Archive | July, 2013

Several people injured in ambulance crash

Posted on 30 July 2013 by wyoskibum

DOUGHERTY COUNTY, GA — The driver of a pick up truck which collided with an ambulance remains in the hospital tonight.

Dougherty County Police says Christopher Barfield is in serious condition at Phoebe Putney hospital. Police say Barfield was driving a pick-up truck near the 1800 block of County Line Road Saturday afternoon when he turned left, in front of a Dougherty County EMS unit that was attempting to pass the truck.

Authorities say Erskin Livingston, who was driving the ambulance and his passenger, Victor Allen suffered minor injuries.  The passenger in the truck was also treated for minor injures.  Police say a 2 month-old and 1 year-old child were also in the truck, they were not injured.

“When you see an emergency vehicle approaching you from the rear the best thing you can do and it’s also in compliance with what the law says, is to go to the right, allow us to go past and it makes it a lot easier on everybody,” said Corporal Ted Wertz with the Dougherty County Police Department.

The ambulance was responding to a traffic crash and had lights and sirens on.

Charges against Barfield for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle are pending.



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Police respond to ambulance, SUV crash

Posted on 27 July 2013 by wyoskibum

INDIANAPOLIS, IA  – Officers responded to an accident on the city’s east side involving an ambulance and an SUV.

The accident happened shortly before 5 p.m. in the area of 16th Street and Shortridge Road.

Officials at the scene said the SUV was eastbound on 16th Street when a Seals ambulance coming out of a health care center failed to yield to the SUV, hitting the SUV head-on.

The driver of the SUV suffered chest pains. Everyone in the ambulance was OK.



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EMS truck collides with Manatee County driver who fails to yeild to an emergency vehicle

Posted on 27 July 2013 by wyoskibum

Manatee County, FL — A Palmetto woman was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries after Florida Highway Patrol troopers say she collided with a EMS ambulance Tuesday morning.

It happened at 17th St W and 1st Avenue around 10a.m.  According to a FHP report, the driver, Mildred Freemon was traveling eastbound on 17th street, when an EMS truck, with lights and sirens on, pulled up behind her attempting to pass.  Freemon reportedly did not move out of the way, so the ambulance attempted to pull around Freemon’s car on the left side.  At that moment Freemon attempted to make a left turn and collided with the emergency vehicle.

Freemon was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.  No one else was injured in the crash. Freemon is charged with “Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle.”



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Ambulance hit while transporting patient in Council Bluffs

Posted on 24 July 2013 by wyoskibum

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA – A Council Bluffs woman was cited after colliding with an ambulance Saturday.

Council Bluffs police reports indicated Sharon Clatterbuck, 74, was driving a 2006 Toyota Camry westbound on West Broadway when she struck a Council Bluffs Fire and Rescue ambulance in the intersection with Sixth Street.

The ambulance driver said the squad was transporting a patient and using emergency lights and sirens. The squad driver said the intersection appeared clear when the vehicle was struck broadside by the Toyota around 11:45 a.m.

Clatterbuck told police she didn’t see or hear the emergency squad approaching the intersection before the collision. Witnesses said they did see the vehicle operating with lights and sirens.

No injuries were reported during the incident. Clatterbuck was cited for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.



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Firefighter, paramedic supervisor die in apparent murder suicide

Posted on 24 July 2013 by wyoskibum

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A county coroner says a firefighter fatally shot a paramedic supervisor at their southern Indiana home and then killed himself in an apparent murder-suicide.

Monroe County Coroner Nicole Meyer said 48-year-old Kelly Emerick and 42-year-old William Roudebush were found dead at the scene of the early Monday shooting just southwest of Bloomington.

Meyer told The Herald-Times ( that Emerick was a paramedic supervisor at IU Health Bloomington Ambulance Service. Meyer said Roudebush was a captain for the Perry-Clear Creek Fire Department and a firefighter for the Ellettsville Fire Department. He also worked at the hospital supervising paramedics.



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NYC 911 Dispatch Fails Three Times in One Day

Posted on 24 July 2013 by wyoskibum

NEW YORK CITY, NY – Part of New York City’s emergency call system stalled three times Monday, forcing call takers and dispatchers to use paper and pencil to take down information.

The system was stalled for a total of 45 minutes Monday, but fire officials said it appeared to be back on track by afternoon.

The giant 911 system is in the process of being upgraded at a total cost of $2 billion, including a new backup center.

The piece that failed Monday was EMS dispatch, a system from the 1980s that’s scheduled to be upgraded in 2015.

