Archive | October, 2012

Funeral planned for Dillon paramedic killed in Latta crash

Posted on 27 October 2012 by wyoskibum

DILLON, S.C. — A long-time Dillon County EMT — who was the first ever paramedic for Dillon — will be laid to rest on Saturday.

Services for Floyd Martin “Buddy” Altman will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at East Dillon Baptist Church with burial in Greenlawn Cemetery.

According to the SC Highway Patrol, Altman, 59, died in a wreck around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday on Hwy 917 west of Burke Road, just outside of Latta.

Trooper Sonny Collins said the driver of a 1990 Chevrolet S-10 pickup crossed the center line and collided head-on with a 2011 Toyota SUV.

Visitation will be held 7-9 p.m. Friday at Cooper Funeral Home.

Altman was a member of East Dillon Baptist Church where he was the assistant Sunday School Director for 14 years, he was employed by the Dillon County EMS, and was Dillon’s first Paramedic. He also worked for Taylor’s Auto Parts.

Altman was a member and past president of Latta Rescue Squad, according to his obituary.

“Buddy loved his wife, children, grandchildren, and golf,” his obituary said.

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Memphis Driver Shoots At Ambulance On Interstate In Road Rage

Posted on 27 October 2012 by wyoskibum

MEMPHIS, TN – In a bizarre story of Memphis road rage, a male driver reportedly shot gunfire at an ambulance on a stretch of I-240 in South Memphis possibly because the man believed the ambulance had cut him off.

WREG reports that Allen Wilkerson, owner of Eagle Medical Service (EMS), claims that his two medical technicians, who both have small children, are “shaken up” after a man in a green Ford Taurus fired gunshots at them on the interstate.

While driving from downtown east on I-240, the EMTs noticed the green Ford Taurus swerving in and out of lanes so they attempted to make way for him.

The attempt apparently failed because the driver of the Taurus pulled up alongside the driver’s side of the ambulance and angrily gestured something.

Trying to apologize in case they cut him off, Wilkerson says one EMT shrugged his shoulders, throwing his hands up to attempt to say ‘sorry.’

Again, an apparent failed attempt, as the driver, by this point, threw his finger up, said, ‘just a moment,’ reached down and pulled out a black, automatic pistol which he pointed at the driver.

By this time, the driver of the ambulance sped up and changed lanes to try to avoid him, but the driver of the Taurus sped up as well alongside the passenger’s side this time and was able to fire off one gunshot at the ambulance before exiting the interstate onto South Parkway.

Reportedly, the EMS medical technicians had just dropped off a patient and were on their way to pick up another when the incident happened.

Fortunately the ambulance wasn’t hit and they weren’t transporting a patient.

If a patient would have been in the ambulance on oxygen, the bullet could have hit the oxygen tank, with compressed gases and caused an explosion, expressed Wilkerson.

The incident left Wilkerson wondering “Why would someone want to shoot at an ambulance? We’re the good guys.”

At the time of press, police had not found a suspect.

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St. Pete woman accused of stealing from ambulance company

Posted on 27 October 2012 by wyoskibum

TAMPA BAY, FL – A woman was arrested this week after confronted with evidence she stole about $52,000 from the company contracted to provide ambulance services for Pinellas County, authorities said.

Meghan Anne Zewen, 37, of St. Petersburg, turned herself into the county jail Tuesday on a charge of grand theft.

Zewen, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said, has been stealing for years from Paramedics Plus, which operates under the name Sunstar.

Detectives said she falsified information related to her own and others’ health benefit accounts and used it to get cash.

“We take this very seriously,” said Debbie Vass, chief administrative officer for Paramedics Plus, who stressed that no taxpayer dollars were lost. “The county, our patients, our employees didn’t lose any money associated with this situation.”

Zewen was hired as the human resources service coordinator there in May 2009.

“She reportedly began this diverting of funds shortly after she started working there,” said Marianne Pasha, a sheriff’s spokeswoman. “Once confronted with the information recently, she admitted doing it.”

Company officials first discovered the missing money during an audit in September, officials said. Zewen was fired that same month, and company officials asked the Sheriff’s Office’s economic crimes unit to investigate.

According to an arrest affidavit, detectives discovered the following about Zewen’s scheme:

*At various times during her employment, she halted payroll deductions for her health care premiums while still getting benefits.

*She entered her husband as an employee of the company when he was not, then opened a health service account for him with company funds. She later drew money from the account via a debit card.

*She put extra money into several employees’ health service accounts, then convinced them it was a mistake and that to fix it they should withdraw the cash with a debit card and give it to her to return to the company account. She kept the cash.

Detectives believe Zewen used the money to pay bills.

“There also may be an alleged substance abuse issue as well,” Pasha said.

Vass said she wants the community to know the theft “didn’t impact any quality care service that we provide.”

