Archive | March, 2013

Ambulance Vehicle Involved in I-80 Accident

Posted on 20 March 2013 by wyoskibum

BRADFORD TOWNSHIP, PA – No injuries were reported after a tractor-trailer collided into a Moshannon Valley Emergency Medical Services Ambulance at 12 p.m. Saturday along Interstate 80 westbound in Bradford Township.

According to the Clearfield-based state police, the ambulance vehicle was stopped in the left-hand lane to assist with an earlier accident. Then, a tractor-trailer operated by Paul A. Tolliver, 71, failed to move into the right-hand lane due to the left-hand lane being closed and marked with emergency flares.

Tolliver’s tractor-trailer traveled through the flare pattern and struck the rear of the ambulance vehicle, which was unoccupied at the time. It also struck the left side of a truck tractor driven by Merrill Nutter, 70, as it was passing in the right-hand lane.

Tolliver’s tractor-trailer and the ambulance vehicle came to a rest in the left-hand lane facing west and blocking the lane. Nutter pulled off on the right-hand side of the road a short distance from the scene.

Neither Tolliver nor Nutter was injured as a result of the accident. Both Tolliver’s tractor-trailer and the ambulance vehicle sustained disabling damage. Nutter’s truck tractor had minor damage.

Tolliver will be cited for the accident, state police said.

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Stolen ambulance recovered in East St. Louis; suspect at-large

Posted on 20 March 2013 by wyoskibum

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Authorities have located an ambulance that was stolen outside a St. Louis emergency room early Monday morning.

According to St. Louis Police, an unknown suspect stole a MedStar ambulance parked outside the Barnes-Jewish Hospital emergency room around 3 a.m.

Officials with Med Star say the stolen vehicle was located at College and 15th Street in East St. Louis around 6 a.m. Nothing was reportedly stolen from the vehicle.

Police say the ambulance was parked in the ambulance bay for approximately 10-15 minutes as paramedics rushed in a critical patient into the hopsital for treatment. As the medics were walking back to the vehicle, they saw it pull away.

The emergency vehicle was still running with the keys in the  ignition when it was stolen. Officials say it is standard procedure to leave the ambulance running but with the ‘lockout’ function engaged. This function allows medics to take the key out of the ingnition while still leaving the vehicle running.

Med Star Operations Manager John Nowak says it’s rare that a paramedic would leave the key in the inginiton.

Police say the vehicle was mostly used to ‘get home’ and no damage to the truck is noticeable.

Detectives have a few suspects they are investigating, although no arrests have been made.

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Ambulance collides with truck

Posted on 20 March 2013 by wyoskibum

BAXTER, MN — An ambulance, traveling with lights and sirens, collided with a pickup truck at the Highway 371/210 intersection in Baxter Saturday.

The crash was reported at 1:56 p.m. Saturday. The ambulance was traveling west on Highway 210. The truck was traveling south on Highway 371. The Minnesota State Patrol reported the truck was in the intersection when the ambulance hit it broadside, the Minnesota State Patrol reported.

The ambulance was not carrying a patient.

Joseph Wagner, 58, Pequot Lakes, was driving the Ford pickup. Wagner was taken to Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, but his condition was not documented in the state report. A passenger in his vehicle, Jacquelyn Paine, 53, Pequot Lakes, was not reported injured.

The ambulance crew included driver, Robert Jesse, 55, Pine River, who was not reported injured, and Jason Gangloff, 28, of Montgomery, whose condition was not documented in the report.

The Baxter Police Department and Crow Wing County Sheriff’s office assisted at the scene.

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3 people injured in crash with Shelby Township ambulance

Posted on 20 March 2013 by wyoskibum

DETROIT, MI – Three people—including two fire personal— were injured in an accident involving a Shelby Township ambulance this afternoon.

The ambulance and a pickup truck collided at the intersection of Schoenherr at 23 Mile today around 2 p.m., and the driver of the truck was also injured, Shelby Township police Lt. Michael Coady.

All three people were transported to a hospital with injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening, police said.

