Archive | July, 2011

One Dead in Kanawha Crash Involving Ambulance

Posted on 29 July 2011 by wyoskibum

HERNSHAW, WV – One person died and several others were injured after a three-car accident that included an ambulance on Route 94 in eastern Kanawha County Wednesday evening.

The accident happened just after 5:30 p.m. near Hernshaw, according to Metro 911 dispatchers.

Dispatchers say two pick up trucks collided head on along Lens Creek Road near Bell Cove Road. After that initial accident, a Boone County ambulance impacted one of the trucks, dispatchers say.

Authorities pronounced one person dead on the scene, though it’s unclear of the victim’s identity or which vehicle he or she was traveling in.

Three people were also taken to the hospital, including a patient riding in the back of the ambulance.

At least one person was trapped for some time in a vehicle before being transported to a hospital.

The road was shut down for several hours Wednesday night leading to major traffic backups. The road is now reopened


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Ambulance Involved in Charles Street Crash

Posted on 29 July 2011 by wyoskibum

TOWSON, MD – Traffic on North Charles Street in Towson was snarled early Tuesday afternoon by a three-vehicle crash involving an ambulance.

The crash occurred around noon at the intersection of Charles Street and Chestnut Avenue, near Loyola Blakefield.

“Fortunately, the medic had just cleared GBMC, so he was not transporting a patient,” said Donna Welsh, a fire department spokeswoman.

Though other ambulances were called to the scene, Welsh said there were no serious injuries.

As of 12:45 p.m., the northbound side of North Charles Street is still down to one lane.


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Village, ambulance squad sued over 2010 accident

Posted on 29 July 2011 by wyoskibum

JEFFERSON COUNTY, NY – A town of Gouverneur woman seriously injured in a 2010 crash in which her mother was killed has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the village of Philadelphia and an ambulance squad, claiming their actions contributed to the accident.

Carol A. Durham filed state Supreme Court action Friday at the Jefferson County clerk’s office against the village, the Philadelphia Fire Department Inc. and one of its ambulance drivers, Cole Q. Jenne.

It is alleged that Mr. Jenne was transporting a patient in an ambulance owned by the department on April 24, 2010, when, during the planned transfer of the patient to a Fort Drum ambulance, Mrs. Durham’s vehicle collided with the Fort Drum ambulance on Route 11 in the town of LeRay. Mrs. Durham’s mother, Marjorie M. Swem, 88, was killed in the crash, while Mrs. Durham suffered four broken ribs, a broken and cut wrist and injuries to both knees requiring surgery, among other injuries.

According to court documents, Mr. Jenne had arranged to meet the Fort Drum ambulance because it had an emergency medical technician aboard. Mr. Jenne had stopped his vehicle in the southbound lane of Route 11 near Holmes Road and was waiting for the Fort Drum ambulance to turn around and meet his vehicle. It is claimed that the Fort Drum ambulance, operated by Jorge A. Ponce, pulled to the side of the road and then, without warning, made a U-turn across Route 11 and into the path of Mrs. Durham’s vehicle.

The suit claims that Mr. Jenne was negligent by, among other things, failing to properly display emergency lights, failing to determine a reasonably safe area to meet up with the Fort Drum ambulance and blocking the roadway so Mrs. Durham was unable to take appropriate evasive action to avoid the collision. It claims the village and the fire department were negligent in their hiring, training and retention of Mr. Jenne. The U.S. government, which owns the Fort Drum ambulance, is not named in the suit.

The suit is seeking $3 million in damages, plus Mrs. Durham’s medical expenses and loss of past and future earnings. She is represented in the action by attorney William R. Heitz, Victor.


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st charges dropped in fatal ambulance crash

Posted on 29 July 2011 by wyoskibum

ELYRIA, OH — Prosecutors dropped vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter charges against a Grafton Township Fire Department ambulance driver who was involved in a fatal car crash last year while he was driving a patient to the hospital.

Richard Robertson, 27, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of proper operation of an emergency vehicle during a hearing last week in Elyria Municipal Court and was fined $150.

Elyria City Prosecutor Cynthia Adams said dropping the more serious charges that centered on the death of 82-year-old Zygmut Pacyna of Hinckley Township was the right thing to do based on the evidence.

She said while Robertson had slowed down as he approached state Route 303 from Island Road in an ambulance with lights and sirens activated, it didn’t appear that Pacyna slowed his Chevrolet Cavalier.

