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Fla. man arrested for punching medic at ER

Friday, March 6, 2015  The Bradenton Herald

BRADENTON, Fla. — A Bradenton man was charged with battery on an emergency medical care provider, after he punched a paramedic at Blake Medical Center's emergency room, according to the Bradenton Police Department.

Michael L. Arthur, 31, was arrested at 7 p.m. Sunday at Blake Medical Center, 2020 59th St. W., Bradenton. According to a report, an ambulance had just transported Arthur to the hospital when he hit a paramedic in the mouth.

The victim's lip suffered swelling, police said.

Arthur was being held in Manatee County jail on $2,500 bond, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office website. 

   


 

Driver in crash sues ambulance driver, New Kensington - Pennsylvania

Friday, March 6, 2015  By Liz Hayes

The victim of a March 2013 vehicle accident involving a New Kensington ambulance has sued the city and the ambulance driver. 

Dana E. Stiller of Penn Hills recently filed the suit in Westmoreland County Court alleging negligence on the part of New Kensington Ambulance Service driver Cheree Grillo, 39, of Lower Burrell during the March 4 crash in Harrison. 

Harrison police said the ambulance did not have its emergency lights activated when Grillo attempted to turn left from Freeport Road onto Alabama Avenue and steered into the path of Stiller's oncoming pickup. 

The intersection has a left-turn lane that offers a green arrow, then permits left turns on a steady green light as long as drivers yield to oncoming traffic. 

Police said the signal was on a steady green light, not a green arrow, when Grillo turned. 

Police said paramedic Amie Shank and a patient were aboard the ambulance, which was on its way to Allegheny Valley Hospital. Everyone involved suffered at least minor injuries, and both vehicles were totaled, police said at the time of the crash. 

Neither driver was charged, according to court documents. 

In the lawsuit, Stiller says he suffered a concussion, a strained neck and back, an injured right hand and various other pains, bruises and abrasions. He claims to be permanently disfigured, to have suffered from post-traumatic symptoms and to have experienced financial difficulties because of the accident. 

His wife, Joanne M. Stiller, is named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit; she claims financial damages as well as the deprivation of her husband's companionship and assistance. 

The Stillers ask Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. to find Grillo negligent for driving at an “excessive and dangerous rate of speed,” not yielding the right of way to Stiller and not using emergency lights, sirens, a horn or any other signal to warn Stiller. 

Grillo and the City of New Kensington are named as defendants; the ambulance service is not named in the suit. 

Grillo could not be reached for comment late Wednesday afternoon, nor could a supervisor for the ambulance company. 

New Kensington City Clerk Dennis Scarpiniti said the city is named in the suit because it provides the automobile insurance for the ambulance service and, as a result, technically owns the ambulances. 

Scarpiniti said the insurance arrangement was put in place when the company was a volunteer organization; the same arrangement applies to fire department vehicles. 

Now that it's a paid ambulance service, the city is working with the ambulance company to remove the service's equipment from the city's insurance. 

City officials said Grillo is not a city employee, as is claimed in the lawsuit. 

Scarpiniti and Mayor Tom Guzzo declined to comment on the claims made in the lawsuit. 

Scarpiniti said the city's insurance company has hired attorneys Christian D. Marquis and April L. Cressler to defend the city and Grillo.





   


 

Chaotic incident that killed Pa. medic described by witnesses

Friday, March 6, 2015  By Ron Musselman
The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Eric Sager of Boswell and Joe Tavalsky of Johnstown were eyewitnesses to Monday’s trio of accidents that ultimately claimed the life of West End Ambulance Service paramedic Janice Livingston.

Upper Yoder Township police Chief Walter Howell said a state police official told him on Tuesday the reconstruction of the accident could take up to two months.

But Tavalsky and Sager said they recall vividly the series of crashes that ended with a coal truck striking and killing Livingston.

Sager was on the scene from the outset. He had plowed snow into the wee hours of the morning on Monday and was on his way home.

His gray dump truck was behind a southbound school bus that had stopped to pick up children on an icy part of Route 271 at Fender Lane in Upper Yoder Township.

A white FedEx truck came sliding down the small grade and slid into the southbound lane, Sager said, but it didn’t hit anything. He said there still was enough room for the bus to go around the FedEx truck and proceed.

“As soon as the bus pulled out, I let my foot off the gas pedal, and saw a blue Jeep come around the bend, out of control,” Sager said on Tuesday.

“I knew right there that there was no way that vehicle was going to slow down. It smashed into back of the FedEx truck and pushed it into the back of a black pickup truck.”

The black pickup was driven by Tavalsky.

