintenance. On average, the city needs 21 EMS rigs a day to adequately respond to emergencies, officials said.

The problem: The department primarily uses one repair shop instead of multiple shops, EMS Chief Jerald James said.

“We cannot lose lives because we have vehicles out of service,” Councilwoman Brenda Jones said. “How long are we going to continue to talk about these problems before something is done?”

EMS officials said they’ll explore ways to get the rigs back on the road faster.

After the meeting, James said: “We promise we will address the problems that are affecting citizens.”

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Man jailed for assaulting MidMichigan paramedic

Posted on 29 January 2011 by wyoskibum

MIDLAND COUNTY, MI – A 27-year-old Alma man was jailed Saturday night on a charge of felonious assault after punching a paramedic in the chest at an Edenville Township home.

The Midland County Sheriff’s Office reports the incident occurred at 11:16 p.m. at a North Flock Road home. MidMichigan Medical Center paramedics were called to the home to evaluate the man, who appeared intoxicated and passed out. When the man woke up, he struck the paramedic.

The sheriff’s office report states the paramedic did not report any injuries.

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SUV Slams Into Parked Ambulance

Posted on 21 January 2011 by wyoskibum

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police are investigating a deadly crash after an SUV slammed into an ambulance.Investigators said an AMR ambulance was on an unrelated medical call near the 102nd Avenue MAX platform around 2:15 a.m. Thursday, parked in the westbound lane of East Burnside Street with its lights flashing.Two paramedics had just loaded 51-year-old Wesley Poston on a stretcher in the ambulance, and one of the paramedics, Sean Shanahan, was standing outside closing the rear doors.Investigators said an off-duty police sergeant witnessed a Kia SUV speeding westbound on Burnside, going around 70-80 mph, when it slammed into the ambulance. The force of the crash moved the ambulance 20 feet up onto the MAX platform.Poston was thrown from the ambulance, while paramedic Melyssa Marchesi remained inside, police said.Rescuers then rushed Poston and Marchesi to the hospital, and police said they were not seriously hurt.Investigators said the Kia brushed by the other paramedic, Sean Shanahan, who was not hurt.Police said the 34-year-old woman driving the SUV was killed on impact. Her name will not be released until the Oregon State Medical Examiner can perform an autopsy and notify family members.The autopsy will likely determine whether the driver had any drugs or alcohol in her system at the time of the crash.Investigators with the Portland Police Bureau’s Major Crash Team shut down the intersection for several hours, but reopened it in time for the morning commute.A police sergeant told Fox 12 he was amazed this crash did not involve multiple fatalities.Anyone who might have witnessed this crash or the Kia driving prior to the crash is urged to call Officer Chris Johnson at 503-823-2213.

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Cruiser Hits Ambulance Responding To Crash

Posted on 21 January 2011 by wyoskibum

MIAMI TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A Miami Township police cruiser and ambulance were involved in a crash Thursday afternoon.Police said an officer was responding to a crash on Miamisburg-Springboro Road and found a vehicle in the ditch. The officer said he did not think it was the correct crash so he pulled away to continue down the road.The officer said he went to drive around a minivan, but ended up hitting the van as it tried to pull over for the officer. The impact of that crash caused the cruiser to spin out and hit an ambulance head-on. The cruiser was seriously damaged.The officer was taken to a local hospital to be checked out.The crash that the officer first stopped at was the crash that he was dispatched to. That is where the ambulance was headed.The crash remains under investigation.

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Two Dalmatia ambulance crew members become ill treating burn victim

Posted on 18 January 2011 by wyoskibum

HERNDON, PA — Two Dalmatia Ambulance crew members were taken to the hospital with upper respiratory problems Monday after treating a 27-year-old man who claimed he suffered a chemical burn while riding a train through southern Northumberland County.

Norfolk Southern Corp. spokesman Rudy Husband said the burned man’s story doesn’t add up and there’s no evidence he was even on a train.

State police Cpl. George Ritchey said an investigation was continuing to determine what happened.