There have been glitches in other, newer parts of the system that have prompted criticism.

Fire department workers were running diagnostic tests to determine why the system was having problems.

The city’s 911 system has been plagued with problems in recent weeks, including outages in the first week that it was launched, and accusations that an ambulance was delayed in getting to a 4-year-old girl hit by a car.



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Nude man steals, wrecks ambulance

Posted on 24 July 2013 by wyoskibum

HUNTINGTON, WV — Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Emergency officials say a naked man took a Cabell County Emergency Medical Services ambulance and then crashed into three vehicles along 8th Avenue in Huntington, further complicating the Tri-State traffic woes on Monday.

The man was arrested at the scene and was being processed by the Huntington Police Department, according to Sgt. Vern Casey.

Jail records later identified the suspect as Raymond Lee Spurlock, 40. He was charged with felony grand larceny and misdemeanor leaving the scene of the accident. Bond was $50,000.

Cabell County EMS director Gordon Merry said emergency medical personnel had previously transported the man to St. Mary’s Medical Center for medical treatment and returned to the hospital with another patient, leaving the ambulance in the emergency department parking bay.

“They were walking in with the second patient when the gentleman we initially transported came out and stole the ambulance right out of the bay,” Merry said.

Merry said the man subsequently fled toward 8th Avenue where he crashed the ambulance into three vehicles, causing heavy damage to the ambulance and injuries to those in the other cars. Three people were transported to the hospital, Merry added.

The theft and wreck added insult to injury for Merry, who said Monday’s weather and numerous motor vehicle accidents made for a long day for first responders in Huntington.

“We just couldn’t win,” he offered.



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Ambulance carrying patient hits van

Posted on 24 July 2013 by wyoskibum

DES MOINES, IA – Sixth Street was briefly closed today at Interstate 235 where an ambulance collided with a van.

The Des Moines Fire Department ambulance was carrying a patient to Mercy Medical Center with its lights and sirens activated. The ambulance slowed before entering the intersection against the red light.

The van drove around two stopped vehicles and entered that intersection where it was hit by the ambulance.

No one was injured crash, which occurred at about 1:40 p.m. Another ambulance arrived to take the patient to the hospital.

No citations were issued.


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CT’s ambulance services fragmented, consolidated

Posted on 24 July 2013 by wyoskibum

HARTFORD, CT — In Connecticut’s world of emergency medical services, fragmentation is the name of the game.

It may not surprise many people in the Land of Steady Habits, where cities and towns often operate as their own fiefdoms, but nearly every municipality in the state has its own way of providing emergency medical transport services.

When the half-million or so 911 calls are placed each year by Connecticut residents, just who shows up to provide life-saving support depends on location.

Some cities, like Hartford, outsource ambulance transport services to private companies. In Wallingford, emergency medical transport services are provided in-house by paramedics employed by the town.

For other municipalities, like East Hartford, it’s a mixed bag. They outsource ambulance transport services to a neighboring city, but use in-house paramedics.

The bifurcated system, experts say, is largely a result of an industry still in its infancy. Modern day emergency medical services only dates back to the 1970s, making it one of the youngest — and still developing — public services in existence.

Even still, Connecticut’s hodgepodge approach raises questions about efficiency and cost effectiveness. As cities and towns face continual budget challenges, calls for regionalizing public services continue to grow louder.

“Oftentimes in Connecticut, people want to have their service in their own control,” said Daniel Savelli, operations chief of Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Inc. “But now I think the economic realities are starting to set in. There are a lot of emergency medical services organizations struggling to retain managers and funding to be a leader in public safety and patient care.”

Besides being fragmented, emergency medical service in Connecticut is highly regulated. The state Department of Public Health controls which companies or organizations can provide transport services in each city or town.

As a result, the state also has a heavy influence over the system’s structure.

In Connecticut, emergency medical transport services are provided by various entities including municipal, volunteer, commercial and nonprofit organizations. The structure a city or town chooses rests on many factors including population size, call volume and cost.

In Hartford, for example, ambulance services are outsourced to two private companies: American Medical Response (AMR), which is the largest commercial player in the state, and Aetna Ambulance Service Inc.

That structure didn’t develop by chance, said Andrew Jaffee, the city’s director of emergency services and telecommunications.

During the 1990s AMR was the lead dog in Connecticut controlling nearly 66 percent of the commercial market after buying out many of its competitors. In 1999, however, AMR was forced to give up 40 percent of its Hartford market share after complaints emerged about the company’s longer than average 911 call response times.

