Archive | June, 2011


Posted on 25 June 2011 by wyoskibum

WATERTOWN, NY – The collision of a Carthage Area Rescue Squad ambulance and a Jeep on Route 232 injured at least one emergency medical technician, and seven people overall, at 3:45 p.m. Friday.

The Jeep, pulling two personal watercraft on a trailer, was ahead of the ambulance heading west on Route 232 and began signaling a left-hand turn onto County Route 64, also known as Falls Road.

The driver of the ambulance, which was carrying a woman with a heart condition to a Syracuse hospital, did not see the signal, Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies said.

The ambulance, which had its emergency lights on, and the Jeep ended up in the southwest corner of the intersection, which is near an overpass of Interstate 81.Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies said the two occupants of the Jeep, both of whom suffered minor injuries, were being treated at an area hospital, as were four of the five ambulance occupants.

Those involved in the accident were taken either to Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown, or Carthage Area Hospital, Carthage. The heart patient was taken by the town of Watertown Ambulance Squad to Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The Jeep is registered to Thomas King, Frenchtown, N.J.

Additional details, including names of those involved in the accident, were not released late Friday.

The investigation is continuing.


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Accident leaves ambulance flipped

Posted on 25 June 2011 by wyoskibum

South Burlington, Vermont – There was an unusual scene at a busy intersection in South Burlington Thursday.

An accident left an ambulance flipped on its side.

It happened at the intersection of Williston and Hinesburg roads.

Police say the ambulance was making a left-hand turn when it collided with a pickup truck and flipped on its side.

The ambulance was not carrying a patient and the crew members were not hurt.


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Police pull over ambulance to arrest Okla. medic

Posted on 25 June 2011 by wyoskibum

Stillwater, Okla. — An officer serving a felony warrant pulled over an ambulance to arrest a paramedic, according to KFOR-TV.

LifeNet General manager Kelly McCauley told the station that having an ambulance pulled over — and especially having an employee arrested — was “unusual, unheard of” and “a completely new thing for our company.”

The warrant for Timothy Grauberger, 38, was issued after it was discovered that he had written a bogus check in March.

Captain Randy Dickerson of the Stillwater Police Department called the arrest “an unfortunate situation.”

He added there was no patient in the ambulance at the time, and if there had been, things would have been handled differently.

Police say they needed to take Grauberger into custody, no matter the circumstance.


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Staten Island EMT Allegedly Groped Car Crash Victim In Ambulance

Posted on 25 June 2011 by wyoskibum

STATEN ISLAND, NY – A Staten Island EMT is accused of groping a patient last month inside an ambulance. David Taranto arrived on the scene of a car accident at West Cedarview Ave. and Kensico St., brought the “shaken up” middle-aged woman into his ambulance, and allegedly “took his stethoscope, placed it underneath her shirt and cupped her breast in his hand,” SI Live reports. Once at the hospital, Taranto also reportedly told her that she had a “beautiful body,” before calling his number from her cell phone.

After receiving numerous phone calls and text messages, “inviting her to his house,” the woman contacted the police. Taranto, 31, was arrested yesterday and charged with a third-degree misdemeanor count of sexual abuse. An EMT for 7 years, Taranto has been suspended for 30 days without pay.


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Man who posed a paramedic in Cedar Falls gets suspended sentence and probation

Posted on 25 June 2011 by wyoskibum

WATERLOO, Iowa — A man who posed as a paramedic after showing up a medical emergency at a Walmart in Cedar Falls has been given a suspended prison sentence and placed on probation.

Twenty-four-year-old Christopher Hill, of Waverly, pleaded guilty in Black Hawk County District Court to two counts of committing prohibited acts as a noncertified medical care provider. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says documents outlining terms of her probation were filed last week. Hill must serve five-year’s probation and live in a Department of Corrections residential facility.

Earlier this year, Hill pleaded guilty to similar charges in Bremer County for twice pretending to be a paramedic when he showed up at a car accident and an industrial accident. He was given five years’ probation in the case.