“Employees always come up with new ways to steal money from companies,” she said. “We’ve reviewed and improved our internal processes.”

Records show Zewen was released late Wednesday from the Pinellas County Jail on her own recognizance.

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Ambulance crash in Rockville Centre injures five

Posted on 27 October 2012 by wyoskibum

Garden City, NY – Five people were injured Monday night when a Rockville Centre Fire Department ambulance was involved in a three-vehicle collision as it was on its way to another accident.

The ambulance was en route to an auto accident at the intersection of Peninsula Boulevard and Lakeview Avenue at 6:40 p.m. when it collided with two other vehicles at the intersection of Maine and Center avenues.

Among the injured were the crew of the ambulance. None of the injuries were life-threatening, according to Inspector Glenn Quinn of the RVCPD. The victims were brought to hospitals for further treatment.

The intersection of Maine and Center was closed to traffic for more than an hour while the police removed the vehicles from the scene.

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Miami Fire Rescue ambulance crashes into car

Posted on 24 October 2012 by wyoskibum

MIAMI, FL - A Miami Fire Rescue ambulance transporting a patient collided with another vehicle Tuesday, according to authorities.

Miami Fire-Rescue said the accident happened at the intersection of Southwest 12th Street and 12th Court.

The ambulance, carrying one patient and three paramedics, stopped at the intersection with the emergency lights on, but no siren.

The ambulance continued rolling into the intersection, crashing into a Honda.

Two additional ambulances were requested to respond to the accident, officials said.

The driver of the Honda, an elderly man, was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The patient who was originally being transported in the ambulance with non-life threatening injuries, was not injured in the crash. None of the paramedics were injured either.

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Antioch Rescue Squad fined $15,000 for state violations of EMS Act

Posted on 24 October 2012 by wyoskibum

The Antioch Rescue Squad has been fined $15,000 by the state for allowing members unauthorized access to prescription medication and for staffing ambulances with unqualified personnel, state officials said Tuesday.

The fines were imposed by the Illinois Department of Public Health on Oct. 15 and are violations of the Emergency Medical Services Act, said Melaney Arnold, an IDPH spokeswoman.

The rescue squad received three violations of $5,000 each, but can request a hearing to contest the findings and fines, Arnold said. The fines stem from an IDPH investigation into the squad conducted earlier this year.

ARS Chief Wayne Sobczak and attorney Martin Lapointe did not return multiple phone calls seeking comment about the penalties.

ARS President Steve Smouse said he had not heard about the fines and could not comment on the issue.

According to the formal letter issued by the state, the rescue squad was fined twice for allowing its members unauthorized access to prescription medication and not reporting the unprofessional and unethical conduct, and once for staffing ambulances with unqualified personnel during emergency transports.

According to the violation notice, squad members were able to access prescription doses of Lasix and Benadryl and put the drugs into the drinks of unsuspecting crew members, a clear violation of the EMS Act.

In addition, members were using prescription-only IV solutions on each other for training and other nonmedical or emergency purposes, the letter stated.

The rescue squad was also fined for staffing ambulances with basic life support personnel only, and not advanced life support technicians as required by law.

The fines follow a scathing letter issued to the Antioch Rescue Squad by the public health department in September.

In that letter, squad members were accused of various forms of misconduct, including arriving for their shifts shortly after consuming alcohol, not reporting the use of medications such as IVs and Lasix, and for agitating patients in order to justify the use of restraining devices.

In addition, the letter stated the rescue squad lacked management systems, personnel files and formal codes of conduct.

Since that letter was received, the Antioch Rescue Squad has sent a plan of correction to the state and is working toward addressing those issues.

Among the changes are restructuring the board of directors, instituting a medication inventory and adding codes of conduct for squad members.

Word of the fines comes just days after Antioch Police arrested ARS treasurer John Edgell on criminal charges of theft for allegedly stealing more than $12,000 from the rescue squad.

Edgell, who also served as an Antioch Township trustee before resigning in August, remains free after posting 10 percent of his $2,000 bond.

If found guilty of the charges filed against him, Edgell could spend up seven years in prison and be fined up to $25,000.

Smouse said he was “heartbroken” to hear about the charges filed against Edgell.

“He was a trusted friend of mine for years,” Smouse said. “This was a betrayal. It was just terrible.”

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Former Beverly-Edgewater Park Ambulance chief pleads guilty to stealing funds

Posted on 24 October 2012 by wyoskibum

MOUNT HOLLY, NJ — The former chief of the Beverly-Edgewater Park Ambulance Squad pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing funds from the department by giving himself an unauthorized salary increase of nearly $5,000, according to Burlington County Prosecutor Robert D. Bernardi.