Kenneth Lieux, Robertson’s attorney, said the other cars on the road all stopped when they saw the ambulance, which was carrying a man who had been injured after falling off his roof.

He said reconstructions of the accident from both the Ohio Highway Patrol and a private company reached the same conclusions.

“Everybody pretty much agreed that the deceased must not have comprehended what was going on or didn’t see it,” Lieux said.

Troopers have estimated that Pacyna’s car was traveling 53 mph at the time of the crash. Robertson was going under 10 mph when the ambulance went through the intersection and collided with the Cavalier, Lieux said.

Robertson told Fire Department officials that the ambulance was “barely rolling” when he went through the intersection and that it appeared the Cavalier had picked up speed just before the crash.

Adams said she would have had to prove that Robertson hadn’t exercised due caution when he went through the stop sign on Island Road, but the evidence she had didn’t support that.

Robertson, another EMT, Thomas Smolilo, and the patient in the back, Robert Kowalski, were all treated and released at area hospitals, while Pacyna was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lieux said Robertson continues to work for Grafton Township Fire Department.

He said his client agreed to plead to what amounted to a traffic ticket to put an end to the case.

“Obviously, he feels horrible about what happened,” Lieux said.


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Nurse claims paramedic caused injuries during patient pick-up

Posted on 29 July 2011 by wyoskibum

MADISON, WI – A Coles County nurse claims his knee was hurt by a gurney and is suing the paramedic he says is to blame.

John White and his wife, Tonya, filed a lawsuit June 24 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Jim Shoffstall and Lifenet Inc., doing business as Arch Air Medical Service Inc.

White says the alleged incident happened in February while he working as an emergency room nurse in at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon. The nurse says he was standing near the nurses station waiting for an air ambulance medic to pick-up a patient.

Paramedic Jim Shoffstall allegedly arrived via Arch Air Medical and pushed a gurney down a hallway to retrieve the patient. White says his legs were hit by the gurney Shoffstall was pushing, allegedly causing serious injuries to both of White’s knees.
The Whites are suing Shoffstall and Arch Air Medical for negligence and loss of consortium. They seek more than $200,000 in damages for medical costs, lost wages and court fees.

Attorney Fred Johnson of Mattoon is representing the Whites.


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Two hurt in ambulance crash on Interstate 83

Posted on 29 July 2011 by wyoskibum

YORK, PA – ??Two people were injured when an ambulance crashed on Interstate 83 in Springettsbury Township Monday afternoon.

The Carlisle-based Special Events ambulance was transporting a patient from York Hospital to an area nursing home at the time of the 3 p.m. crash, said York Area Untied Fire Chief Robert H. McCoy Jr.

The ambulance was traveling north on I-83 when the driver lost control and hit the center barrier near mile marker 18, state police said.

Two passengers, Jeffrey W. Sgrignoli, 36, and Mary Ann Brubaker-Robb, 57, were transported to York Hospital for injuries, police said.

The driver, Anne Marie McKillip, 27, did not require medical treatment, police said.


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Phoenix ambulance stolen from fire scene

Posted on 25 July 2011 by wyoskibum

PHOENIX, AZ – ?While firefighters battled a blaze in west Phoenix on Sunday morning, a thief stole an ambulance and wreaked havoc on cars and property, officials say.

Travis Ward, 28, was charged with theft of transportation and felony criminal damage, Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said.

“He collided with seven objects, including fences, poles and vehicles,” Thompson said.

A suspect was apprehended when the ambulance struck a house in the 4100 block of West Maryland Avenue.

“When he was arrested, he indicated to officers he had been heavily involved with marijuana use that night,” Thompson said.

Fire Capt. Troy Caskey said the ambulance, Rescue 26, was “wrecked” and that firefighters don’t know yet if it is repairable or headed to the junk heap.

It was stolen at about 4 a.m. as six fire vehicles descended on a house fire in the 4300 block of West Krall Street. Both occupants got out of the home, but one suffered smoke inhalation.


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Paramedic accused of drug theft

Posted on 23 July 2011 by wyoskibum

PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO, CANADA – A Peterborough Emergency Medical Services paramedic has been charged with stealing a painkilling drug from the ambulance service’s medical supply.

City police said an on-duty paramedic forged initials and signatures on inventory logs before 150 milligrams of fentanyl was taken during a shift Wednesday.

Police were called when the theft was discovered.

City police Sgt. Walter DiClemente said there was no indication that any attempt was made to sell the drug.