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Police say paramedic shot himself in hand during training at southern Indiana high school

Posted on 25 June 2011 by wyoskibum

BEDFORD, Ind. — Authorities say a paramedic accidentally shot himself in the hand while training with police officers at a southern Indiana high school.

The chief deputy of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department says the man is a special officer with its emergency response team that was conducting a training exercise Thursday at Bedford North Lawrence High School.

Chief Deputy Mike Branham tells The Times-Mail that the officer’s injury wasn’t serious and that he was taken to a Bedford hospital for treatment.

Branham says the officer neglected to remove a round from the barrel of his handgun as he was taking out its live ammunition. He says no one else was injured.


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Accident involving ambulance on I-20

Posted on 25 June 2011 by wyoskibum

AIKEN CTY, S.C.— An ambulance was involved in an accident Tuesday morning on I-20 in Aiken County.

According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, a 2006 Ford Ambulance being driving by Marquise Hawkins, 21 years old, of Greer, SC was traveling west on I-20 near mile marker five when he went off the left side of the road, striking the guard rail.

Debris from this collision struck a 2007 Mercedes, being driven by Dale Saunders, 58 years old of Aiken, who was traveling east on I-20.

SCHP says no one was injured in the accident and everyone was wearing their seatbelt. The passenger in the ambulance was transported via another ambulance to a local hospital but not for injuries from the accident.

Hawkins is being charged with driving too fast for conditions.


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Longtime Roanoke firefighter David Palmer ‘has answered his last call’

Posted on 25 June 2011 by wyoskibum

ROANOKE, VA – The death of a career Roanoke firefighter and paramedic last week may become the city’s second fatality in the line of duty since 2009, and Roanoke officials are working to see that the man’s wife and two children receive benefits entitled to fallen firefighters under Virginia law.

David Palmer, 54, died Friday after a nearly two-year battle with rectal cancer. If approved by a state panel, Palmer would be the first — or possibly second — Roanoke line of duty death since December 2009, when former Battalion Chief William Obenchain, 57, died of cancer three years after he retired. The state is considering awarding line of duty benefits to the family of former Battalion Chief Bobbie Slayton, who died of a stroke in December at age 66, five months after he retired.

If Palmer’s death ends up being considered a line of duty fatality, his wife, Billie Jean “B.J.” Palmer, will receive a $100,000 death benefit from the state. She also would be covered by new state-funded health insurance for life. The couple’s two children, who both have autism, would be covered at least until they are 21 years old.

Palmer was buried Monday in a service that had a procession of fire and rescue equipment from the region. Dozens of firefighters, rescue workers, family and friends attended.

He was diagnosed with cancer in September 2009, his wife said. He battled the disease with chemotherapy and radiation, and had been in a wheelchair since shortly after his diagnosis.

B.J. Palmer, a former paramedic until a car wreck left her injured in 1987, said she knew the dangers of a firefighting career.

“I was terrified of him being in the fire department,” she said. “You just always fear that phone call in the middle of the night.”

Scrapes, bruises, even burns were to be expected in that line of work, she said.

“But I never thought about cancer.”

An increased risk of cancer is a hazard of firefighting, according to studies.

“It’s an assumption that you take on when you sign the paper and you take the oath, that you’re probably going to contract cancer,” said Roanoke Fire-EMS Capt. Chris Trussler. “It’s just part of the job.”

Firefighters are exposed to carcinogens, including toxic benzene and formaldehyde, from burning buildings and furniture. Industrial fires can be worse. A 2006 study said toxic soot clings to firefighters even after they leave a blaze.

The study by researchers at the University of Cincinnati showed firefighters more likely to develop several types of cancer than workers in other professions.

The study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that firefighters have “significantly higher” rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma than nonfirefighters. Firefighters are 21 percent more likely to develop colon cancer — similar to the kind that killed Palmer — than other workers their age, according to the study.

