Archive | August, 2011

Medical air ambulance crash kills patient and three crew members

Posted on 28 August 2011 by wyoskibum

KANSAS CITY, Mo (Reuters) – Federal authorities began investigating on Saturday the cause of a medical air ambulance helicopter crash that killed a patient and three crew members Friday night.

The helicopter was transporting the patient to Liberty Hospital in Liberty, Missouri, just northeast of Kansas City when it crashed while approaching an airport for a refueling stop, said Lynn Lunsford, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

The helicopter went down about a mile from the Midwest National Air Center airport in Mosby, Missouri, several miles northeast of Liberty, Lunsford said. There were no survivors.

A paramedic, flight nurse, pilot and the patient died in the crash, the owner of the helicopter, Air Methods Corporation, said in a statement on its website. Air Methods did not identify the crew or patient.

The helicopter, a Eurocopter AS350, was based in St. Joseph, Missouri, Air Methods said. Air Methods is the largest provider of air medical emergency transport in the United States, according to its website.

Investigators for the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive at the crash site Saturday morning to begin looking into the cause of the crash, Lunsford said.

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Two Injured In Houston County Ambulance Crash

Posted on 28 August 2011 by wyoskibum

ERIN, Tenn. – Two people were sent to the hospital after a crash involving an ambulance in Houston County.

The crash happened around 5 p.m. Friday on Highway 49 in Erin, about 70 miles northwest of Nashville. Deputies from the Houston County Sheriff’s Office and troopers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to the scene.

Officials said an emergency medical technician and the driver of another car were both transported by LifeFlight medical helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Their condition was unknown.

There were no patients in the ambulance at the time of the crash.

Information about what caused the crash was not available, but officials said the ambulance driver was not at fault.

It was unclear if the ambulance’s emergency lights were on at the time of the crash.

The victim’s names were not released

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Ambulance crashes in Flint Township outside church

Posted on 25 August 2011 by wyoskibum

икони на светциFLINT TOWNSHIP, Michigan — An ambulance was involved in a two-car crash on South Linden Road outside Glad Tidings Tabernacle around 7 p.m., police said. View full size(Dorothy Edwards | The Flint Journal)A tow truck prepares to haul away a car after a crash involving an ambulance in Flint Township on Wednesday. Flint Township police said there were no severe injuries in the crash. Police were directing traffic at the scene while tow trucks hauled away the ambulance and the sedan that collided with it. It wasn’t clear where the ambulance was headed or if it was transporting a patient at the time of the crash. The Flint Township police sergeant in charge was tied up on a separate arrest and couldn’t provide further details. Another ambulance and police were at the scene of an apparent medical call nearby on West Maple Avenue, west of Linden Road.

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Boulder signs five-year ambulance contract with American Medical Response

Posted on 21 August 2011 by wyoskibum

иконографияikoniBOULDER, CO – The city of Boulder will enter into a five-year ambulance contract with American Medical Response, ending a 12-year run with Pridemark/Rural Metro.

The contract, announced Friday, goes into effect Jan. 1.

Both AMR and Pridemark submitted proposals in June after the city announced that it was putting its ambulance service out for bids.

“First, I want to say that Pridemark has been doing a good job for us,” said Boulder Fire Chief Larry Donner. “But periodically we like to go out for bids to see what is out there. AMR offered an equal service that ultimately will cost the patients less money.”

Since 1999, the city participated in a countywide contract with Pridemark for emergency medical services. Under that contract, ambulances in the city also served more rural areas of Boulder County. With several other local municipalities opting out of the contract, Donner said, the city of Boulder felt it was time to look into getting an exclusive contract.

“The primary benefit is that it gives us more direct control over the services provided to our community,” he said. “It allows us to serve and provide city residents without subsidizing services to lesser populated areas of the county.”

AMR, which will also enter into a contract with Boulder County in 2012 and already serves Longmont, had previously served the city of Boulder before Pridemark.

“We’re very excited,” said Tracy Mullins, AMR operations chief for the Denver and Boulder region. “We’ve been up there for 20-plus years, we put in a fair bid and we’re glad the city chose it. We’re excited to get a system put together.”

