Archive | February, 2011

Alabama ambulance flips after it was struck by car in traffic accident

Posted on 23 February 2011 by wyoskibum

MOULTON, Ala. (AP) — An ambulance transporting a patient flipped at a major intersection after it was T-boned by another driver, but officials say no one was seriously hurt in the accident.

Authorities say 34-year-old Misty Stricklin was driving along a busy street on Friday when she rammed the passenger side of a Northstar ambulance. The accident crushed the front of the car and flipped the ambulance onto the driver’s side.

Moulton officer Russell Graham said ambulance driver Christopher Watkins and a paramedic were transporting an 18-year-old patient when they were struck. He said Stricklin has not been charged.

The driver and paramedic suffered minor injuries. The patient was listed in good condition at Huntsville Hospital late Saturday.

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Woman killed in car vs. ambulance crash

Posted on 23 February 2011 by wyoskibum

HERRIN, IL  – A Herrin woman is dead after a traffic crash involving an emergency vehicle.

It happened around 8:00 p.m. Friday on the 1700 block of Park Avenue.

According to Williamson county coroner Mike “Junior” Burke, 36-year-old Lisa Foster was turning onto Park Avenue when she pulled out into the path of a southbound ambulance.

Foster was killed in the crash.

Authorities have not said whether the paramedics in the ambulance were injured, or if they were transporting a patient at the time.

The investigation into the crash continues.

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Six people hurt when ambulance, SUV collide

Posted on 23 February 2011 by wyoskibum

CHICAGO, IL – Six people, including two members of the Chicago Fire Department, were hospitalized Saturday afternoon when an SUV crashed into an ambulance taking a patient to a hospital in the Hamilton Park neighborhood.

The crash happened about 2:05 p.m. when an ambulance en route to a hospital collided with an SUV at 7433 S. Morgan St., Fire Media Affairs Chief Kevin MacGregor said.

The ambulance had two fire department personnel, a patient and two family members inside at the time of the crash, MacGregor said.

The initial patient and the family members were take in good to fair condition to Saint Bernard Hospital and the fire department personnel were taken to University of Chicago Hospitals with non-life-threatening injuires.

The SUV crashed into a light post after striking the ambulance, and the woman driver was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in good to fair condition with leg pains, MacGregor said.

The crash prompted and EMS Plan 1 response, which automatically sends five ambulances to the scene. It was secured about 2:30 p.m.

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Madison ambulance volunteer dies responding to car accident

Posted on 23 February 2011 by wyoskibum

MADISON, NJ – A funeral procession will be held through town on Saturday in honor of a member of the Madison Volunteer Ambulance Corps, who died while responding to a motor vehicle accident on Tuesday.

Richard “Dick” Hanlon, 83, was driving to the ambulance squad building where he had intended to pick up a second ambulance to help out at an accident on Park Avenue, said Lt. Darren Dachisen, a spokesman for the Madison Police Department. But Hanlon did not make it to the building.

A passerby called in after seeing Hanlon on Kings Road, near Madison Avenue, just a short distance from the Prospect Street headquarters of the squad, Dachisen said. Corps Capt. Jim DeVico said Hanlon had pulled his car to the side of the road, and the passerby noticed something was wrong.

“We had paged out for a backup crew because we had an accident with several injuries, and Dick was one of the members who radioed in that he would respond,” DeVico said. “While on his way to pick up the ambulance, we don’t know if he had a heart attack or what, but he was rendered unresponsive.”

Several members of the Madison Fire Department, police department and other agencies from around the area came to his aid in minutes, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

“Dick was just an all-around great guy,” Dachisen said. “He was 83 years old and was out there serving the public. He will definitely be missed.”

Hanlon, who was retired, had been a member of the ambulance corps for 15 years and had served as president during that time. Hanlon filled daytime shifts, covering at least one and sometimes two a week, DeVico said.

“Dick was the most compassionate, kind, caring and gentle man the corps had,” DeVico said. “He never had a bad word to say about anyone and was the most respected member of our organization by all the emergency services in Madison.”