Virginia’s Line of Duty Act seems to recognize that danger. Under the state law, volunteer and salaried firefighters are generally eligible to receive benefits if they’re disabled or die responding to a call. They’re also presumed to be eligible if they develop a respiratory or heart disease, or certain types of cancer, including rectal cancer.

“This job is dangerous, and we are exposed to a lot of hazards,” Roanoke Fire-EMS Chief David Hoback said. “That’s why the presumption is there. They know there is an inherent risk.”

Hoback, as the head of Palmer’s department, is preparing a detailed report of Palmer’s health history to submit to the state comptroller’s office, which administers the Line of Duty Act Fund. Virginia State Police, working with fund administrators, will investigate the claim and submit a recommendation to a state panel.

The process could take six months or more, Hoback said.

“We’re going to do everything we can to support the family,” Hoback said.

Roanoke’s firefighters, like many fire and rescue providers in the state, are prohibited from using tobacco. They receive regular physical examinations and urine screenings.

Palmer’s children — Michael, 17, and Kathryn, 12 — both have autism, B.J. Palmer said. She now pays more than $1,000 a month in insurance premiums since her husband’s health insurance coverage ran out, she said.

Palmer’s 36-year career in emergency medicine included 26 years as a firefighter-paramedic with Roanoke’s fire and EMS programs, Hoback said. Palmer was one of the first paramedics hired by the city when he joined in 1985, and he was integral in the department’s transition when the city’s fire and EMS programs merged 10 years later.

Palmer worked for agencies and departments across the valley, including Carilion Clinic Patient Transportation, the Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Roanoke County and Bedford County.

“He was one of the best paramedics we’ve ever had,” Hoback said. “He was just a wonderful guy. He was friendly to everybody.”

Dozens of colleagues attended Palmer’s funeral Monday, which included a ceremonial color guard and a flyover by Carilion’s Lifeguard 10 helicopter. Palmer’s family was presented with an American flag, an engraved fire ax and the yellow helmet the firefighter wore while fighting fires.

An honorary radio transmission went out across a city dispatch channel as the service ended.

“Firefighter David Palmer has answered his last call,” the dispatcher said. “He will be missed but never forgotten.”


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Paramedic Loses Job After Exposing Alleged Hazards Inside Station

Posted on 25 June 2011 by wyoskibum

AMITY TWP., Pa. — A paramedic has lost his job after exposing alleged hazards inside his station’s building.  John Fekety, a former paramedic with Southern Berks Regional EMS, said he was fired on June 1 for sharing information with 69 News about hazards he said were found inside the EMS station in Amity Township, Berks County.

“There’s so many answers, but the bottom line is yes,” said Fekety, in response to a question about whether he thinks it was appropriate to speak out. Fekety claimed pictures sent to 69 News showed a number of problems, including a stink bug infestation and mold in shower stalls. On May 6, lawyers for Teamsters Local 429, the union that represents the paramedics, sent a letter to George Mang, executive director of Southern Berks Regional EMS, stating the union president examined the station and was “appalled by the condition of the building.”

Fekety spoke with 69 News 11 days later.” I knew that I was putting my neck on the line by speaking up,” said Fekety. On June 1, less than two weeks after the 69 News story aired, Fekety lost his job.According to Fekety’s termination papers, the paramedic was fired for “violating company repeater policy” and the “unauthorized interview with the media which caused irreparable harm to the company’s well being.”

“Three people have gone through the handbook and could not find any such policy,” said Fekety. “They admitted that, oh well, they never got around to actually publishing that part of the policy.”The station’s repeater policy states employees have to let the station know their location at all times while on the job.

Fekety said management told him he did not check in before talking with 69 News on May 17. According to the termination letter, Fekety had multiple EZ Pass violations. Fekety said there were just a pair of violations for twice using the turnpike.  Fekety said he did not having enough change to pay the tolls and asked a turnpike worker how to resolve the problem.” He said, ‘Well, they’ll just send the company a bill. Don’t worry about it,’” said Fekety.