Fentanyl is a substance listed as a controlled substance in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Scott Joel Bailey, 34, of Minden Hills, was charged with forgery, theft and breach of recognizance. He was also charged with two counts of breach of recognizance for failing to abstain from communicating with a woman.

He appeared in court Friday and was released on bail.

He is to appear in court again Aug. 2.


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EMS Cheating Probe Focuses On Instructor

Posted on 23 July 2011 by wyoskibum

BALTIMORE, MD – An investigation into cheating allegations at the Baltimore City Fire Academy EMS training program has shifted to a sole instructor who had access to confidential state testing materials, the WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team has learned.

On Tuesday, the I-Team reported that the training program was suspended pending the outcome of a cheating investigation. All EMS training instructors at the fire academy were put on administrative leave the next day.

A source familiar with the probe told WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team reporter David Collins that investigators believe one instructor is responsible for providing EMS test answers to 19 fire academy students. Fire officials initially said the number of students was 20.

The source said the trainer distributed a packet of test scenarios to each cadet on June 14. The trainees did not realize these specific real-time emergency situations would be the ones used on the exam. These exercises included a resuscitation station, a trauma station and a station using random medical skills, Collins reported.

The source said investigators discovered the fire academy instructor had access to confidential state testing material because the person also works on a contractual basis as an evaluator for the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, the state agency that certifies paramedics and emergency medical technicians.

The source said the instructor is the only one at the fire academy with MIEMSS credentials and access to test materials.

When the exam was over, the source said, another MIEMSS employee — a coordinator responsible for collecting test results and making sure no material is left behind for the next class to see — spotted a packet of confidential material out in the open. According to the source, investigators believe one of the cadets inadvertently left it behind.

The person familiar with the probe said an investigator proclaimed, “Now that we know one instructor is responsible for this incident, my problem is to determine how deep it goes.”


According to a source, eight fire academy instructors remain on administrative leave. The source said the number of cadets that will be re-examined is now down to 16 after a random drug test eliminated three cadets.

Read more:

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MD Ambulance crash injures four

Posted on 23 July 2011 by wyoskibum

PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY, MD – ?A crash on the Beltway early Thursday morning involving a vehicle and a Prince George’s County ambulance left four people injured and may have rendered the emergency vehicle a total loss, officials say.

The ambulance, which was dispatched from the District Heights Fire/EMS station, was transporting a patient to a hospital when it was forced off the road and into a guardrail near the Branch Avenue exit at about 12:30 a.m.

The original patient on board was transported to the hospital on a responding ambulance, but did not appear to suffer any additional injuries as a result of the crash. Two firefighter medics and another civilian were treated and released from area hospitals.

The ambulance sustained about $100,000 in damages.


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EMS worker involved in crash on I-65 ramp is identified

Posted on 23 July 2011 by wyoskibum

LOUISVILLE, KY - An emergency medical services worker was injured in a rollover accident Thursday that closed one lane on the ramp from southbound Gene Snyder Freeway to Interstate 65 north in southern Jefferson County.

The paramedic involved, Maj. Roger Parvin, was driving one of the Metro EMS sports utility vehicles, known as a fly car, but was not responding to a run, said Dr. Neal Richmond, head of the department.

He was taken to University Hospital, where he is in stable condition, Richmond said. He is expected to remain at University at least overnight.

Parvin has been with Metro EMS since it began in 2005 and was previously a member of the county EMS service, Richmond said.

Officer Carey Klain, a Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman, said the paramedic had to be pulled from the vehicle.

Klain said the worker’s SUV ran off the ramp and flipped about 11:40 a.m.

There were no passengers or other EMS employees in the SUV, Klain said.

A cause for the accident is under investigation


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Thieves target North Texas ambulances

Posted on 23 July 2011 by wyoskibum

LEWISVILLE, TX - Criminals are now preying on paramedics. News 8 has learned thieves have been breaking into ambulances right outside the doors of North Texas emergency rooms.

Seconds matter for paramedics. They have to act quickly to save lives, which is hard to do if someone has stolen critical equipment or medications from their ambulance.

“If you call us about your child, you call us about your grandmothers, we want to be prepared, and it does us absolutely no good for us to turn around and something to be missing,” said Lewisville Fire Chief Richard Lasky.

Someone is walking right up to emergency rooms where ambulances are parked and taking what they can.

“One person jumps out and goes into the back of the medic and removes items from the back of the ambulance,” said Capt Kevin Deaver. “Generally, it takes less than 30 seconds.”