James J. Daly, 42, a former Edgewater Park mayor and the 2011 Edgewater Park Citizen of the Year, admitted in Superior Court that he illegally received the funds between July and October 2011.

He became chief of the squad in 2004.

Daly had initially been charged with giving himself an unauthorized $15,000 pay raise, and stealing hundreds of dollars more from his organization.

In exchange for pleading guilty, Daly will receive probation, forfeit his emergency medical technician license and be ineligible to again hold public office in New Jersey. He must also make restitution in the amount of $4,792.

Superior Court Judge Martin Herman has scheduled the sentencing for Dec. 11.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Daly was able to orchestrate the theft because due to his taking responsibility of overseeing the squad’s finances after the organization’s treasurer became ill in May 2011, in addition to being chief.

The investigation was conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit.

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Ambulance Taken For Joyride In Rapid City

Posted on 24 October 2012 by wyoskibum

RAPID CITY, SD -Paramedics with the Rapid City Fire Department faced an unexpected challenge over the weekend when their ambulance was stolen during a call, and this isn’t the first time it’s happened.

Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary when firefighter-paramedics responded to a call Saturday night.

“A standard call, person requesting medical assistance inside the residence.  We park as close as we can to that location,” firefighter-paramedic Brett Johnson said.

But when Johnson walked out of the patient’s home, he was shocked to see his ambulance driving away.

“It took a little bit just to set in.  I thought maybe it was one of our additional crew members helping to reposition the ambulance for better loading of the patient.  But as it continued away from the scene, I realized that was not the case,” Johnson said.

Even though it was recovered just a few blocks from the scene where it was taken, paramedics had to request another ambulance, adding time to their call.

“Had this been a more serious call for the fire department, this could have really jeopardized patient care for us and our ability to load that patient quickly and get them to the hospital,” Rapid City Fire Department Fire Chief Mike Maltaverne said.

It’s the second time this has happened since 2008.  And although the department keeps drugs and other equipment in ambulances under lock and key, officials say locking the vehicle while on calls just isn’t realistic.

“If we send a crew member outside to get a piece of equipment and somebody inside has the keys, it’s going to make us less efficient,” Maltaverne said.

The fire chief says the department is looking into ways to stop future thefts, but says incidents like this are rare.

“When you’re talking 10,000 to 11,000 calls per year and this only happens once every five to seven to eight years, it is a rare occurrence.  Nonetheless, it’s very alarming to us,” Maltaverne said.

Witnesses were able to help police identify a suspect in the theft.  26-year old Mike Johnston was arrested for DUI and unauthorized use of a vehicle and is free on a $300 bond.

Fully stocked, an ambulance is worth around $250,000.

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Four injured after accident involving ambulance

Posted on 24 October 2012 by wyoskibum

PENSACOLA, FL – An accident involving an ambulance left four people injured Monday morning in Century.

The accident occurred around 8 a.m. on U.S. 29, south of State Road 4 as Brenda Matthews, 32, of Cantonment, who was driving the ambulance, responded to an emergency call, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. At the time of the call, she was in the parking lot of Whataburger on U.S. 29.

Matthews, who was driving with passenger Gary Straughn, 48, of Pace, activated the emergency lights and sirens and exited the parking lot onto U.S. 29. As she attempted to cross over the northbound lanes in order to turn left, Matthews did not see Barney Cash, 80, of Century who was approaching in his SUV. Fifty-three-year-old Clifton Underwood, Jr. was a passenger in the SUV. Matthews collided with Cash’s vehicle, according to the FHP.

Matthews and Straughn suffered minor injuries and were taken to Sacred Heart Hospital. Cash, who also suffered minor injuries, was treated at Jay Hospital.

Underwood was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital where he was listed in serious condition.

Matthews was at fault for not giving Cash the opportunity to safely stop or pass by, according to the FHP, however, she was not cited.

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Ambulance, pickup truck crash in Helena

Posted on 24 October 2012 by wyoskibum

HELENA, MT – No serious injuries were reported Sunday when a Meagher County ambulance tried to make a left turn from the middle lane on Prospect Avenue in Helena and hit a small black truck.

The two people in the truck, who are both from Helena, were taken to St. Peter’s Hospital for what’s described as non-life threatening injuries.

The ambulance, from White Sulphur Springs, had been in Helena transferring a patient to St. Peter’s Hospital.

The driver of the ambulance was cited for improper lane changing while the driver of the truck was cited for not wearing a seatbelt.

The truck had to be towed away, while the ambulance suffered only minor damage and was able to be driven back to Meagher County.

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Four Injured In Ambulance Crash

Posted on 24 October 2012 by wyoskibum

WALNUT HILL, FL – The accident happened about 8:15 a.m. when an Escambia County EMS unit received an emergency call to Century Care Center while in the parking lot of the Whataburger on North Century Boulevard, just south of East Highway 4.