“His smile always lit up a room, and his love for dancing always made social and fundraising events exciting,” a statement issued by the ambulance corps said.

“He was one of those people that really helped out,” DeVico said. “His loss has hit everyone pretty hard.”

Viewing will be at the Madison Memorial Home, 159 Main St., from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. A funeral Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. at St. Vincent Martyr Catholic Church, 26 Green Village Road.

Hanlon’s death is considered an active-duty death, and his funeral is expected to be well attended by squads from around the state.

A procession from the funeral home to the church will include salutes from police, fire and emergency medical personnel. Fire department ladder trucks that will stretch their ladders across Prospect Street while draping a flag over the roadway, DeVico said.

In lieu of flowers, Hanlon’s family asks that donation be made to the Madison Volunteer Ambulance Corps, 29 Prospect St., Madison, NJ 07940.

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Elderly man pulls gun on paramedic

Posted on 23 February 2011 by wyoskibum

SAN ANTONIO, TX — A man is in jail after threatening to shoot a paramedic who was treating him, police said. Authorities arrested 68-year-old James Edward Moore for aggravated assault on a public servant.

According to an arrest warrant Moore called city paramedics to his home on Timber Lodge near Culebra and Tezel on the northwest side. The warrant says Moore was cussing and angry at the treatment he was receiving.

The paramedics said Moore needed to go to the hospital because of his condition.  They told police that Moore pulled out a handgun and told them that he was not going to the hospital.

The warrant says the paramedics left the home and called police.  Negotiators were called to the scene and able to get Moore out of his house.  He was taken to University Hospital where he was treated and held on emergency detention.

Moore is in the Bexar County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

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Community shocked by death of paramedic

Posted on 23 February 2011 by wyoskibum

PUTNAM COUNTY, TN — Emergency services workers and many others in this area are mourning the untimely death of a Putnam Ambulance Service paramedic known for her dedication to saving lives.

Carmen Burnette, 38, died Tuesday while having routine back surgery in a Nashville hospital.

She leaves behind her husband, Mike Burnette, and two children, as well as a host of friends and admirers of her award-winning work which has saved many lives in this county.

“She was a wonderful person, an excellent worker,” said Putnam Ambulance Service Director Randy Porter. “She is going to be missed. We are all so sad about this.”

Burnette had been suffering from back pain due to a disc problem and was scheduled for back surgery at Baptist Hospital in Nashville for later this month when, earlier this week, she was notified that it could be performed on Tuesday due to a cancellation in the surgeon’s schedule.

“She had been in quite a bit of pain from her back problem, so she took the early appointment,” Porter said.

When word that she had died during that surgery reached her colleagues here that evening, shock and grief settled in at the Putnam Ambulance Service and throughout the emergency services and law enforcement community in this area.

Burnette was loved and highly respected not only in that work circle, but also in the public schools and the community at large for her many contributions to public safety and education in life-saving strategies.

“She exemplifies the highest standards of a first responder, always going above and beyond expectations to deliver excellent patient care,” a state official said in 2009 when Burnette was honored with the District IV Homeland Security Award.

“In addition to her role as a paramedic, she shares her passion and commitment of caring for the sick and injured by teaching many professional and layperson classes. It is her continued passion for training that has led to her recognition with this award.”

Her career here began in 1998 when she was an emergency medical technician. In 2000, she became a paramedic and in 2002, was named field training officer, a role which displayed her talent for teaching life-saving techniques, a talent which she used in numerous classes for other emergency services workers, as well as for public school students.

For several years, she ran a program to train laypeople in CPR and use of the AED machine and served as coordinator of these life-saving programs in Putnam County’s three high schools.

In her programs, thousands of people were shown how to save lives, and a part of her legacy is the fact that even people who never met her and never heard her name have had and will have their lives saved through the work of others she trained.

Funeral arrangements for her are incomplete at this time, according to Hall Funeral Home in Livingston.

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Paramedic shooting a hoax; man shot himself

Posted on 16 February 2011 by wyoskibum

PENSACOLA, FL – An Escambia County paramedic who shot himself while at work last month was arrested Thursday and released on bond.