“The ambulance was responding to a call for service at the time of the crash,” he said. “There were no patients on board.”

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor, police said.

The ambulance was leaking fuel delaying cleanup but the intersection has now been reopened, Coady said.

No additional details, including how the crash happened, were available.

Anybody who saw the accident is asked to call police at 586-731-2121.

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No second chance granted to Jasper County paramedic

Posted on 20 March 2013 by wyoskibum

COLUMBIA, SC — A Jasper County paramedic received no lenience from the state health board Thursday.

Heather Shuman of Ridgeland had appealed to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control board to let her contest state regulators’ suspension of her Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic certificate.

Shuman was arrested in January by DHEC’s Bureau of Drug Control for using “misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge” to obtain a controlled substance.

State records say she had documented wasting two vials of Atavin in the presence of a nurse. But a quality control check determined that the nurse had not witnessed the wasting, and her signature had been forged.

In her appeal, Shuman said the charges are unfounded and she expects them to be dismissed. A message left at the phone number associated with the address listed on her correspondence was not returned.

“The medication that I supposedly acquired was placed into a biohazard container to be disposed of by the hospital,” she wrote to regulators on Feb. 13.

“I have been certified as an EMT since March of 2004, and I have an excellent record throughout that time. I pose absolutely no threat to the public or my patients.”

She also argued that she has not been convicted.

Steve Lanford, executive director of the S.C. Emergency Medical Services Association, declined to comment on Shuman’s case without having all of the particulars.

“I will state unequivocally, that the administering or handling of any controlled substance by an EMT in South Carolina is considered a very serious responsibility that is understood by all paramedics that are certified,” he said in an email.

But while the DHEC board Thursday refused to hear Shuman’s appeal, the panel took the opposite position in 2011 regarding former Bluffton firefighter Bob Pairman.

Despite the opportunity, Pairman did not show up for the hearing.

His issue did not revolve around controlled substances. DHEC staff had denied Pairman’s re-certification, based on a pending felony charges, stemming from an arrest for arson and ill treatment of animals.

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Medic struck by car in Lancaster

Posted on 20 March 2013 by wyoskibum

LANCASTER — A medic, Thomas Patzkowski, 20, working for Mid-Ohio Ambulance was struck by a car while helping get a patient out of an ambulance, police said.

Police said a 2001 Honda CRV, driven by Lavanda Saxourlee, 84, lost control and struck the medic and the ambulance. The medic was taken to an area hospital, and the driver was being checked out. No one else was injured.

The crash was shortly before 3 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of Homestead Care and Rehabilitation Center, 1900 E. Main St., Lancaster.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Five injured in crash involving Moorestown ambulance

Posted on 20 March 2013 by wyoskibum

MOORESTOWN, NJ — Three EMT’s, a patient and another driver were all injured in a crash involving an ambulance in Moorestown on Thursday night.

Police said the crash involving a Moorestown ambulance and a second vehicle occurred around 7:25 p.m. on Kings Highway at Foxwood Drive.

Three EMT’s and a patient in the ambulance were transported to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, police said. The driver of the second vehicle was transported to Virtua Hospital in Mount Holly.

None of the injuries were reported to be life threatening, police said.

An initial press release concerning the crash included no other details of the incident.

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Man drives off in parked, idling ambulance

Posted on 15 March 2013 by wyoskibum

WARREN (AP) — Authorities say a parked ambulance with its engine running proved too hard to resist for a 31-year-old Detroit-area man.

The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens reported that the ambulance crew left the keys in the ignition Feb. 28 while going into a home improvement store in Warren, north of Detroit.

When the crew returned and saw the vehicle was missing, the theft was reported to a company dispatcher who used GPS to help police track it. Officers stopped the rig a few miles away, but had to break a window to arrest the driver.

Lukasz Piatek of Sterling Heights faces a preliminary hearing Thursday on auto theft and drunken driving charges.

The Associated Press left a message Wednesday seeking comment from Piatek’s attorney.

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Police investigate crash involving ambulance

Posted on 15 March 2013 by wyoskibum

ROCHESTER, NY – Three people were hospitalized Thursday following a two-vehicle crash in northeast Rochester that involved an ambulance.