“There is no reason for public alarm,” he said. He refused to identify the man unless criminal charges are filed.

The 8:45 a.m. incident in Jackson Township, just south of Herndon, brought out Northumberland County’s hazardous-materials team, state police, Norfolk Southern Corp. railroad police, state Department of Environmental Protection representatives and several area fire and ambulance departments.

Identified by police only as a 27-year-old who lives outside the area, the man knocked on several homes and businesses in Herndon asking for help, Herndon Assistant Fire Chief Ron Hinckley said.

No one allowed the man inside, but someone called 911.

Among the first to reach the man in a parking lot off Route 147 next to the Lower Northumberland County Senior Action Center was the Dalmatia Ambulance. Edward Carl Sr. and Eric Shrawder were treating the man, who was apparently burned, inside an ambulance when they became sick, Hinckley said.

“They were having trouble breathing and (experiencing) respiratory distress,” he said.

Northumberland County’s hazmat team was called to the scene, and all three men were stripped naked and doused with a cleansing solution from a decontamination unit set up in the lot.

While first responders tried to shield the men from being seen by passersby, no one could protect them from the 20-degree chill.

Carl and Shrawder were taken by ambulance to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, where they were treated and released.

The burned man was flown by helicopter to the burn unit at Lehigh Valley Medical Center, Allentown. His condition was unknown.

First-responders were tight-lipped at the scene, but Husband said in a telephone interview that the burned man’s story raised questions from the start.

Specifically in question is his claim that he got on a train illegally in Philadelphia and rode it to Herndon where he jumped off.

Norfolk Southern doesn’t run trains between Philadelphia and Herndon, Husband said, and all trains passing through the small Northumberland County borough travel at 40 mph.

“There was no evidence of anyone jumping off a train,” Husband said.

Also, only one train passed through the borough Monday morning, and it was an empty coal train.

Husband said Norfolk Southern does transport chemicals, but the material is contained in tanks.

Clothing was found in a Herndon park on Lower Road, just feet from the railroad tracks and about a mile from the parking lot where the hazmat team convened, but it didn’t immediately shed light on the type and source of chemical that may have caused the problems, Northumberland County Emergency Services Director Paul Froutz said.

The area where the clothing was found was roped off while several children played on a hill several feet away.

The ambulance in which the burned man was initially treated and the two EMTs were overcome was left in the parking lot and roped off until the substance could be identified and the interior thoroughly cleaned.

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Firefighter dies during ice training exercise

Posted on 18 January 2011 by wyoskibum

SANDOWN, MA— A local paramedic who recently became a town firefighter died yesterday after suffering an apparent heart attack during an ice training exercise on the Exeter River.

Harold Frey, 46, was stricken just before noon as the training was wrapping up off Phillips Road. He had just gotten out of the water when he became short of breath. Frey collapsed and paramedics’ attempts to revive him were unsuccessful, officials said.

He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to a joint statement issued by Sandown fire Chief Wilfred Tapley and state Fire Marshal William Degnan.

Frey was a longtime Epping firefighter. He recently moved to Sandown, joining that Fire Department about three months ago, said Rene Archambault, a colleague and friend who works for the Lawrence Fire Department.

Frey was also employed as a paramedic with Care Plus Ambulance Service Inc. in Manchester, he said. Archambault described Frey “an awesome firefighter and an awesome paramedic.”

“He was a consummate professional who was very good at what he did,” he said.

He, along with other local firefighters, learned of Frey’s death early yesterday afternoon.

Archambault described Frey as a very popular and outgoing person with a great sense of humor. He recalled a recent party Frey attended wearing devil’s horns on his head as a practical joke.

“Funny would be an understatement. He always had some good one-liners,” Archambault said. “He was just a great guy. I never heard a bad word about him.”

The state Fire Marshal’s Office, along with the Sandown Police and Fire departments, are investigating the death.