Brandon Richie, 28, of the 7400 block of Beulah Road, is charged with making a false report, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. He is free on $1,000 bond.

The charge stems from when Richie reported that a man wearing a lime-green jacket emblazoned with NASCAR-type patches shot him Jan. 28.

Richie admitted to investigators Wednesday that his wound was self-inflicted and that he made up the story about being shot, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said.

No additional details were released Thursday about why Richie shot himself.
Richie has not worked since the shooting, said Mike Weaver, Public Safety Bureau chief.

He was placed on leave without pay Thursday pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Richie should not have been carrying a gun while on duty, Weaver said.
The punishment for violating the policy can be either a five-day suspension or termination, he said.

The Sheriff’s Office has recovered the gun, said Melissa Aiken Rawson, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

She said she could not release any other details about the gun, including where it was found.

Richie was shot at an EMS staging post in the 1100 block of West Hayes Street.
A man, believed to be Richie, was heard on the county emergency dispatch radio asking for help about 9 p.m.

When deputies arrived, Richie had a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

Richie told deputies he was retrieving an item from a bag inside an ambulance when someone tapped him on the back and then shot him as he turned around, the Sheriff’s Office said.

When Richie talked with investigators Wednesday, he initially reconfirmed that someone shot him, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

After investigators confronted Richie with evidence and information gathered during the investigation, he changed his story, according to the report.

Rawson said she could not discuss the evidence in the case.

The shooting had Richie’s fellow co-workers worried about their safety, Weaver said.

“They had quite a bit of anxiety, worried if somebody was out there looking to shoot paramedics,” he said.

Weaver said since the incident there has been a focus on making sure the county’s EMS posts are safe.

He said some additional lighting has been added to the post where Richie was shot and trees and shrubbery have been cut to improve visibility.

The plan is to make improvements at other posts as well, Weaver said.

“We will continue that regardless of how this turns out,” he said. “It’s just one of the things our employees deserve.”

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Ambulance Hits Pole & Fence Before Rollover

Posted on 10 February 2011 by wyoskibum

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — A private ambulance crashes into a utility pole and fence before it overturns. The driver and a passenger are injured in the early morning crash.

Chillicothe troopers were dispatched to a crash on U.S. Route 23 in Green Township, Ross County, around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.

An ambulance, operated by Life Ambulance and driven by Mary V. Mead, 29, slid off the right side of the roadway.

After the initial investigation, troopers were able to determine the ambulance was traveling southbound on U.S. 23 before the crash.

The ambulance hit a utility pole and fence and continued to slide a short distance before it overturned on its side.

The ambulance was not in an emergency status at the time of the crash, according to troopers.

Mead was transported to the Adena Regional Medical Center to be treated for her injuries.

Amy L. Ratliff, 30, of Waverly, was a passenger of the ambulance at the time of the crash.

She also was transported to Adena Regional Medical Center to be treated for her injuries.

U.S. 23 was closed for approximately one hour while crews worked to clear the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

No other information was immediately available.

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Ambulance accident shuts down I-74 traffic on Saturday

Posted on 10 February 2011 by wyoskibum

East Peoria, Ill. — An accident involving an East Peoria Fire Department Ambulance caused the westbound lanes of I-74 to temporarily close on Saturday afternoon.

To avoid making contact with a disabled Jeep on the side of I-74 east of the Murray Baker Bridge, the driver of a Dodge Ram braked and moved to the right. The ambulance that was following the Ram made slight contact with the truck before colliding with the Jeep. A Ford rear-ended the ambulance.

The patient in the ambulance was transported to OSF Saint Francis without further injury while the occupants of the Jeep were taken OSF Saint Francis with minor injuries.  No one else was injured.

The ambulance, Jeep and Ford were towed, while the Ram was able to drive from the scene.

The accident shut down all westbound traffic for 22 minutes and the right lane remained closed for an additional 50 minutes.

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American Medical Settles Case in Facebook Dismissal

Posted on 10 February 2011 by wyoskibum

HARTFORD, CT – The Connecticut ambulance company that fired an employee after she criticized her supervisor on Facebook agreed to settle a case brought by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board.