Under the terms of the contract, a minimum of four ambulances will be in the city at all times while maintaining a seven-minute response time to 90 percent of all medical emergencies. The contract also includes ongoing emergency medical training for city firefighters.

The city estimates that the average middle-aged man with chest pains will save about $300 under the American Medical Response proposal.

AMR will also have ambulance bases within the city, which officials said should reduce fuel costs. Pridemark stations ambulances on the street, which means the vehicles must remain idling in winter and summer to maintain conditions in the ambulance.

The contract also requires AMR to submit monthly performance reports to the city, which Donner said will allow officials to ensure residents are being properly taken care of.

“That allows us to look at response times to make sure ambulances are arriving in a timely fashion,” he said. “If not, we can level fines for delayed response, or if the service doesn’t meet our standards we can look for new proposals. But I don’t think that will be the case.”

Pridemark will remain the ambulance service provider until the end of the year.

“It’s been a good run,” said Courtney Morehouse, marketing director for Pridemark. “Pridemark has been here a long time working with local agencies and serving residents. I think it’s something to be proud of.”

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Private ambulance hits house after crash

Posted on 19 August 2011 by wyoskibum

КартиниBALTIMORE, MD – A two-vehicle collision Wednesday propelled a privately owned ambulance into a Randallstown home and sent two people to Sinai Hospital. No one in the house at the intersection of Marriottsville and Winands roads was injured.

At about 7:30 a.m., Baltimore County Police, responding to a cellphone call, found a Freestate Ambulance had run into the side of a home. The ambulance, which was not carrying a patient, had likely been side swiped by a car before it rammed the home, police said.

Investigators have not determined how many people were in the house at the time. Police were awaiting the results of a home inspection to assess the damage to the dwelling before removing the vehicle.

The two unidentified victims, whose injuries were not life-threatening, were riding in the vehicles, police said. Investigators did not say whether those injured were the drivers. No further details were available.

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2 Injured In Crash Involving Ambulance

Posted on 17 August 2011 by wyoskibum

BOSTON,MA — An ambulance was involved in a three-vehicle crash in Norwood on Tuesday morning.

A Fallon Ambulance transporting a patient to and from a medical facility was traveling south on Washington Street approaching Railroad Avenue. The ambulance had its siren and emergency lights activated, police said.

The traffic signal for Washington Street was red. There were two vehicles in motion on Railroad Ave when the ambulance failed to stop for the red light and entered into the intersection, police said.

The ambulance collided with the vehicle traveling westbound on Railroad Avenue causing that vehicle to crash into an eastbound vehicle.

The ambulance driver told police he tried to stop for the red light however his brakes had failed.

Two people were transported by Norwood Fire Department to Norwood Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The crash remained under investigation.

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MURRIETA: Fire chief wants city to provide ambulance service

Posted on 17 August 2011 by wyoskibum

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA – ?A call by Riverside County for cities to weigh in on a debate regarding ambulance services has revived a desire by the Murrieta Fire Department to provide that service.

Fire Chief Matt Shobert and City Manager Rick Dudley have requested that the county consider allowing the city’s Fire Department to provide the services that now are being provided by American Medical Response. For more than a decade, the for-profit company has held an exclusive contract for providing ambulance services to more than 95 percent of the county.

In a four-page letter dated Aug. 8 and addressed to Bruce Barton, the county’s ambulance agency director, Shobert and Dudley said Murrieta is far better equipped to handle the transport of its patients to hospitals because:

emergency response crews are local residents who can navigate the city’s streets better than AMR’s personnel;
the department’s standard response time is more than three minutes shorter than AMR’s standard response time;
and patients are more likely to survive their emergency if they are treated by one crew from the time they’re picked up to the time they’re dropped off at the hospital.
Former Fire Chief Phil Armentrout made the same request in 2003, but the county denied that request in order to maintain uniform services among all county cities.

The Murrieta City Council is scheduled to discuss the issue during Tuesday’s 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall, 24601 Jefferson Ave.

“It’s not really a negative perspective toward AMR, because they do a fine job,” Shobert said in a phone interview Friday. “We’ve got five strategically placed fire departments and at each corner of the city we have a hospital. We could set up a very effective, efficient system because of the location and the size of our city, and the three hospitals at the corners.”

AMR now has ambulances stationed at Fire Stations 2 and 3, which are located on California Oaks Road and Whitewood Road, respectively.