A Rural/Metro ambulance service sport utility vehicle, also known as a fly car, was involved in a crash with a van just before 11:30 a.m. at Hudson Avenue and Avenue D, said Rural/Metro spokeswoman LaShay Harris. The fly car was en route to an emergency call when the crash occurred, she said.

It was initially reported that people were trapped inside the ambulance. Two Rural/Metro employees and one person from the van were all taken to Strong Memorial Hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, she said.

Rochester police are investigating and closed the intersection to motorists.

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Ambulance crashes while transporting patient

Posted on 15 March 2013 by wyoskibum

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) — An ambulance in the middle of transporting a patient to the hospital collided with a car, leaving five people injured, including paramedics and that patient.

The Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue truck rolled over on its side and slid several feet after colliding with a Volkswagen Jetta at the intersection of Davie Boulevard and Southwest 15th Avenue, about 10 minutes before noon Wednesday.

Colleagues from FTL Fire Rescue responded to the scene minutes later.

Jan Catala saw the accident happen. “[The] fire truck was coming, lights and siren, and this car came out of nowhere,” she said. “She was coming from the street, but you could hear the fire trucks coming from a distance, so I don’t know. She couldn’t hear them coming? I don’t understand.”

Ashley Bedter, another witness, offered, “The bridge was up. There was traffic everywhere, so I guess she didn’t see the fire rescue.”

Five people, including two firefighters and the another civilian riding along with the patient inside the ambulance, as well as the driver of the Jetta, were taken to Broward Health Medical Center.

The patient was originally being transported for chest pains.
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3 hurt when ambulance, car collide on Highway 6

Posted on 15 March 2013 by wyoskibum

HOUSTON — Three people were taken to the hospital after a major traffic accident involving an ambulance in northwest Harris County Wednesday afternoon.

The accident occurred around 1:30 p.m. on Highway 6 at Keith Harrow.

Officials said the ambulance with the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department was responding to a call and heading north on Highway 6 when a white car turned in front of it.

The ambulance had its lights on, according to authorities.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said they do not believe the ambulance crew members are at fault.

The paramedics inside the ambulance were taken to Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. They’re believed to be listed in stable condition.

The driver of the car was also transported to the hospital. Officials say he’s listed in critical condition.

The collision shut down the stretch of highway for about two hours.

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Paramedic accused of stealing pain medicine

Posted on 15 March 2013 by wyoskibum

ST. PETERSBURG, FL — Police arrested a Bayfront Medical Center paramedic they said stole nearly 30 vials of pain medicine over the weekend.

Brian Whitney Cote, 32, of St. Petersburg took 19 vials of hydromorphone and nine vials of morphine during two trips to the hospital Saturday and Sunday, authorities said.

On one of those occasions, Cote swiped the drugs — worth $2,100 — while holding his infant daughter in his arms, police said.

Cote was arrested Monday on a charge of grand theft and released from jail Tuesday afternoon after he posted $2,000 bail.

Police spokesman Mike Puetz said Cote told investigators he has a drug habit and “needs help.”

Cote wasn’t supposed to be at the hospital — because officials there were conducting an internal investigation related to possible “improper procedures relating to medical narcotics and possible theft,” a police report said.

The police report says Cote used his access badge to enter the hospital both days.

Once inside, he used his identification number to take the drugs, which was reflected in the hospital’s record system.

Surveillance video showed him at the hospital at the time of the thefts, officials said.

Bayfront spokeswoman Emily Nipps said the hospital put Cote on administrative leave late last week. She said Cote kept his badge.

“We don’t automatically take away their badge access. It’s on a case-by-case basis,” she said. “This all happened in a very short window.”

Nipps said Cote got a job at Bayfront in August on an as-needed basis. He became a full-time paramedic Feb. 17.

“He will be terminated,” Nipps said.

Cote could not be reached for comment.

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Paramedic’s case against town officials dismissed

Posted on 15 March 2013 by wyoskibum

BERLIN, MD — A Worcester County Circuit Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Berlin officials by one of the town’s former paramedics for the second time.