The NLRB announced the agreement today, resolving an Oct. 27 complaint against American Medical Response of Connecticut Inc. that said Dawnmarie Souza was illegally fired and denied union representation. The employee had posted comments on her Facebook Inc. Internet account.

Among the issues in the case was whether a worker has the right to criticize a boss on a site such as Facebook if co- workers add comments. The case was the first by the NLRB to assert that employers break the law by disciplining workers who post criticisms on social-networking websites.

“There’s a strong argument that social networks are like a public forum, an invitation to conversation,” said Marshall B. Babson, a lawyer who served on the NLRB during the Reagan administration. He is a partner with Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP in New York.

Under the settlement, American Medical Response will revise its “overly broad rules” to ensure that they don’t improperly restrict employees from discussing wages, hours and working conditions with co-workers and others while not at work, and that they wouldn’t discipline or discharge employees for engaging in such discussions, the NLRB said in a statement.

Company Promises

The company promised that employee requests for union representation when meeting with managers won’t be denied in the future, and that employees won’t be threatened with discipline for requesting union representation, according to the agency.

The NLRB, based in Washington, remedies labor disputes between companies and their employees or unions. The agreement ends the case without the board’s decision, which would have set a precedent on whether workers can discuss their workplace on social-media sites without repercussion. American Medical Response reached agreement with the Teamsters union in a deal negotiated by the NLRB’s Hartford office.

A board decision would have established the type of posts allowed, said Michael Eastman, executive director of labor-law policy with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, the largest business lobbying group in the nation.

“To what extent may an employer demand that its employees not disparage it in public?” Eastman said in an interview before the agreement. “Will all such employer policies be rendered obsolete when it comes to social media?”

‘Strategic Alternatives’

American Medical Response said in November that the statements Souza made didn’t qualify as protected activity under federal law.

The company is a unit of Greenwood Village, Colorado-based Emergency Medical Services Corp., the largest U.S. operator of ambulance services and provider of emergency room doctors. EMS said in December it had begun considering “strategic alternatives” for the company.

The complaint said Souza in November 2009 was denied the right to seek union help before she responded to a supervisor’s questions about a customer complaint. She had posted disparaging remarks about a supervisor on her Facebook page from a home computer, according to the NLRB case.

Souza’s comments drew supportive responses from coworkers and spurred additional negative comments about the supervisor.

“The employee in question was discharged based on multiple, serious complaints about her behavior,” Doug Moore, a company spokesman, said in November.

American Medical Response’s policy of restricting Internet use was overly broad, according to the complaint by the Hartford, Connecticut, office of the NLRB.

The NLRB said the comments were a “protected, concerted activity” by an employee on behalf of others, said Doreen S. Davis, a partner in the labor and employment practice at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP in Philadelphia. The comments added by co- workers are considered a conversation about working conditions that would be protected, she said.

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Man Accused Of Punching Paramedic Trying To Help Him

Posted on 10 February 2011 by wyoskibum

ATHENS, Ga. — A shooting victim is accused of punching a paramedic who tried to help him. Athens-Clarke County police told Channel 2 Action News they were called about reports of gunshots in the Westchester Drive area Saturday.
Witnesses indicated three men were seen running from the area.Officers found one of the men, identified as Michael Faust, 30, and discovered he had two gunshot wounds, police said. He was found behind a nearby business and was seen throwing a bag into a garbage bin, officers noted.
Faust was taken to the hospital, but upon arrival, he punched an EMT and fled on foot, police said.Faust was found a short time later. He is charged with possession of cocaine, simple battery, escape, obstruction of law enforcement officers, criminal trespass and giving a false name.

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Paramedic Driving Ambulance Ticketed in Fatal Crash

Posted on 10 February 2011 by wyoskibum

Rochester, NY – The driver of a Rural Metro ambulance, 43 year-old Melissa Onderdonk, has been ticketed in a fatal accident that claimed the life of a patient being transported by the ambulance.

