Archive | February, 2012

Ambulance Involved In Fairfield Crash

Posted on 27 February 2012 by wyoskibum

BREMEN, Ohio –


Troopers from the Lancaster post of the Highway Patrol will ticket the driver of a civilian vehicle that disobeyed a stop sign and broadsided a medic unit that was transporting a patient, topping the medic unit over.

The collision took place at State Route 36 and route 664 just north of Bremen.

The impact was reported just before 5 p.m.

Dispatchers say the ambulance involved was operated by Pickaway-Plains out of Circleville.

The patient who was being transported was medflighted for care;  the driver of the ambulance was treated locally and released.  Their injuries were not life-threatening.


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Seven injured after car hits ambulance on way to Chicago shooting

Posted on 27 February 2012 by wyoskibum

CHICAGO –  Seven people, including four children, were injured in a traffic accident Sunday afternoon when an ambulance responding to reports of a fatal drive-by shooting was struck by a car on Chicago’s South Side, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Authorities said the ambulance was on its way to the scene of the shooting — where two teenagers and a 20-year-old man were shot — when it was hit by a car that ran a red light.

Two adults and four children involved in the crash were taken in fair-to-serious condition to Metro South Medical Center in Blue Island and Roseland Community Hospital.

Meanwhile, police said the three victims in the drive-by shooting were walking down the street at around 3:30pm when a white or tan car pulled up and someone inside started shooting.

The 20-year-old, who was shot in the back, was taken to the Advocate Christ Medical Center where he later died.

A 17-year-old boy was taken to the same hospital in serious condition after being shot in the stomach and foot, while a 16-year-old boy was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in serious condition after being shot in the stomach.

Police are investigating the incident, but say that no one has been taken into custody.


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HFD ambulance crashes at Memorial City hospital

Posted on 27 February 2012 by wyoskibum

HOUSTON, TX — A Houston Fire Department ambulance crashed into a pillar at Memorial City Medical Center early Saturday.

It happened around 4:30am at the hospital on Gessner near the Katy Freeway.

Authorities tell us no patients were inside the ambulance at the time and no one was seriously hurt.

There is no word yet on what caused the crash.


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SUV hits Joliet ambulance

Posted on 27 February 2012 by wyoskibum

JOLIET, IL — Police say an unlicensed driver T-boned an ambulance as it made its way to another traffic accident Wednesday.

Two firefighters were responding to a “minor” crash around 3:30 p.m. when their vehicle was struck at McDonough and Joyce Road, Deputy Fire Chief Ray Randich said.

The driver of the SUV, Ruth Gutierrez, 23, hurt her wrist and was taken to Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center for treatment. Neither firefighter nor Gutierrez’s passenger were injured.

Gutierrez was ticketed for failing to reduce speed to avoid and accident, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, driving without a valid license and operating an uninsured vehicle.

The ambulance will be out of service as body repairs are made.


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Paramedic sues ambulance service over profanity

Posted on 27 February 2012 by wyoskibum

PITTSBURGH, PA – A former Lower Valley Ambulance Service paramedic sued that Cheswick-based nonprofit organization Wednesday, saying he was terminated after he complained about a supervisor’s swearing.

Paul S. Newell Jr., of Springdale, said in the complaint that he was hired there in 2006, and is a practicing Christian. His supervisor used “profane speech and expletives that were highly offensive and/or blasphemous,” according to the complaint filed by attorney Joseph H. Chivers.

He complained to the supervisor, then to a higher manager, and was then suspended, the lawsuit said, ostensibly for misprioritizing ambulance calls. He was then fired in May.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court said he suffered discrimination for being a Christian, and retaliation for complaining. It demanded money and an end to discrimination at the ambulance service.

A representative of the ambulance service had no comment.

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Injured Paramedic rescued friends

Posted on 27 February 2012 by wyoskibum

JACKSON, WY – As authorities scrambled to mount a rescue for a downed Teton County Search and Rescue helicopter Feb. 15, one team member was fighting a leg injury as he pulled his companions free of the wreckage.