The city does not pay for the ambulance services, rather a person who is transported by AMR is billed $1,200 to $1,500, Shobert said. But often the patient has received a bulk of the primary emergency care by a fire paramedic, and is in essence being billed by AMR for work that his or her tax dollars have already paid for.

The county pays AMR $95 million per year and has awarded the company exclusive rights to the contract since 1998. Only a few cities, such as Idyllwild, have been approved to provide their own services or rely on the county fire department for emergency transportation.

In April, however, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors decided to postpone renewing AMR’s contract until a review of its performance is complete. Among other points, supervisors are weighing whether to open the ambulance service contract up for a competitive bid. AMR’s contract will expire July 1, 2012.

The Riverside County Fire Chiefs Association also has criticized the lack of a competitive bid for the contract, and in 2008 the association published a report detailing various issues that had gone unscrutinized due to the lack of contract review. As a member of the association, Shobert said he signed his support of the report when it was published.

“They’re a profit-motivated company, so they’re very, very efficient (at keeping overhead costs at a minimum) and when we’re talking life and death, I think service should come over efficiency,” Shobert said. “This is a high-dollar contract that Riverside County is essentially signing and binding our city to. So that’s why we think that if home rule can’t take over here, then at a minimum open it up to the competitive bidding process.”

Ideally, Shobert said, the city should be allowed to provide its own services.

In the argument laid out in the letter, Shobert and Dudley said Murrieta fire crews generally arrive at an emergency within 6 1/2 minutes from the time the call goes out, while AMR ambulances typically arrive within 10 minutes.

“It’s like playing the telephone game,” Shobert said. “Most of the time we’re arriving first on scene, we’re starting IVs, initiating EKGs (heart tests), looking at their hearts and administrating drugs. When you hand off a patient, some information might not be (passed along). We could maintain a higher level of care by not having to transfer the patient.”

Additionally, the letter states, AMR’s lowered staffing levels have left some ambulances unmanned.

“Recently,” Dudley and Shobert wrote in their joint letter. “The ambulance housed at Murrieta Fire Station 2 was out of service for two consecutive days due to staffing levels. This station responds to all calls for medical in The Colony, one of the largest 55-plus communities in the region with 1,500 homes. It is unconscionable that a retirement community that large is left without adequate service due to faulty equipment, improper staff levels and inoperative vehicles.”

Shobert said it is too early to say how much it would cost the city to provide those services.

Reached Friday, Barton said he had received the city’s letter and had forwarded it to the proper officials for review.

He said that the county has been aiming to keep ambulance services consistent in order to ensure that all Riverside County residents receive the same level of care.

“If every city did their own thing, you would virtually have a different (emergency medical service) system every few offramps of the freeway,” Barton said. “We want to make sure somebody who rolls their car over in Murrieta is going to get the same kind of response and care as someone who rolls their car over on the freeway halfway between Desert Center and Blythe. Otherwise, that’s how a lawsuit comes to be.”

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Driver to stand trial for crash that killed paramedic

Posted on 13 August 2011 by wyoskibum

икониSALT LAKE CITY, UT – As a paramedic, Olga Cooper has seen too many horrific car crashes, but none worse than the one that killed her friend and colleague.

“This one we have a connection to,” Cooper said Friday following a preliminary hearing for the man accused of driving drunk and then running away from the wreckage and Jonathan Bowers’ dying body last May.

Bowers, 31, of West Jordan, had been an EMT with Gold Cross for six years at the time of his death. He died in a hospital a week after the crash.

Gabriel Perez-Guiterez, 26, sat silently in the 3rd District courtroom as eyewitnesses and police officers detailed the early morning crash near 6200 South and 4000 West in Taylorsville. At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Royal Hansen ordered Perez-Guiterez to stand trial on seven charges, including automobile homicide, driving under the influence and fleeing the scene of a crash.

Perez-Guiterez had spent the night drinking with friends at home and then at a downtown nightclub, police said. After sleeping for a while on a friend’s sofa, Perez-Guiterez drove home about 6 a.m.

He was driving about 75 mph when he crashed into Bowers’ stopped car, said Unified Police Detective Michael Anderson. The detective called it “one of the worst I’ve ever seen in 11 years of investigating these crashes.”