Mang referred questions about Fekety’s termination to Southern Berks’ lawyer, who in turn said, “No comment.” In reference to the 69 News story in May about the station’s working conditions, Mang said the facility was “supposed to be temporary, but we believe we found a new location.” Fekety said people are still working in the building.Fekety said he wants to be a paramedic and get his job back with Southern Berks Regional EMS.


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Ambulance Struck in I-93 Collision

Posted on 25 June 2011 by wyoskibum

WILMINGTON, MA – Massachusetts State Police officers were dispatched to the scene of a multiple vehicle collision late Sunday night that involved a Tewksbury ambulance on Interstate 93 North.

As of about 11 p.m. Sunday, the high-speed lane was the only lane able to pass the scene of the collisions, which occurred about one mile south of Dascomb Road in Wilmington.

Just after 10 p.m., police said the incident began as a smaller crash, bringing a Tewksbury ambulance to the location. That’s when a second vehicle struck the ambulance.

No injuries were reported during that portion of the sequence, police said, though at least one person was transported from the first accident.

Troopers from the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and Crime Scene Services Section were at the scene, and police had no estimates as to how long lanes would be closed.


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Ambulance Totaled in Accident

Posted on 25 June 2011 by wyoskibum

OCALA, FL – An ambulance was totaled after it was hit by another car.

The Marion County fire Rescue ambulance crew was coming back to Ocala after dropping off a patient at Shands Hospital when it was struck. The accident happened Saturday morning on U-S 441.

Only one firefighter and the driver of the car suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  An investigation is currently under way to see if the driver of the car was drinking.


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Denver police investigate ambulance crash

Posted on 25 June 2011 by wyoskibum

DENVER, CO – Denver police are investigating a “serious” ambulance crash at West Alameda Avenue and South Cherokee Street tonight.

The department posted on its Twitter page that there were no patients on board at the time, but did not release any other details of the crash, including the number of vehicles involved or the operator of the ambulance service.

A police spokesman was not available after 10 p.m. The information was posted on the department’s Twitter account shortly after 11 p.m.

Lt. Phil Champagne, spokesman for the Denver Fire Department, said he had no information about a crash at about 11:15 p.m., but said details might be available in the morning.

The site is about 1,000 feet east of Interstate 25.


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No charges in ambulance crash

Posted on 09 June 2011 by wyoskibum

BOILING SPRINGS, SC — Police aren’t citing anyone in a two-vehicle crash that involved a Cleveland County ambulance.

The ambulance collided with a car Wednesday at 8:24 p.m. on East Homestead Road in Boiling Springs, according to a Boiling Springs police report.

According to the report, a 1999 Toyota driven by a Shelby woman was traveling east on East Homestead Avenue when the woman heard emergency sirens. The Cleveland County ambulance, driven by a Shelby man, had its lights and emergency sirens on when it attempted to pass the Toyota on the left side as the Toyota was making a left turn. The two vehicles, both traveling about 45 mph, collided, causing the Toyota to travel about 50 feet from the point of impact, the report states.

The ambulance sustained about $3,000 in damage and the Toyota had about $2,500 in damage.

The police report doesn’t list any traffic violations.


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Coopersburg EMS Member Charged with Possession and Dissemination of Child Pornography

Posted on 09 June 2011 by wyoskibum

COOPERSBURG, PA – According to a criminal complaint, Christian Ford, arrested in Delaware County for possession of child pornography, currently “runs” for an ambulance in Coopersburg.

While Ford was at large, the complaint states, the eventual arresting officer “Lt. [David] Peifer made contact with ICAC [Internet Crimes Against Children] Task Force Member Det. Joe Pochron [of] Upper Saucon Twp. and requested he have an officer check the Coopersburg Ambulance to see if Chris Ford was there.”

Ford’s laptop was seized with the use of a warrant, and according to the complaint, “55 videos/images were located that … depict children, under the age of 18 years old, engaged in sexual acts and/or poses. The images depicted children as young as infants and also children in sexual bondage.”


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