Fire/EMS Chief Mike Moyer dragged pilot Ken Johnson and volunteer team member Ray Shriver from the mangled Bell 407 airship, sheriff’s office spokesman Capt. Tripp Wilson and National Transportation Safety Board investigator Mike Huhn said Tuesday.

Shriver died as a result of the crash, which was reported just before 2 p.m. He was declared dead at a staging area later that evening.

A photograph of the wreck revealed that the airship was almost completely upside down and severely crushed.

The crash occurred 6.7 miles south of Togwotee Mountain Lodge while the Search and Rescue trio was en route to a reported fatal snowmobile accident.

“He did a fantastic job,” Wilson said of Moyer. “I can’t commend him enough.”

Moyer and Johnson both used crutches to attend Shriver’s memorial service Tuesday. Moyer wore a brace that extended from his ankle to his thigh.

At the time of the crash, Moyer was seated in the back of the helicopter, Johnson and Shriver in front, according to information from Huhn.

Moyer pulled Shriver out first, then Johnson. Shriver was alive when Moyer got him free, Huhn said.

Earlier that week, Shriver had urged his teammates not to whine about their tasks. As he lay dying, the search and rescue veteran stuck to his own advice.

“I hope I’m not whining too much,” the mortally injured Shriver said, a colleague recounted at Shriver’s service Tuesday.

Shriver died of internal injuries, Teton County Coroner Kiley Campbell said.

The three would-be rescuers left Search and Rescue headquarters by helicopter at 12:24 p.m. for the snowmobile mission, Wilson said. The snowmobile accident was approximately 35 air miles from the headquarters. A typical Bell 407 cruises at 150 mph; in theory, it could reach the site in about 15 minutes.

Rescuers later confirmed that snowmobiler Steven Anderson, of Morris, Minn., died of a broken neck after running into a tree.

The three rescuers flew over a group of snowmobilers apparently from the party in distress and landed to determine the accident site, Wilson said. The snowmobilers agreed to ride to the site while the helicopter followed. The two groups proceeded in that fashion.

Radio contact lost

Teton County Dispatch’s last radio contact with the helicopter was just before 1 p.m., Wilson said. Radio and phone communication from the area of the snowmobile accident was on and off, so officials were uncertain about the finer points and times involved in the incident, Wilson said.

The snowmobilers watched the helicopter go over a ridge and disappear in a spin, Wilson said. They heard no crash or explosion and saw no flames or smoke.

That was reflected in a telephone call Wilson said the snowmobilers made at 1:50 p.m. A member of the party reported he had seen the helicopter spin and go down behind thick trees but was unsure whether it crashed or landed.

Whether they reached emergency operators immediately upon seeing the helicopter descend or had to first find phone reception remains uncertain almost a week later. Authorities said they lost radio contact with the helicopter for 45 minutes.

At 2:07 p.m., the dispatch center in Grand Teton National Park received a call from the sheriff’s office.

“Teton Interagency Dispatch Center (TIDC) notified that TCSAR helicopter was out of comms and may have crashed, forest and park begin looking for helicopter to respond,” park dispatch notes read.

At 2:14 p.m., park dispatch notes read, “going bad we have an aircraft down — We are not positive.”

Eight minutes later, park dispatched confirmed two injuries and initiated “unified command with Grand Teton.” At 2:27 p.m. Wilson confirmed with the park that the chopper had crashed, and 13 minutes later park ranger Chris Harder took the helm as incident commander, according to park records.

The medical helicopter from Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center was down due to mechanical problems, so Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, Idaho, was called in, Wilson said.

Officials were scrambling to find someone to fly over or to the site, Wilson said. Civil Air Patrol began to aid the effort with a plane. A Wyoming Game and Fish helicopter was in the Gros Ventre River drainage and was pulled from duties there to look for the crash site, Wilson said.