He is survived by his girlfriend, Mimi Pare, two sisters, and a daughter, Lauren Bundy, “who was the apple of his eye,” Archambault said.

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River Edge EMT, 37, found dead in driveway of squad building

Posted on 18 January 2011 by wyoskibum

RIVER EDGE, NJ — A borough first aid squad member who “enjoyed serving the community” died Sunday after fellow squad members returning from an emergency call found him in the driveway of the squad building on Continental Avenue, a squad official said.

Matthew Pellettere, 37, died at Hackensack University Medical Center after squad members found him “unresponsive” and started CPR to try and revive him, said Joseph Zemaites, captain of the River Edge Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

Responding to an emergency call around 9:40 a.m., Pellettere went to the squad building so he could ride with the ambulance, but he missed the rig.

Zemaites said two squad members rode on the rig Sunday morning, but he didn’t know the nature of the call.

The cause of death was not known Sunday, and police said the incident is still under investigation.

“It’s tough, especially for the people who were working on him,” Zemaites said of squad members who tried to revive Pellettere.

On Sunday, purple and black mourning bunting was fastened to the squad building as the 40 squad members mourned one of their own.

Pellettere, a teacher’s aide in Paterson and the father of two children, was a probationary member and had been on the squad about one year, Zemaites said.

Probationary members must respond to a “certain amount of calls” and then, based on their experience, are promoted to regular riding members, Zemaites said.

“He was civic-minded and enjoyed helping the community,” Zemaites said. “It takes a special kind of person, someone dedicated to helping the community. That was Matt without a doubt.”

Helping the community was a family affair: Pellettere’s father-in-law Steve Cirino has been a squad member for 15 years and his mother-in law Donna Cirino has been with the squad for 10 years, Zemaites said. Like his in-laws, Pellettere was active in the St. Peter the Apostle Church in River Edge.

Grief counseling has been offered to the squad’s members, Zemaites said.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Beaugard Funeral Home.

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Detroit EMS Rig Catches Fire During Run

Posted on 18 January 2011 by wyoskibum

DETROIT, MI – They promised they’d fix it, but Detroiters want to know when. The ambulance system is on life support, and the problem is getting worse instead of better.

“911 is a joke,” said Willie Jackson.

It’s gotten so bad in this city that when you call an ambulance, you’d better have a fire hose.

The latest incident happened early Wednesday morning. A woman dizzy. Her blood pressure at dangerous levels. Her son calling for help.

“And they took about 15, 20 minutes before they even got here,” Jackson said.

The paramedics strapped the elderly woman into the back of the cab, and then the engine caught on fire all by itself.

“We waited like 30 or 40 minutes on a second ambulance to come,” said Jackson.

The woman eventually got to the hospital an hour and three minutes later, and then it took the city nearly three hours to come tow the ambulance away.

We can laugh about it now because nobody died, this time, but we brought you too many stories recently of those who have. It got so bad that last week Mayor Dave Bing fired the top two in the fire department, but before he was fired, Commissioner James Mack admitted that half the city’s ambulance fleet was broken down and the other half was in need of major repairs.

The man in charge of keeping those ambulances working is Fred Wheeler. Mayor Bing has named him the acting commissioner of the fire department while a national search is conducted for a permanent replacement. We caught up with him at Engine Company 55.

Wheeler was pitching himself to the troops Friday as the best man for the job. He wouldn’t allow our cameras in, but he asked me to enter the firehouse. Then he challenged me about my stories concerning missing money and the sloppy job done with the fire truck and ambulance repairs. I stand by every single one of them.

Even though Wheeler invited us to the firehouse for an interview, he ran away when we tried to get you the answers to which you’re entitled.

The acting fire commissioner is expected to get an in-depth plan on how to fix the EMS system to city council in two weeks.

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Former EMS major pleads guilty

Posted on 18 January 2011 by wyoskibum

A former county official has pleaded guilty to embezzling from Burke funds.