Ambulance driver Brenda Matthews, age 32 of Cantonment, activated the emergency lights and sirens on the ambulance and stopped at the stop sign while exiting the parking lot onto Highway 29, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Traffic in the northbound lanes stopped to allow the ambulance to proceed. Matthews did not see a 2004 Chevrolet SUV and begin to cross over the northbound lanes to turn south, with the front of the ambulance colliding with the side of the SUV.

Matthews was at fault in the crash, according to the FFHP, because the SUV driver had not been given the opportunity to observe the ambulance and safely stop or continue. She was not cited, according to a FHP release.

Matthews and the other ambulance crew member, 48-year old Gary Straughn of Pace, were transported to Sacred Heart Hospital with minor injuries.

The driver of the SUV, 80-year old Barney Cash of Century, was transported by ambulance to Jay Hospital with minor injuries. His passenger, 53-year old Clifton Underwood, Jr. of Century, was airlifted by LifeFlight to Sacred Heart Hospital in serious condition.

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Driver Of Medic Involved In Fatal West Jefferson Crash Had No License

Posted on 24 October 2012 by wyoskibum

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Bureau of Motor vehicles says the firefighter who was driving the ambulance that was involved in a fatal, head-on crash in Madison County on Sept. 18 was driving without a license.

The BMV tells NBC4 Todd J. Picken, 31, a firefighter for the Jefferson Township Fire Department in West Jefferson, failed to complete the necessary requirements to reinstate his suspended license and did not have a valid license at the time of the crash.

Picken had his license suspended on Jul. 2, 2011.

According to court documents, Picken was granted temporary permission to drive to and from work, to the doctor’s office, and to court ordered programs while under suspension.

The BMV says the suspension expired on Jul. 1, at which time a 12-point suspension was instated on his license and all driving privileges were lost.

Picken was required to complete a remedial course and a driver examination, which he completed on Sept. 23 and Oct. 11, according to the BMV.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges, including not having an operator’s license.

Picken was not at fault in the crash, according to police.

The crash occurred on state Route 142 just north of U.S. Route 40.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 53-year-old Marcia “Jody” Frederick, of West Jefferson, was driving a black Ford Expedition when she veered left of center and crashed into a Jefferson Township ambulance that Picken was driving.

Frederick was pronounced dead at the scene. She was a 15-year veteran Columbus police officer who was on medical leave for treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Officials said they believe Frederick had a seizure while driving.

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2 Dayton police officers hurt in crash with ambulance

Posted on 24 October 2012 by wyoskibum

RIVERSIDE, Ohio —

Two Dayton police officers were injured Friday afternoon in a crash on Brandt Pike that involved their cruiser and a private ambulance.

According to a preliminary investigation, the officer who was driving was at fault, Lt. Andrew Booher said.

The medics in the ambulance were not injured, he said.

The police officers, whose names were not released, were returning to Dayton after dropping off a witness, Booher said, when traffic ahead of their cruiser in the 2000 block of Brandt Pike stopped suddenly.

At that point, the officer at the wheel hit the brakes and veered away to avoid rear-ending a vehicle but veered into the path of the oncoming ambulance, and clipped its front end, Booher said.

The crash happened just before 5 p.m. Friday.

The officers were taken to Miami Valley Hospital, one of whom required stitches to the right eyelid, the lieutenant said. The injuries to the other officer were not described.

Considerable damage was done to the cruiser, Booher said, and it will be checked as part of the investigation to make sure its brakes and steering systems were in good working order.

A light rain was falling when the crash happened, and oil residue on the streets that made for slick conditions were both factors in the crash Booher said.

Because the crash happened inside Riverside city limits, Riverside police will take the lead in the investigation, according to Booher.

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Two injured in ambulance crash

Posted on 19 October 2012 by wyoskibum

DUBUQUE, IA – Two people were injured Wednesday when the ambulance they were in lost control on a curve and crashed about three miles east of Dubuque, Iowa in Grant County, authorities reported.

The injuries were not considered serious, and the patient the ambulance was taking to the hospital was transferred to a second ambulance to continue on, according to a news release from the Grant County Sheriff’s Department.

The Hazel Green EMS was called at 12:38 p.m. to go to a residence for a person who had collapsed.

“While en route to the hospital, the driver lost control of the ambulance on a sharp curve on Rock Cut Road and went into the ditch on the east side of the road, the ambulance tipping onto its side,” the release said.

Driver Ryan Fields, 25, and EMT Julie Nies, 51, suffered minor injuries and were taken to Mercy Hospital in Dubuque by the Hazel Green EMS alternate ambulance.

The unidentified patient in the back of the ambulance was transferred to a Dickeyville EMS ambulance and taken to Finley Hospital in Dubuque.

The crash remains under investigation.

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