High Mountain Heli-Skiing made its helicopter, owned by Helicopter Express, available at 3:25 p.m., park records show. At that time it was “going to hanger will meet a medic and fly up,” the park dispatch timeline said.

The first ground responders arrived on snowmobiles at 4:22 p.m., park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said. There were five or six in that group: deputies, snowmobile guides, an EMS responder and perhaps a civilian.

The code for a fatality at the scene came over the dispatch radio at 5:13 p.m., according to park dispatch records. Although rescuers reported a death, they still sought a medical evacuation for the victim.

Deceased evacuated first

The Portneuff helicopter, presumably equipped with a stretcher, “cannot land at the scene,” park dispatch notes state. Rescuers asked that the deceased be evacuated first, even if it meant transporting him in a helicopter seat instead of a stretcher, according to park records.

At 5:36 p.m. the High Mountain helicopter landed at the staging area near Togwotee Lodge, and at 5:38 p.m. pilot Johnson staggered out of the ship with help. Others swarmed to help him to an ambulance.

At about 6 p.m., a second helicopter landed and rescuers, with worry on their faces, carried Shriver to another ambulance. Moyer came out via snowmobile at about 6:30 p.m.

The investigation of what caused the crash is proceeding slowly but surely, Huhn said. Teton County Sheriff Jim Whalen said he thought the tail rotor might have failed.

Late last week, his team retrieved the tail of the helicopter and a few other pieces, a process that was more difficult than expected due to thick trees and high altitude, among other things. The rest likely will remain at Togwotee until Friday due to weather, he said.

Huhn has interviewed Johnson and Moyer, along with the two snowmobilers who called in the crash, and is planning to issue a preliminary factual report later this week.

For local authorities, their part in the crash investigation is over. Wilson is waiting for a report from Search and Rescue leader Doug Meyer.

The aftermath of the accident, and of losing Shriver, remains.

“The mood’s somber, obviously,” Wilson said. “It’s a very close-knit organization. We’ve lost one of our own, so to speak, in a tragic accident, when he was volunteering to help people.”


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Ambulance en route to Newark hospital crashes when struck by car

Posted on 27 February 2012 by wyoskibum

NEWARK, NJ — An ambulance rushing a patient to a Newark hospital slammed head-on into a tree last night after a car hit it as it went through a red light, officials and witnesses said.

The ambulance was crossing William Street on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard around 7:15 p.m. when it was struck, said Stacie Newton, a spokesman for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

The patient being sped to University Hospital was treated and did not suffer further injuries in the accident, Newton said. In addition, the driver and the two other emergency medical technicians on the rig were taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The Rev. Philip Waters, who left the nearby Newark Abbey after hearing the sirens of first responders, said the driver of the car, a late-model BMW, told him he entered the intersection on a green light from William Street.

At about 7:45 p.m. the ambulance was being extricated by a tow truck from a 2-foot-wide tree on the northwest side of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. A black BMW with front-end damage was nearby on another tow truck.

The ambulance driver was briefly trapped in his seat and had to be removed by other emergency workers, who took off the ambulance door, Newton said. The accident is under review by hospital officials.


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Stolen ambulance crashes into business

Posted on 27 February 2012 by wyoskibum

COLUMBUS, Ga. –Columbus police say a psychiatric patient took off with an ambulance, crashing it into a business on 13th Street.

“Landed right in our building,” said Jason Gamache, Owner of PTAP.

Tinting and auto accessory store PTAP is known for having some “tricked out” rides on display in front of the shop on 13th street, but the owner says the scene Monday night was one they could do without.

“Definitely adds another obstacle, a challenge, but we’re ready for it,” said Gamache.

According to police, Johnnie Carter, a 36-year-old hospital patient stole an ambulance from the medical center around 11:45 p.m. and crashed into the auto shop just moments later.