Bowers’ car slammed into the back of another vehicle, causing Bowers’ car to launch into the air. Perez-Guiterez’s car crashed into a pole before hitting a wall and coming to a stop.

A witness to the crash said Bowers was badly injured and lying in the passenger seat when he was found. As prosecutors showed photographs of Bowers’ car, mangled from the collision, Bowers’ mother gasped.

After the crash, Perez-Guiterez seemed momentarily dazed, repeating over and over that he had “f—– up,” a witness said.

Then he ran into a residential neighborhood where police found him hiding in a window well.

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Metro EMS employees to get drug tests

Posted on 13 August 2011 by wyoskibum

LOUISVILLE, KY – All Metro EMS employees will undergo drug testing in the coming weeks after a major was fired this week because drugs had been found at his home and another employee was arrested on drunken driving charges in July.

“Once you get tested, you can’t work here if you tested positive,” said Dr. Neal Richmond, director of Metro Emergency Medical Services.

Richmond and his command staff met with Todd Thomason, secretary of the local Teamsters union, which represents emergency medical service employees, and union stewards Thursday morning.

The group agreed that an aggressive testing program is needed to help reassure the public that EMS employees are accountable.

The goal is to have every employee, including all command staff, tested in the next 45 to 60 days, Richmond said. Metro EMS has about 250 employees, including about 220 on the streets. Employees will not know when they are to be tested.

Richmond said he expects other rounds of testing to be conducted in coming months, and employees can expect to be tested multiple times. Details on how to pay for the tests, as well as their timing, are still being worked out, he said.

Mayor Greg Fischer said he supports Thursday’s decision.

“I applaud the workforce leadership and Metro EMS leadership for taking this proactive approach,” he said. “There can be no compromise when it comes to the safety of our citizens and the safety of coworkers at EMS.”

The development follows Monday’s announcement that Maj. Roger Parvin, who was in charge of tracking all controlled substances used by Metro EMS, had been fired for several department violations that involved mishandling such drugs.

An investigation began after Parvin was involved in a rollover accident on July 21 on the Gene Snyder Freeway near Interstate 65 while he was driving a department car and was in uniform but not responding to a call.

That same day, EMS staff learned that Parvin had been seen driving his department vehicle erratically — at one point hitting mailboxes and knocking his side mirror off.

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Those incidents led EMS staff to launch an internal investigation and suspend Parvin while Louisville Metro Police investigated the rollover.

During the EMS review, Richmond said, staff learned that Parvin had taken 180 vials of expired medications, including Ativan, morphine and valium, that were meant to be destroyed and kept them at his home. When staff collected them, some of the vials were missing.

The police department’s public integrity unit is now investigating Parvin. Police have declined to comment on the investigation but said that their findings will be turned over to the Jefferson County commonwealth’s attorney’s office for review.

In addition to Parvin’s termination, EMS suspended another employee, Alex Brown, after he was arrested July 16 in an off-duty drunken driving incident that involved a non-injury accident.

A sheriff’s deputy observed Brown driving erratically before the collision, according to the arrest citation. Several drugs were found in his vehicle, and he failed field sobriety tests, the citation said.

Public integrity personnel also are conducting an investigation involving five other EMS employees who have been suspended. Both police and Richmond have declined to talk about the reason for the investigation and would not say whether it involves drugs or substance abuse.

With all these things going on in the department, Richmond and Thomason said they want to send a message that no drug or alcohol use will be tolerated in EMS.

While the current EMS contract allows for random drug testing or testing for reasonable suspicion, the union agreed in a rare move to a harder stance and to the idea of having every employee tested.

“I’m trying to promote transparency, accountability,” Thomason said. “My message is that everybody else needs to step up and do the same thing.”

Thomason said he would like to see similar moves in other departments, including police and fire. Both have random drug testing policies for employees.

“We are essential employees, and we need to provide the confidence that we’re going to provide what (the public) needs,” Thomason said.

Richmond said recent events highlight a “pervasive societal problem” involving the illicit use of prescription drugs in this country. He said first responders, such as paramedics and emergency medical technicians, are a high-risk group for such abuse because of the stress involved in their jobs and their access to medication.