Ex-Burke County Emergency Medical Services Maj. Kenneth R. “Ken” Anthony, 49, of 1791 Highland Ave., Morganton was convicted of one count of embezzlement and sentenced to 36 months probation in a plea deal that dropped three other felony counts and kept him out of prison, according to court records.

Anthony, who was indicted on four counts of embezzlement last year, will have to pay $1,000 in restitution to Burke County EMS, pay $1,035 in legal fees, $178 in court costs and a $250 in community service fees.

He also is required to perform 100 hours of community service in the first six months of his sentence.

The plea deal was arranged by prosecutor Frank Webster and defense attorney Alan LeCroy, and approved by Superior Court Judge Yvonne Mims Evans.

Anthony was accused of embezzling $5,475.55 in cash from the county agency between May 2008 and January 2009, misapplying four Nextel accounts from September to December 2008, misusing a county debit card from August 2007 to August 2008 while acting as the EMS training officer and making an unauthorized purchase at Walmart with a county credit card on Jan 19, 2008.

The charges came after a three-month State Bureau of Investigation probe into Anthony.
The 49-year-old resigned his county post in February 2008.

Anthony is a past secretary of the N.C. Search and Rescue Advisory Council and has National Association of Emergency Dispatch certification as an emergency medical dispatcher.

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Mason EMS boss hit with sexual harassment, personal injury suits

Posted on 18 January 2011 by wyoskibum

POINT PLEASANT, WV — A Mason County EMS supervisor is accused in two lawsuits of sexually harassing a dispatcher at the county’s 911 center, and injuring a motorcyclist while operating an ambulance.

John Bryant is named as a co-defendant in separate lawsuits filed by Amy Hunt and Richard D. Knopp in Mason Circuit Court. In their respective complaints filed in Mason Circuit Court on Dec. 21 and 23, Hunt and Knopp allege Bryant’s actions in 2008 resulted in them incurring emotional and physical injuries.

According to her suit, Hunt was hired as a dispatcher for the 911 center in March 2008. For the next 18 months, she worked a rotating 12-hour shift with Bryant as her supervisor.

A month after she was hired, Hunt alleges she “experienced a sexually hostile work environment” at the center. During her shifts, Hunt alleges she dealt with Bryant “discussing sexual activities, telling off-color jokes, unnecessarily touching [her], commenting on [her] and other females’ physical attributes [and] displaying sexually suggestive pictures.”

On an unspecified date, Hunt alleges she reported Bryant’s conduct to Chuck Blake Sr., the center’s director. After telling him several times, Blake told Hunt to “‘put [her complaints] in writing.’”

According to Hunt, Blake took action in her complaints, but not against Bryant. She alleges in January 2010, Blake informed her she would not only be working straight midnight shifts for the next three months, but also performing custodial duties at the center.

The change in shift, and addition of custodial duties, Hunt alleges was in retaliation for lodging her complaints against Bryant. According to her suit, Hunt resigned from the center in February.

Hunt makes claims against not only Bryant, but also Blake and the Mason County Commission for harassment, retaliatory discharge and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Hunt alleges by Bryant creating a hostile work environment, and Blake not doing anything about it, she not only “develop[ed] significant physical stress which manifested in debilitating physical injuries,” but also suffered a “loss of wages, employment benefits, career opportunities [and] professional reputation.”

In his suit, Knopp alleges on Dec. 27, 2008, he was on his Suzuki motorcycle behind one of the county owned ambulances in Point Pleasant. While stopped on Valley Drive, a one-way, westbound street near the intersection of Jackson Avenue, Knopp alleges the ambulance, which was “not responding to an emergency call,” backed up, and struck his motorcycle.

According to Knopp, Bryant was driving the ambulance, and was cited by police for improper backing.

Like Hunt, Knopp alleges as a result of Bryant’s “negligent … and reckless conduct,” he’s suffered “mental/physical harm” and “severe and permanent injuries.” These injuries have resulted in him enduring “lost income past, present and future.”