The Coppell Fire Department lost a defibrillator that cost $35,000. The Lewisville Fire Department had a bag full of medicines stolen and now at least five fire departments are reporting ambulance break-ins in the last few days,

“What we are hoping is someone will see something,” Lasky said. “The Homeland Security deal, if you see something, say something.”

Investigators say whoever the criminals are, they are casing the hospitals.

“It’s obvious they are sitting up on the hospital probably and waiting for the ambulance to pull up and go inside and then hit the ambulance,” Deaver said.

Investigators believe the burglars are trying to sell the stolen items on the black market. Warnings have been sent to area fire departments telling paramedics to use caution and be on the look-out.

They say the burglars in the Lewisville and Coppell cases are driving a light colored or silver Jeep Cherokee. In the next day or so, the Lewisville Police Department hopes to release video of the suspects.


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City EMS instructors on administrative leave

Posted on 23 July 2011 by wyoskibum

BALTIMORE, MD – All of Baltimore City’s Emergency Medical Service instructors have been put on administrative leave until an investigation is complete into allegations of cheating at the city’s fire academy, Fire Chief James S. Clack said Wednesday.

The Fire Department’s training division consists of about 25 people, Clack said, and about half that number are EMS instructors.

“The half that does EMS training was put on administrative leave on Monday pending the outcome of this investigation,” Clack said. “Because we don’t know who was involved on the instruction staff, we’re just playing it safe and putting everybody on administrative leave, and over the next couple of weeks we’re going to interview them and try to get to the bottom of what happened.”

“I told MIEMSS [Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems], the state agency, that we wouldn’t do any training until we got to the bottom of what happened,” Clack said of the agency that oversees EMS training statewide.

The state agency that oversees paramedics and emergency medical technicians notified the Fire Department last week that it had determined that students cheated on the practical segment of a test administered June 14.

The city Fire Department heard from MIEMMS in June, Clack said, that “there was a practical exam left out in the open.” The state agency, he said, was concerned because these exams are supposed to be confidential. “That’s really what we’re investigating this week ourselves. We’re doing interviews this week and next week.”

Stephan G. Fugate, president of the Baltimore Fire Officers Association, said he began hearing concerns about cheating in the EMS training program several months ago, in April and May. Several members of his union, he said, decided not to take part in the training process this spring because of what he said was an attitude in the program that everyone passed “by hook or by crook.”

Clack said that there was only one instance of cheating that he could remember being reported in April or May, and that was in a refresher course, not the entry-level EMS class.

“We did have, and we’re still investigating this as well, an EMT refresher course for a certified EMT where an exam, like a quiz … had the answers marked in the answer booklet,” Clack said. “What we found there is that the instructor just didn’t check the booklets from class to class.” The student who took the test with the answers circled in the test booklet reported the problem in a special report, Clack said.

Jim Brown, a spokesman for MIEMSS, said that cheating on EMS testing has not been a problem in other jurisdictions in the recent past.

“Sometimes there are individuals called out by their jurisdictions,” Brown said, “but nothing at this level.”


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Bandera County EMT recovering after ambulance accident

Posted on 23 July 2011 by wyoskibum

BANDERA COUNTY, TX – Bandera County EMT intermediate Gary Davis continues his recovery after a vehicle struck his ambulance while in transit to the hospital.

On Saturday, July 9, at 1:49 p.m., authorities responded to a two-vehicle accident on U.S. 83 south of ConCan. According to a report by Texas State Trooper Juan Maldonado, Caroline Beltran, of Uvalde, was traveling northbound on U.S. 83 when her vehicle drifted off and back on the roadway, striking the driver’s side of a Utopia ambulance.

Ambulance driver Patti McAleb, of Utopia, and Davis were airlifted to a San Antonio hospital. Patient and passenger Olga Serna and Diana Fragoso, who were en route to Uvalde Memorial Hospital when the accident occurred, were also injured.

According to reports, Davis has been released from the hospital; McAleb is reportedly making progress and recovering.

Uvalde County Judge William Mitchell said no citations have been issued at this point, and the investigation is ongoing. Bandera County EMS has set up an account at Bandera Bank for Davis, who is also the EMS director of Utopia, to help with expenses.

“Our volunteers are vitally important, regardless of whether they are emergency medical responders or firefighters,” Mitchell said. “When something like this happens, it really stresses the role they play in the community.”


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