Rather than face an antitrust lawsuit from then Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, AMR decided to pare down some of its Connecticut holdings.

Now AMR controls the north end of the city, while Aetna Ambulance Service Inc. operates the south end of Hartford.

Jaffee said outsourcing saves city taxpayers money because they don’t have to foot the bill for ambulance trucks, equipment or staff.

AMR and Aetna pay their own overhead with revenue generated from commercial and government insurers. Just like a hospital or doctor, ambulance companies charge for the medical services they provide.

Reimbursement rates are set by the state. Medicare also reimburses ambulance providers for certain services.

“If the city were to consider providing its own ambulance service, there would be an extremely high upfront cost,” Jaffee said. “Cost is a significant factor.”

Responding to 911 emergencies, however, isn’t necessarily big business. Savelli said smaller, volunteer emergency medical service providers often face financial challenges because they don’t always recover their full reimbursement. Emergency responders must provide transport services even if patients are uninsured and can’t afford to pay.

Private companies, on the other hand, are much larger players in the more lucrative non-emergency transport service segment, where payment is guaranteed upfront, Savelli said. That includes services like transporting patients from a hospital to a rehab center.

“911 calls alone are usually not enough to sustain them,” Savelli said.

Wayne Wright, who is the president and CEO of Hartford’s Aetna Ambulance Service Inc. and Ambulance Service of Manchester, said all ambulance providers are facing financial challenges as a result of declining Medicare reimbursement rates, which are down about 8.6 percent from a few years ago.

Still, that hasn’t stopped his two ambulance companies, which are jointly owned by Hartford Healthcare and Eastern Connecticut Health Network, from experiencing 3 to 6 percent growth in recent years.

Combined, the two companies have a fleet of 48 ambulances and 228 employees, who respond to about 70,000 calls a year. They provide transport services to many Greater Hartford cities and towns including Hartford.

Wright also said that while many cities and towns provide emergency medical services differently, regionalization efforts have increased in the last decade or so, particularly after the consolidation wave that took place in the 1990s, when AMR aggressively bought out smaller ambulance companies in the state.

That shrunk the playing field from about 30 to 10 commercial ambulance companies in the state. It also means cities and towns are more widely sharing services from the same company.

“It has helped with regionalization efforts,” Wright said.

Meanwhile, the Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Inc. handles about 3,600 emergency calls each year. The third-party service provider is an independent entity that receives a $69,000 annual subsidy from the town. They have five full-time paramedics and 11 volunteers, and operate two ambulances during the day, which is peak demand for call volume, Savelli said.

Across the Connecticut River, the East Hartford Fire Department has a staff of about 50 paramedics handling 10,000 emergency calls annually. But the city’s transport services are outsourced to Ambulance Service of Manchester.

East Hartford Fire Chief John Oates said the bifurcated structure has served the city well, keeping response times under five minutes and ensuring higher quality standards. City taxpayers, however, do pay more to cover the cost of employing paramedics. The city fire department’s total budget is $12 million, which includes funding for paramedics.

“We look at it as a fundamental public service and something that we should be doing,” Oates said.



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Teen steals ambulance to avoid going to hospital

Posted on 21 July 2013 by wyoskibum

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A 16-year-old male from Evansville, was arrested early Friday morning after he stole an ambulance from an Indianapolis hospital.

The teen was arrested for auto theft, receiving stolen parts, theft, receiving stole property and criminal mischief.

IMPD officials say he didn’t want to go to a mental health facility, ran away and then took an ambulance that was parked near St. Francis Hospital South. That is near Stop 11 Road and South Emerson Avenue.

The medic unit belonging to Priority One Ambulance was reportedly parked out back of the business and was left running to provide climate control for the narcotics kept on board.

Police put out an alert and were able to track the vehicle down via GPS in the area of East New York Street and North Chester Avenue.

Police say the teen gave up willingly and was taken into custody.

A report says the ambulance suffered damage to the rear and sides.



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Ambulance flips in crash; citizens rush in to help

Posted on 21 July 2013 by wyoskibum

MILTON, FL — A paramedic and an EMT narrowly escaped injury when an ambulance flipped on its side during a motor vehicle accident this morning, prompting quick action from the public, who became the first responders.

Members of the community raced in to help the accident victims and lifted two Lifeguard employees from the ambulance.

One man, 37-year-old Adrian Lopez was working nearby at the Tire Depot when he heard the collision. He says he dropped everything he was doing and ran over to help.