On Sunday afternoon, Onderdonk was heading north on South Winton Road, trying to make a left turn onto the on-ramp for 590/390 South when another car, headed south on South Winton Road and crashed into the ambulance.

The ambulance making a non-emergency transport, without lights and sirens, transporting Erwin Leonard, 82,  from the Jewish Home to Strong Hospital for minor injuries related to an earlier fall.  Leonard died at the hospital from injuries related to the crash.

The two people in the second car Edith Warner, 84, and Abe Levitt, 98 were seriously hurt and taken to Strong Hospital.  Both are in satisfactory condition according to the patient information line at Strong Hospital.

Onderdonk was ticketed for failing to yield right of way.

In a statement, the Ambulance company said: “Rural/Metro Medical Services deeply regrets the loss of life from yesterday’s accident. We are cooperating fully with the investigation by the Brighton Police Department and New York State Police. Rural/Metro Medical Services is conducting an internal inquiry as well, which will include a full review of applicable company policies and the procedures used in this case.  While the investigation continues, our ambulance crew members involved continue to recover from their injuries. Both crew members are dedicated professional first responders with many years of combined experience serving the public. Melissa and Dennis obviously have been personally affected by this tragedy along with our entire EMS staff.”

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City fireman sentenced on assault charge

Posted on 10 February 2011 by wyoskibum

MONROE, MI – A Monroe fireman has been sentenced to probation on a misdemeanor assault charge that reportedly involved a paramedic while the two were responding to calls in December.

Mike Everly, who has been with the fire department about 12 years, was sentenced to six months’ probation and $875 in fines and costs. As part of an earlier agreement with the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office, Mr. Everly pleaded no contest to one charge of assault and battery; a second charge was dismissed.
Mr. Everly, 38, has been on paid administrative leave since mid-December when charges were filed. Monroe fire Chief Joe Mominee said Mr. Everly’s status remains the same as the union and city negotiate his future.
The alleged victim in the case is a female paramedic employed by Monroe Community Ambulance. She told Monroe police that she was inappropriately touched on more than one occasion during separate emergency runs while she and Mr. Everly were on duty. During medical emergencies, both MCA and the Monroe Fire Department respond.
In addition to probation and costs, Mr. Everly must undergo counseling. He was sentenced by First District Judge Terrence Bronson.
Mr. Everly’s attorney, William P. Godfroy of Monroe, declined to comment.

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Six Haverhill fire officers in EMT scandal cut deals to save jobs

Posted on 10 February 2011 by wyoskibum

HAVERHILL, MA — Six senior fire officers have agreed to apologize to the city and its residents for their “wrongful conduct” in the EMT training scam and accept severe punishment to save their jobs.

The city announced it had reached deals with the firefighters — Deputy Chief William Laliberty, captains Paul Weinburgh and Jeff Akstin and lieutenants Joseph Cahill, James Hinds and Robert Irvine — yesterday morning as public disciplinary hearings for the men were set to begin at City Hall.

The punishment for falsely claiming they had taken the refresher courses required to maintain their certifications includes a mix of demotions, unpaid suspensions, work-for-free punishment duty and financial restitution. The firefighters agreed to work hundreds of hours for free over the next several years and give up cash stipends they are paid annually for retaining valid emergency medical technician and paramedic licenses from the state.

The free shifts and unpaid suspensions are to be performed and served at the discretion of fire Chief Richard Borden over the next two to three years.

The city also announced it had reached an agreement with firefighter Scott Stempien. Stempien was scheduled to have his hearing last Thursday, but it was cancelled as the two sides closed in on a deal.

In a written statement, Mayor James Fiorentini called the punishment agreements “tough, strict, and we believe fair. “They have paid a very stiff financial penalty for their misconduct,” Fiorentini said of the firefighters. “They asked for a second chance, and because they have come forward and accepted responsibility and a significant penalty, they will receive it. … It is our hope that today’s actions will be the first step in the long road back for this department, and the first steps in changing the culture of the department.”

Representatives of the firefighters union and lawyers for the firefighters have declined comment.