A spokesperson for Mid Georgia Ambulance says the paramedic was tending to a patient outside the vehicle, when Carter broke a window to get behind the wheel.  She says the ambulance was running, which is standard for operation, and the doors were locked.  The next day, workers were out repairing damage to the front showroom.

“We’re not stopping, so this isn’t going to slow us down a bit.  My staff is ready to rock and roll,” said Gamache.

The owner of PTAP says tax season is one of the busiest times of year at the shop and while the accident was unexpected, business is still booming and he has an optimistic outlook.

“My first reaction was hoping that everyone was okay and that nobody was hurt, which was the case so I was very excited to hear that.  Materialistic things are no big deal.  Everything can be replaced, but a life is something that you can’t replace so I was excited that nobody was hurt in the accident,” said Gamache.

Carter, the man who was arrested, faces several charges including aggravated assault, and theft by taking a motor vehicle.  He’s scheduled to appear in Columbus Recorder’s Court Wednesday morning.


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Suspected drunken driver accused of rear-ending ambulance

Posted on 21 February 2012 by wyoskibum

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Schertz police have accused a man of rear-ending an ambulance while driving drunk.

Mario Alberto Torres, 27, was held in the Guadalupe County Jail on one count of accident involving damage to a vehicle greater than $200 and driving while intoxicated. A judge set bail at $4,000.

Torres had brought his car to a complete stop on Interstate 35 near Olympia Parkway around 4:30 a.m. Sunday when a Schertz EMS ambulance passed it, according to a news release.

Torres followed it and sped up as the vehicles approached the Cibolo Creek bridge, rear-ending it and damaging his car, then swerved around the vehicle, the release states. The EMS crew members were uninjured. They lost sight of the car but Schertz police Cpl. A.J. Arriaga spotted it near FM 1103, the release states.

Schertz police spokesman Brad Bailey said it took Arriaga about two miles to stop Torres near Engel Road in Comal County.

“Torres looked half-asleep and was slumped forward in the driver’s seat,” Bailey’s release states, and once Torres got out, he was unsteady and Arriaga noticed he had both urinated and vomited on himself.

He failed field sobriety tests but refused a breathalyzer test, and Schertz does not have a no-refusal policy that could have forced him to submit to a blood draw, in part because the city spans three counties, Bailey said. Drunken driving “will not be tolerated regardless of the county, period,” Schertz Police Chief Don Taylor said, according to the release.

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EMS responders making it work with drug shortage

Posted on 21 February 2012 by wyoskibum

PORTLAND, Maine — Since last summer, emergency medical services (EMS) responders have been working around a shortage of medicines they use all the time in ambulances.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has always had a watch list of medications that could potentially be in short supply.  A couple of years ago that list had 50-75 medications on it.  Now, the list has nearly 300, including medicines paramedics need for traumatic situations.  The cause of this shortage is unclear, making it difficult to find a solution.  Drug manufacturers may be to blame for not producing enough medicine, or it could be a matter of not having enough packaging material to ship the drugs that are available.

“But our paramedics are very well trained in this state,” Dr. Matt Sholl, State of Maine EMS Medical Director, said. “Their scope of practice includes not just using a singular medication with any class of meds.  They are taught about a certain class of medications and we’ve been able to produce educational resources to remind them of the new medicines and train them for the new medicines we’re using.”

You should not hesitate to call 911 if you are in a medical emergency.  Paramedics have backup medications for ones that are in limited supply, and no one’s medical safety will be jeopardized.


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Ambulance Arrives 48 Minutes After 911 Call

Posted on 21 February 2012 by wyoskibum

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Forty Eight minutes after the 9-1-1 call, the ambulance finally showed up.

The call didn’t come from the middle of nowhere. It came from downtown Buffalo in middle of the afternoon Friday. While the person they treated was fine, the delay seems to have raised a few eyebrows.

In the City of Buffalo, one ambulance service, Rural/Metro, responds to all of the calls, averaging about 300 per day.