In addition, Richmond said, they are less likely to seek help because they fear losing their jobs.

All Metro employees are entitled to help if they admit they have a substance-abuse problem and seek assistance, Richmond said.

Thursday’s drug-test decision draws a line in the sand, he said.

“We’re going to be there to help you, but this has to stop,” Richmond said.

Reporter Jessie Halladay can be reached at (502) 582-4081.

Those incidents led EMS staff to launch an internal investigation and suspend Parvin while Louisville Metro Police investigated the rollover.

During the EMS review, Richmond said, staff learned that Parvin had taken 180 vials of expired medications, including Ativan, morphine and valium, that were meant to be destroyed and kept them at his home. When staff collected them, some of the vials were missing.

The police department’s public integrity unit is now investigating Parvin. Police have declined to comment on the investigation but said that their findings will be turned over to the Jefferson County commonwealth’s attorney’s office for review.

In addition to Parvin’s termination, EMS suspended another employee, Alex Brown, after he was arrested July 16 in an off-duty drunken driving incident that involved a non-injury accident.

A sheriff’s deputy observed Brown driving erratically before the collision, according to the arrest citation. Several drugs were found in his vehicle, and he failed field sobriety tests, the citation said.

Public integrity personnel also are conducting an investigation involving five other EMS employees who have been suspended. Both police and Richmond have declined to talk about the reason for the investigation and would not say whether it involves drugs or substance abuse.

With all these things going on in the department, Richmond and Thomason said they want to send a message that no drug or alcohol use will be tolerated in EMS.

While the current EMS contract allows for random drug testing or testing for reasonable suspicion, the union agreed in a rare move to a harder stance and to the idea of having every employee tested.

“I’m trying to promote transparency, accountability,” Thomason said. “My message is that everybody else needs to step up and do the same thing.”

Thomason said he would like to see similar moves in other departments, including police and fire. Both have random drug testing policies for employees.

“We are essential employees, and we need to provide the confidence that we’re going to provide what (the public) needs,” Thomason said.

Richmond said recent events highlight a “pervasive societal problem” involving the illicit use of prescription drugs in this country. He said first responders, such as paramedics and emergency medical technicians, are a high-risk group for such abuse because of the stress involved in their jobs and their access to medication.

In addition, Richmond said, they are less likely to seek help because they fear losing their jobs.

All Metro employees are entitled to help if they admit they have a substance-abuse problem and seek assistance, Richmond said.

Thursday’s drug-test decision draws a line in the sand, he said.

“We’re going to be there to help you, but this has to stop,” Richmond said.

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Woman arrested in East St. Louis after ambulance crew is attacked

Posted on 13 August 2011 by wyoskibum

EAST ST. LOUIS, MO – Two ambulance workers, who were trying to help a woman who was having trouble breathing, were attacked by the female early Thursday.

The woman, who name wasn’t released, is now sitting in an East St. Louis jail cell facing aggravated battery charges.

The two ambulance workers did not require any medical treatment, Detective Michael Floore said.

MedStar was dispatched to the 1500 block of Wynstanley Avenue at 1:34 a.m. in reference to a 20-year-old woman having trouble breathing, Floore said.

When the ambulance crew arrived, they found the victim laying on the ground,

“They attempted to render aid, but a massive crowd, including family members and friends were standing around,” Floore said.

When the ambulance crew got the victim inside the ambulance, a man who police believe is the victim’s brother got inside the ambulance. The crew told him he had to get back out of the vehicle.

Floore said when the victim noticed the male was no longer in the ambulance with her, she unbuckled her seat belt and attempted to get out of the ambulance. Family members, who were on the outside of the ambulance, were holding the door closed so she couldn’t get out, Floore said.

After the victim realized she couldn’t get out of the ambulance, she started striking a male MedStar employee on the head and in his face. Then, a female MedStar employee opened the side door to allow the victim out.

The victim then scratched the female employee all over her face.

“After the woman got out, the ambulance driver drove just a short ways down the street away from the crowd and called police and a second ambulance,” Floore said.

A MedStar spokesman could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The woman was arrested on suspicion of aggravated battery.

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Second EMS Employee Connected To Improper Drug Possession

Posted on 11 August 2011 by wyoskibum

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Another emergency medical services employee has been suspended without pay, this time after being accused in a drunken driving incident.And on Monday, a top Louisville Metro EMS administrator was fired after it was discovered he took home expired drugs that were supposed to be given to police.