Other than Borden, no firefighters were spotted at City Hall yesterday for hearings that were to begin at 10 a.m. City lawyers met in private for about an hour before announcing the deals.

The only hearing held so far was last Thursday for Lt. Alexander Fredette. At that hearing, Borden said the city intends to fire Fredette for his role in the scam. Of 28 Haverhill firefighters implicated in the scandal, the city has accused only Fredette, Weinburgh and Stempien of using their falsely certified EMT and paramedic licences to obtain extra pay.

EMTs are required by the state to take refresher courses every two years covering basic skills and new procedures. By contract, Haverhill EMTs receive an additional $1,800 annually and paramedics get about $3,100 a year extra.

In his deal, Weinburgh, who has been out of work for the last eight months on injury leave and recently submitted retirement papers, agreed to work 1,080 hours for free and serve 1,080 hours of unpaid suspension. He was demoted to lieutenant, effective today.

Weinburgh also agreed to return a $3,166.36 paramedic stipend he was paid last year and to forfeit, if he returns to work, his paramedic stipend for this year and the next two years.

Weinburgh, who also recently applied for a disability pension based on a work-related leg injury, only has to serve the unpaid suspension and punishment duty if his disability claim is denied and he returns to work, City Solicitor William Cox said.

In a phone interview yesterday afternoon, Weinburgh said he had no choice but to make a deal.

“It was either take the deal or they were going to terminate me, and I had to think of my family,” said Weinburgh, whose has three children. “I’m disabled, so it’s not like I can get another job.”

Stempien agreed to 270 hours of unpaid suspension, 810 hours of punishment duty and to return his $1,809.35 EMT stipend. He also agreed to work as an EMT for three years without extra pay.

Stempien and Weinburgh provided letters of apology with their agreements. The letters say they acknowledge they “engaged in wrongful conduct in submitting erroneous documentation and in accepting payment from the city for this improperly received license.”

“I sincerely apologize to the city, its officials, the Fire Department and the city’s citizens,” their letters conclude. “I assure them all that I am sincerely remorseful for my conduct and will not ever repeat such conduct.”

Laliberty, Akstin and the four lieutenants have agreed to work 296 hours without pay and serve 96 hours of unpaid suspension. Their agreements say they cannot be paid overtime for filling shifts for firefighters who are serving unpaid suspensions. The officers also agreed to work as EMTs and paramedics this year and next year without extra pay, and they must submit a letter of public apology to the city within a week.

All firefighters who made deals yesterday agreed to give up their rights to appeal.

In his statement, the mayor called the punishments “fair given the severity of the offenses.

“There was no compromise on the city’s part,” Fiorentini said. “The punishment imposed is the chief’s recommendation.”

The agreements also say a record of the matter will be kept in each firefighter’s permanent personnel file, and may be considered by the city in evaluating performance and considering future promotion.

Hearing officer Howard Greenspan, who presided over Thursday’s hearing for Fredette, is expected to submit written findings and recommendations to Fiorentini within the next few weeks. The mayor then has seven days to decide Fredette’s fate.

Fredette, a 14-year veteran of the Fire Department, may appeal the mayor’s ruling to the state Civil Service Commission.

Haverhill firefighter Jeffrey Given, who allegedly facilitated the scam locally, was fired three months ago. Given allegedly carried out the scheme locally by collecting money from, and obtaining the signatures of, colleagues who were then recertified as EMTs without taking the required training courses. According to authorities, Given collected money and the signatures of firefighters and then passed them on to Leo Nault, who taught the courses and provided the recertifications.

Given, Nault and three others were recently indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury for their alleged roles in the scheme. Nault is a former paramedic at Trinity EMS in Haverhill.

The Haverhill firefighters are among more than 200 firefighters, EMTs and paramedics in Massachusetts who had their credentials suspended by the state last year for lying about their training.

Hearings for another 21 Haverhill firefighters implicated in the scam are scheduled Feb. 19 and Feb. 23. Fiorentini said he hopes the city can reach similar agreements with those men.

“It is our hope that the other members of the department will now come forward and do as these men have done and accept responsibility and punishment,” the mayor said.

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