Judge David B. Mitchell granted a motion to dismiss the case filed by former Emergency Medical Services supervisor Norris Phillip Donohoe Jr., who claimed he was wrongfully fired.

“We’re pleased with the outcome,” said Kevin Karpinski, the lawyer representing the town officials. “We always felt the town had acted appropriately.”­

Donohoe served as a paid paramedic in the Berlin Fire Company for 23 years until he was fired last year after the town received complaints about ongoing harassment within the department.­

Donohoe first filed a lawsuit against the town in July 2012, but Mitchell granted a motion to dismiss filed by the town, citing concerns about governmental immunity. Donohoe’s attorney Robin Cockey filed an amended complaint, identifying the town officials — Mayor Gee Williams, Berlin’s five council members and Town Administrator Tony Carson — individually instead of as a group.

On March 5, Mitchell again granted a motion to dismiss the case, Karpinksi said, on the basis of governmental and legislative immunity.

When asked for comment, Cockey said Donohoe would file an appeal with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

“He believes the town has dealt him a gross injustice,” Cockey wrote in an email, “and he will ultimately prevail.”

Donohoe’s EMS position with the fire company was terminated last spring. He said in court records that he was shocked to learn he’d been fired, as he’d never been the subject of any infractions or disciplinary complaints during his decades of service.

Donohoe also claimed the town administration wanted him terminated, but the fire company leadership did not.

Under a 2009 agreement between the town and fire company, EMS professionals were made leased employees of the town so they would be eligible for benefits.

“(The) mayor and council coerced the fire department to effectuate that termination by threatening to cut all of (the) mayor and council’s funding to the fire department if it continued to employ Mr. Donohoe,” the complaint said.

In August, the mayor and council did cut nearly $600,000 in funding to the fire company. At the time of that budget move, Williams said town officials had been informed in February of the alleged harassment of some EMS employees by their peers, as well as fire company volunteers.

Although Donohoe was subsequently terminated and fire company volunteers went through anti-harassment training, town officials were still — according to Williams — receiving complaints of harassment in August.

Funding has not yet been restored to the BFC, although the town’s attorney has been in communication with the fire company’s attorney to request specific financial documentation, which Williams has described as the first step in the reconciliation process.

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Warrington ambulance worker accused of stealing $643K

Posted on 15 March 2013 by wyoskibum

WARRINGTON, Pa. – March 12, 2013 (WPVI) – Police say a secretary for a Bucks County ambulance company stole from the nonprofit, allegedly to support a gambling habit

According to investigators, Danette Lewchick stole $643,000 from the Warrington Community Ambulance service over the past four years.

They say she gambled away much of it at Parx Casino and another casino in Bethlehem.Lewchick was the ambulance company’s financial secretary.

The company gets its money from a tax, and from contributions.

Investigators say it went out the door almost as fast as it came in.

Last July, Lewchick allegedly took $82,000 in just two weeks.

Warrington residents are outraged.

“You put these people in a position where they have authority and they take advantage of it. It’s a shame there’s not more oversight,” resident Larry Magala said.

Lewchick turned herself in yesterday and was slapped with multiple charges.

She left the court in handcuffs, unable to make the $25,000 bail.

Action News went to her home on a golf course today where her husband Kenneth came to the door.

He would only say he had nothing to say.

Records show Lewchick has a history of money troubles.

A few years before she was hired by the ambulance company, she filed for bankruptcy with more than $400,000 in debt, including $40,000 owed to casinos.

Her stepdaughter, Jennifer Lewchick, heads the ambulance company’s board of directors.

The ambulance company referred us to its lawyer for comment.

She says Lewchick had prior bookkeeping experience before she was hired and says the rescue squad continues to provide quality service.

Residents who contribute to the squad are having second thoughts.

“I don’t mind helping them out, but she was certainly helping herself out,” resident Greg Seaman said.

This is the second time in 7 years that an employee of the squad has been arrested for embezzling.

If convicted, Lewchick faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.

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