The cases are two separate incidents, but both involve improper possession of prescription medications.Lindsay English, a spokeswoman for Mayor Greg Fischer, said the employees did not work with each other at EMS.According to an arrest citation, a deputy sheriff observed Alex Brown, an EMS employee, driving recklessly near Mellwood and Muncie avenues. He was off duty in his personal vehicle when he was pulled over, police said.The citation reads Brown was “very unsteady on (his) feet, had slurred speech, slow reaction and unresponsive pupils.”During a search of Brown’s vehicle, officers found an unmarked prescription bottle that contained more than 100 pills commonly used as muscle relaxers and to treat anxiety.According to English, Brown was suspended without pay and then took a leave of absence.The incident happened July 16, nearly a week before Roger Parvin was involved in a rollover crash on the Gene Snyder Freeway.At the time, he was a major with EMS.During his crash last month, EMS officials said Parvin was in an EMS car but was not responding to an emergency call.According to Metro EMS director Dr. Neal Richmond, Parvin was also involved in an accident in his neighborhood.Richmond said Parvin knocked out a couple of mailboxes and hit a parked car but never reported the incident.”He could not remember specifically what had happened,” Richmond said.

Parvin later admitted to taking the painkiller Oxycontin without a prescription the weekend before both crashes.Richmond said Parvin was then suspended without pay and an internal investigation began.It was also later learned Parvin failed to dispose of 180 vials of expired painkillers.”There’s a degree of trust involved with all our employees whether they’re using intravenous medications in the field or collecting them in the office. And this was, bottom line, an egregious breach of our trust,” Richmond said.Brown was charged with DUI and prescription with controlled substance in an improper container. He was released on his own recognizance from Metro Corrections and will be back in court next month.Five Metro EMS employees were suspended two weeks ago without pay.Due to an ongoing investigation, English could not comment on the matter

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EMS major fired, being probed by Louisville police

Posted on 11 August 2011 by wyoskibum

LOUISVILL, KY – A Louisville Metro EMS major was fired Monday and is now being investigated by police after it was discovered that he took 180 vials of controlled substances to his home rather than having them destroyed because they were expiring, the agency’s director said.

Roger Parvin, the major in charge of tracking all controlled substances used by Metro EMS, was fired for several policy violations, said Dr. Neal Richmond, director of the emergency medical service.

The Louisville Metro Police public integrity unit, which investigates possible criminal violations of city employees, is also conducting an investigation, said Dwight Mitchell, a police spokesman.

He said that when completed it will be turned over to the commonwealth’s attorney’s office.

Parvin could not be located for comment Monday night.

Richmond said an internal investigation into Parvin began in late July after he was involved in a rollover accident on July 21 on the Gene Snyder Freeway near Interstate 65.

The accident occurred while Parvin was driving a department sports utility vehicle, known as a fly car. Richmond said Parvin was in uniform at the time but was not responding to a run.

After the accident, Parvin was taken to the hospital for treatment, where he was given a drug test, Richmond said, because the circumstances of the accident aroused enough suspension to warrant one under the EMS policy.

That same day, Richmond said, MetroCall got a call from someone reporting that they had seen a Metro EMS vehicle driving erratically in a neighborhood — striking a couple of mailboxes, knocking off the side mirror of the car and then hitting a car in a driveway.

Based on the two accidents, Richmond said Parvin was called in for an interview on July 25 and asked about what had happened and whether or not he had been using drugs.

Richmond said Parvin admitted to having used non-prescribed pain pills the weekend before the accidents, but denied having used any within the 24-hour period before the first accident.

Based on that admission, and the failure to report the erratic-driving accident, Richmond said Parvin was suspended without pay while an investigation was conducted.

During that investigation, Richmond said officials began to look over Parvin’s connection to controlled substances. As part of his job, Parvin was responsible for filling out paperwork that tracks where all controlled substances go and how they are used.

On June 24, Parvin was tasked with taking 180 vials of controlled substances, including ativan, morphine and valium, that had reached their expiration date to the metro police narcotics unit to be destroyed. Once destroyed, police fill out a form for the records, but EMS officials could not find the form, Richmond said.