It was their job to respond to a call from the Erie County Library Friday afternoon. The call went out at 12:55pm. A person was having a seizure at the library. In Buffalo, the fire department also responds to medical emergencies. Firefighters arrived at the library within three minutes at 12:58pm. They treated the patient.

The ambulance did not come until 1:43pm, or a full 48 minutes after the call.

While firefighters are able to provide medical treatment, their training is often limited. Also, they’re not allowed to take a patient to the hospital.

“Eight minutes is the time they’re supposed to respond,” Buffalo Common Council Member David Franczyk said. “And, anything more than eight minutes is a problem. If you add 40 to that eight, it’s a disaster.”

Franczyk is referring to the “industry standard,” which is a response time of eight minutes.

So what happened Friday?

The head of Rural/Metro would not speak to us on camera, but told that, at the time of the call, Rural/Metro was responding to 10 other emergencies in the city. Also, the dispatch office (which is called” ADI”) determined the emergency at the library was not life-threatening, meaning, it did not need to send an emergency crew immediately unless the situation changed.

“If this is a one-time only, it’s a dangerous one-time only,” Franczyk said. “They should do everything in their power to make sure that never happens again. And if there is a pattern of it, that’s scary.”

Rural/Metro says its average response time for emergencies in Buffalo is seven minutes, but acknowledges it has had other “extended calls” like the one on Friday.

Its General Manager Jay Smith sent 2 On Your Side the following statement:

“The call was dispatched by ADI to Rural/Metro as a Basic Life Support (BLS), non-life-threatening incident. Our Buffalo Fire Department partners were on scene within minutes and provided necessary patient care during that time. Based on the priority of the call as assigned by ADI, the response time was prolonged due to multiple life-threatening emergencies happening in the City at the same time. Rural/Metro followed existing protocols based on the patient’s condition, and had ADI elevated the call we would have responded accordingly. We meet with our partners regularly to ensure continuous system performance.”

Had the call been for something life-threatening, Smith said Rural/Metro would have sent one of its emergency paramedic crews immediately, adding it must preserve its limited resources for the most serious calls.

Franczyk said he will ask the city’s Emergency Medical Services Board to look into the company’s response.


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Helicopter crash kills rescuer

Posted on 21 February 2012 by wyoskibum

JACKSON, WYOMING – Update, 10:43 p.m. 02/15/2012 - Teton County Coronor Kiley Campbell identified the rescuer killed Wednesday in a helicopter crash as Ray Shriver, a member of Teton County Search and Rescue for many years.

Presstime post: A Teton County Search and Rescue member was killed Wednesday in a helicopter crash on Togwotee Pass, Coroner Kiley Campbell said.

Campbell would not identify the deceased until family was notified.

The victim was one of three in a county rescue helicopter that was flying to the scene of a reported snowmobile fatality south of Togwotee Mountain Lodge on Wednesday afternoon. Observers saw the aircraft go over a ridge “when it appeared to experience difficulty,” county spokeswoman Charlotte Reynolds said in a statement.

A ground crew on snowmobiles assembled to respond. High Mountain Heli Skiing sent its airship to the emergency with Grand Teton National Park medics, company owner Jon Shick said.

Search and rescue pilot Ken Johnson was one of the survivors who was lifted from the crash scene to a highway staging area by one of three helicopters. He walked from the rescue helicopter limping heavily at about 5:30 p.m.

Another person aided him before more pitched in. He left in a Fremont County ambulance for Jackson.

Grim-faced emergency personnel carried the second victim from a different helicopter to a Grand Teton National Park ambulance at about 6 p.m.

The third person, who was injured, rode out on the back of a snowmobile driven by a rescuer.

Rescuers hoisted him onto a backboard. He was talking and smiling a little and was able to sit up on his own.

The evacuation wrapped up at approximately 6:30 p.m. St. John’s Medical Center was treating the two surviving victims in the emergency room Wednesday night, hospital spokeswoman Karen Connelly said.