Knopp’s suit names the Mason County Emergency Ambulance Authority, the Commission and John Does 1, 2 and 3 as co-defendants. The Authority, and 911 center are separate entities under the Commission, but share the same facility on Lucas Drive in Point Pleasant

Hunt seeks unspecified damages including front and back pay, interest, court costs and attorney fees, and is represented by Gallipolis, Ohio attorney Adam R. Salisbury. Knopp also seeks unspecified damages, interest, court costs and attorney fees, and is represented by Michael N. Eachus also of Gallipolis.

Both cases are assigned to Judge David W. Nibert

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Patient in crashed ambulance dies

Posted on 18 January 2011 by wyoskibum

RIVERSIDE, CA – Moreno Valley police are investigating whether a woman died from a heart attack or from injuries suffered in an ambulance crash late Wednesday night.

Annie Layton, 47, was being taken to the hospital after suffering cardiac arrest.

The ambulance was headed south on Pigeon Pass Road when it went through a red light at the intersection of Ironwood Avenue and was hit by a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, according to Moreno Valley police Lt. Tim Morin.

A paramedic and two firefighters were in the back of the ambulance, working to resuscitate Layton, when the crash caused the ambulance to flip onto its side, Morin said.

Layton was pronounced dead in the back of the ambulance following the 10:45 p.m. collision.

Moreno Valley traffic investigators are waiting for the official coroner’s report to determine a cause of death. Layton had a history of heart problems, Morin said.

An autopsy was conducted Thursday, but coroner’s officials said additional testing was needed. The coroner’s report is likely to be finished next week, Morin said.

“The question is: Was she deceased prior to the accident or did the accident cause her demise?” Morin said.

Police do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash, and no one was arrested or cited. The driver of the Monte Carlo was identified as Dushunte Davis, 22, of Moreno Valley.

According to witnesses, the ambulance had a red light when it entered the intersection with lights and sirens. Police found evidence that Davis attempted to brake prior to the collision.

Three additional ambulances were called to the scene Wednesday night to transport Davis, the two paramedics and the two firefighters to a nearby hospital. The two paramedics and Davis suffered minor injuries.

The two firefighters suffered moderate injuries but were released from the hospital Thursday morning. One of the firefighters is expected to miss a week of work. The other is expected to miss one to two months. Neither firefighter was identified.

According to the state vehicle code, emergency vehicles are required to stop at red lights, control traffic and proceed with caution.

“Lights and sirens are not carte blanche to drive crazy, but we’re not determining anyone was guilty,” Morin said. “Drivers also have the responsibility to yield to emergency traffic.”

The ambulance was operated by American Medical Response, a private company that has a contract with Riverside County. AMR spokesman Jason Sorrick said ambulance drivers face new challenges with sound-resistant vehicles and more distractions, such as texting or vehicle accessories.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is developing an ambulance crash survivability improvement plan that would improve conditions for workers in ambulances, said Jim Green, a Safety Engineer for the organization. The organization is a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Paramedics often work in the back of ambulances without seat belts, giving them a greater risk of injury, Green said.

The organization could not say exactly how often ambulance crashes occur. A 2002 study by the CDC listed 82 fatalities involving ambulances since 1991.

“It happens frequent enough that it got our attention,” Green said. “An ambulance faces all the hazards on the road, but an ambulance is a moving work environment.”

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Police arrest Austin EMS employee after hours-long standoff

Posted on 18 January 2011 by wyoskibum

AUSTIN, TX – A standoff between Pflugerville police and an Austin EMS employee has ended.

Police saw a suspicious car at Windermere Elementary School off Grand Avenue Parkway and Picadilly Drive around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle and a pursuit began.

When officers tried to pull over the car, the driver called 911 saying he had a weapon but did not want to hurt the officers – and that he was suicidal.

He then led officers to Elroy, where police disabled the car off Toll Road 130 and Elroy Road Wednesday afternoon.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team assisted in negotiating with the driver, who was finally convinced to surrender and arrested.

The driver was taken for medical evaluation and treatment.

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