“It’s just what you do,” Lopez said. “Running up, I saw the blue cross on it and knew it was an ambulance.”

He said it took about 30 seconds to sprint over and assess the situation. When he first got to the accident, he saw the ambulance turned on its side. He said they were giving thumbs up and okay signs through the windshield.

“At first, they seemed like they were okay, but I think it may have been shock,” Lopez said. “Once the shock subsided, they just wanted the hell out of the ambulance.”

Lopez said the driver of the ambulance seemed to be more hurt of the two. The driver was buried under various supplies in the emergency vehicle. She was laying hunched. The passenger was hanging, suspended by her seatbelt.

Thirty-seven year old Lopez provided a boost to another man on scene to get on top of the vehicle. It took about a minute to pull the EMS first responders out of the vehicle. Once they were free of the vehicle, Lopez helped the victims down to the ground.

“They didn’t weigh anything,” Lopez said. “I put my arms up and set them down on the ground. They were as light as a feather.”

Lopez said the EMS first responders were more concerned with the other driver and their family. He said the two victims were worried about the woman and four children in the van. The two from Lifeguard Ambulance collapsed on the ground after being rescued from the vehicle.

The woman driving the Green minivan involved in the accident had blood on her face. Four children in the van waited by her side while EMS officials strapped her to a spine board for transport to the hospital.

One man, who wished to remain anonymous, said he felt thankful he had the opportunity to help rescue the victims. He was driving down Highway 90 and saw the wreck. In moments, he was on top of the vehicle with another man removing the two victims.

“Truthfully, they reached up and we pulled them up,” said the man. “The adrenaline was rushing, I was more concerned with getting them out. ”

He said he hoped the victims do well. After he saw the situation was under control, with police, fire and EMS officials on scene, he felt comfortable leaving the scene.

“It kind of felt good to return a favor,” he said. “They do more than for the community than what I’ve done today. The real gratefulness is toward them.”



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Ambulance involved in 3-car crash in Kentwood

Posted on 21 July 2013 by wyoskibum

KENTWOOD, MI — An ambulance on the way to a call was involved in a three-car crash in Kentwood.

An American Medical Response vehicle was traveling south on Broadmoor Avenue SE with its lights and sirens activated when it and a pickup truck driving east on 52nd Street SE collided about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 17.

A third car traveling north on Broadmoor Avenue SE then crashed into the initial collision. An officer with the Kentwood Police Department was on-scene at that time, said Sgt. Stephanie Morningstar.

Everyone involved in the crash walked away unscathed, Morningstar said.

Morningstar did not know what type of call the ambulance was responding to. There were two employees in the vehicle at the time, but no patients.

“Nobody was in the back of the ambulance,” she said. “Thanks goodness they didn’t grab somebody already for the call.”

Police continue to investigate the crash.



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KCK paramedic charged with sex crimes

Posted on 21 July 2013 by wyoskibum


A Kansas City, KS, Fire Department paramedic has been charged with criminal acts, accused of trying to solicit someone he thought was underage.

Timothy Coffin, 47, has been charged in Wyandotte County Court with electronic solicitation of a child, and sexual exploitation of a child.

The first charge alleges that on May 9, 2012 he tried to entice someone he thought was 14 or 15 to engage in sexual acts with him.

Two other counts allege that on Oct. 3, 2012 investigators found him in possession of sexually explicit images of one or more minors.

The charges do not specify whether the accusations surround activity on his home computer, or one at his fire station.

He surrendered himself at the Johnson County Jail on Monday, and was released after posting his $25,000 bond.

Coffin, a paramedic, is currently on unpaid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.

KCTV5 went to Coffin’s home in La Cygne, KS, but got no answer.

His court date is set for July 23.



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2 FHP troopers, paramedic sent to hospital after 3 vehicle crash on I-95 in Fla.

Posted on 17 July 2013 by wyoskibum

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida — A three vehicle crash in West Palm Beach has sent two Florida Highway Patrol troopers and a paramedic to the hospital.

FHP officials said the emergency crews were responding to a prior crash involving two vehicles on Interstate 95 on Sunday night. They closed one lane of traffic. A driver who was merging into another lane lost control and hit three cars. One trooper was hit after getting out of his car, another was injured sitting in his patrol car and a paramedic was struck by debris.

Their injures are not believed to be life-threatening.

The Palm Beach Post ( reports that the driver who lost control was also taken to the hospital as a precaution.

The crash blocked four lanes of the busy interstate, snarling traffic for several hours.



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