Reynolds’ statement said the helicopter made a crash-landing and was out of communication for 45 minutes. Details of the original snowmobile accident were unavailable at press time.

The tail rotor of the crashed helicopter might have failed, Teton County Sheriff Jim Whalen said.

The snowmobile rescue call-out came at approximately 2 p.m, officials said. A Civil Air Patrol craft spotted the downed helicopter at 3:15 p.m.

The site was 6.7 miles south of Togwotee Mountain Lodge. The staging area was a quarter-mile west of the lodge on Highway 26/287, 40 miles northeast of Jackson. The site is located in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

In addition to the High Mountain Heli Skiing airship, one from Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, Idaho, was at the highway staging area.


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Ambulance Rollover Accident On Highway 169

Posted on 15 February 2012 by wyoskibum

TULSA, OK – Tulsa Police are responding to an ambulance that rolled over at 4600 N Highway 169.  Public Information Officer for EMSA, Chris Stevens, has issued a statement that it is NOT an EMSA ambulance.

According to our crews at the scene, the ambulance swerved to miss a hay bale in the roadway. The driver of the ambulance lost control and ended up in a ditch near the 46th street ramp.

The vehicle was transporting one patient at the time.  Both the patient and the medics in the affected ambulance were transported to St. John’s Medical Center in non-critical condition.


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Man tried to kill paramedics by crashing into ambulance

Posted on 15 February 2012 by wyoskibum

REDDING, CA – A Cottonwood man tried to kill two paramedics and an emergency medical technician Saturday night by crashing his truck into the ambulance they occupied outside Mercy Medical Center’s emergency room in Redding, police said.

At 9:21 p.m, officers received a call reporting that someone was ramming a pickup into a parked ambulance near Mercy’s emergency room, said Cpl. Jon Poletski with the Redding Police Department.

When officers arrived at the hospital, they found that a gray 2003 Toyota Tundra had crashed into the ambulance occupied by medical personnel, Poletski said.

Officers determined 26-year-old Joel Michael Haller was the driver of the pickup, Poletski said.

While the incident was being investigated, officers determined Haller intentionally accelerated in the direction of the ambulance with the intention of killing the three men inside it, Poletski said.

“It was totally intentional,” said Sgt. Mike Wood with the Redding Police Department. “There’s no doubt this guy did this on purpose.”

The men in the ambulance were Gregg Franz Herrman, 26, an emergency medical technician from Redding; Drew Alan Barnett, a 29-year-old paramedic from Redding; and Ryan Michael Samuelson, a 35-year-old paramedic from Fortuna, Poletski said.

“It’s just a strange incident,” Wood said. “It doesn’t happen every day…they’re just siting out there and minding their own business…it was definitely intentional, though.”

Both the pickup and ambulance received major damage from the impact, Poletski said.

Haller sustained minor injuries and was treated at Mercy, Poletski said.

Wood said one of the men inside the ambulance got out and helped treat Haller after he tried to kill them.

“They went out and started treating this guy,” he said. “One of them started doing an examination (on Haller).”

He was then booked into Shasta County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail on suspicion of attempted murder.

Wood said an on-call judge was called to enhance Haller’s bail to make sure he isn’t released early.

“The judge elected to go ahead and increase the bail to help keep him in custody, just because of him being a danger to the community,” Wood said.

Herrman was treated for back pain, while Barnett and Samuelson weren’t injured, Poletski said.

Haller also was arrested by Tehama County deputies in November on suspicion of battering a peace officer while deputies conducted a welfare check on him at his Cottonwood home.

Around 7:49 p.m. on Nov. 3, two Tehama County deputies were checking on Haller’s welfare when he threw a rock at them, but missed, according to the Tehama County Sheriff’s Department.

Haller also kicked shut a cruiser door as another deputy was trying to get out of the car, deputies said.


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