When questioned about it, Richmond said, Parvin admitted that the drugs were at his home, which is a policy violation.

Richmond said senior staff went to Parvin’s home to collect the drugs, but not all the vials were there. That’s when Richmond contacted the public integrity unit, which continues to investigate.

Richmond said EMS officials will continue to review Parvin’s record with EMS to determine if other violations occurred.

Parvin served on the former Jefferson County EMS and has been with Metro EMS since it began in 2005. He has been a major for at least four years, Richmond said, and in 2008 was honored by the department as supervisor of the year.

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State, city eye more EMT fraud in fire department

Posted on 11 August 2011 by wyoskibum

HAVERHILL, MA — The city is investigating allegations that more firefighters may have falsified records to obtain their emergency medical technician certifications, The Eagle-Tribune has learned.

The new investigation follows much-publicized state and local probes of fraudulent 2008 and 2009 EMT and paramedic training course rosters in which 27 Haverhill firefighters admitted they lied about training to save their jobs.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Health, which oversees certification of EMTs and paramedics, said a matter pertaining to suspect 2006-07 training rosters has been referred to the Attorney General’s office for investigation. The Attorney General’s office had no comment.

When asked, Mayor James J. Fiorentini refused to comment except to say the city is doing its own separate “internal investigation.”

Haverhill city officials refused a formal request from The Eagle-Tribune under the state’s public records law for information, documents and records pertaining to its new investigation.

An e-mail response from City Solicitor William Cox said “it is not the policy of the city to respond to inquiries concerning the existence of an on-going investigation, whether or not such an investigation is in fact being conducted.”

“With that said, we also realize that the Massachusetts Public Records Law requires certain public safety internal affairs investigations to be provided once they are completed and closed,” Cox’s response concludes. “There is no such completed and closed public safety internal affairs investigation involving the subject matter.”

Asked why the city readily provided details and the names of firefighters in the early stages of the 2008-09 EMT recertification investigation, Cox said the city was reacting to information and press releases put out by state officials. Reached on his cellphone, Gregory Robert, president of the Haverhill firefighters union, said he knew nothing about a new investigation of firefighter EMT certifications.

In February, 27 city firefighters accused of lying about their EMT training agreed to admit they engaged in “wrongful conduct” and accept punishment to avoid public disciplinary hearings that could have resulted in their employment being terminated. The firefighters admitted they signed paperwork falsely claiming they had taken refresher courses required by the state to maintain their certifications.

The firefighters agreed to write apology letters, serve unpaid suspensions, work hundreds of hours for free over the next several years, and give up future cash stipends they are paid annually for retaining valid emergency medical technician and paramedic licenses from the state.

Two additional firefighters involved in the case were fired.

Former Haverhill firefighter Jeffrey Given, who facilitated the scam locally, was fired last winter and in June plead guilty in Superior Court to participating in a scheme that allowed other firefighters to lie about their emergency-medical-technician training. Given was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation on the charge of conspiracy to commit Executive Office of Medical Services violations. He was also fined $5,000 on four counts of aiding and abetting the making of false statements in documents submitted to the state.

The other terminated firefighter was Lt. Alexander Fredette. He was the only firefighter who went forward with a hearing on the allegations and declined to admit wrongdoing. He has appealed his firing to the state Civil Service Commission and awaits a hearing.

Julia Hurley, media relations manager for the Public Health Department, said the state’s investigation of fraudulent 2008-09 training rosters, which involved more than 200 Massachusetts firefighters, EMTs and paramedics, is “winding down through the appeal process which occurs at the Division of Administrative Law Appeals.”

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Paramedic On Leave After Homophobic Facebook Post

Posted on 07 August 2011 by wyoskibum

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Nashville Fire Department paramedic is under fire for some heated Facebook posts about gay and lesbian firefighters.

Out and About Newspaper reported that Kevin Kennedy was placed on administrative leave on Thursday after officials were notified he used a homophobic slur on Facebook reading “… (they) need to crawl back into the closet.”

An internal investigation is underway.

A spokesperson for the department said they don’t tolerate hateful statements from anyone and that it goes against what the department stands for.

Depending on the outcome, Kennedy could face discipline up to and including termination.

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