“The Jeep went up along the guardrail and eventually came to rest,” Sager said. “It was in pretty bad shape.”

Sager said the young man who had been driving the Jeep got out of the vehicle and retreated to a nearby van across the street.

As Sager was calling 911 to report the accident, which he said involved no serious injuries, Tavalsky was searching for his insurance card.

“I pulled up 60 or 70 yards and got out and started to walk back to exchange information,” he said. “At that point, I saw a light tan-colored car come screaming around the corner and it crashed into the telephone pole.”

The impact of the second crash sheared the telephone pole in half.

The top part of it came to rest on the hood of the FedEx truck.

“I had just gotten off the phone with 911 from the first accident and within 30 seconds there was another one,” Sager said. “Not only did the car snap the pole, there were sparks flying, wires were down and everyone at the scene was in a panic mode.

“I called 911 again and this time I said there was another accident with a definite injury and possible entrapment.”

A police officer, a fire rescue truck and two ambulances eventually arrived on the scene. Livingston was in one of the ambulances.

“They got the lady out of the car that hit the pole,” Sager said.

“She was covered in blood and they put her in an ambulance and left.”

As Sager made his way toward the northbound side of the road and entered a nearby yard, Tavalsky moved his car out of the northbound lane.

They said that’s when a coal truck came around the curve and slammed into Livingston.

She was pronounced dead at 10:35 a.m. on Monday by Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski.

“When you look up and see a 20-ton coal truck coming straight at you and it is out of control and going about 40 mph, all you can do is scream at the top of your lungs and take off running,” Sager said.

“The nearby homeowner who had put her girl on the bus was running, but the snow was so deep. It was up to her knees.

“I was running toward her house, too. The cop scampered across the road and the firefighter went toward his truck, which was parked on the road. The paramedic was trying to run. ...”

Livingston had been on the scene for about 10 minutes with the West End Ambulance Service unit, according to Sager.

Even after the coal truck hit her, the road remained open to traffic.

“Cars were still coming around the corner. ... ” Sager said.

He added: “In fact, another coal truck came around the same curve after the third accident and it got stopped, but it had to back up the hill and then turn around to go the other way.”

Tavalsky said:“I still can’t understand why no one was stopping traffic after the (tan car) hit the pole. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if someone had.”

Sager and Tavalsky both said they gave statements to Upper Yoder Township police.

Sager, who owns Vinco Pizza at 2755 William Penn Ave., Johns-town, said he plans to donate 10 percent of his sales Wednesday to the Livingston family.

Tavalsky said he grew up in the West End of Johnstown and said he knew Livingston and her family.

“She lived a few houses down from my sister,” he said. “And my dad is in his 70s and she would give him his flu shots.

“It’s just such a terrible situation, a terrible sequence of events.” 

   


 

Medical helicopter forced to land after duck collision - Kentucky

Friday, March 6, 2015  By Don Wilkins
Messenger-Inquirer

OWENSBORO, Ky.— A medical helicopter carrying a patient was forced to make an emergency landing in Calhoun on Monday night.

According to Shelly Schneider, public relations specialist for Air Evac Lifeteam, a duck crashed through the helicopter's windshield about 9:41 p.m. while in flight.

She added that four people — the pilot, a paramedic, a nurse and a patient — were on board the aircraft when the collision occurred.

"The helicopter picked up the patient at Baptist Health in Madisonville and it was on its way to Louisville," said Schneider, who didn't know which hospital in Louisville the patient was bound for.

The duck entered through the left side of the windshield, which was where the patient was positioned on a stretcher.

From there, the pilot was able to land the medical helicopter in the rear parking lot of Muster Funeral Home in Calhoun.

According to Sheriff Ken Frizzell, McLean County EMS stayed with the patient until a second medical helicopter arrived to complete the transfer.

"The other helicopter landed at McLean County High School," Frizzell said.

On Tuesday morning, Dennis Roberts, a mechanic for Air Evac Lifeteam, was at the site inspecting the damage. Feathers and remnants of the duck were visible in the rear passenger area of the helicopter.

Roberts said the company was likely going to haul the helicopter back to its base in Marion for repairs.

Schneider said she couldn't release any names or the condition of the patient being transported due to HIPAA regulations.

"I wouldn't say (hitting ducks) is common, but it does happen," Schneider said. "The pilot did what he was trained to do and avoided injury to everyone on board." 

   


 

Ambulance involved in crash on North Michigan Road - Indiana

Friday, March 6, 2015  An ambulance was involved in a crash with another vehicle shortly before 6:30 a.m. Thursday in the 6100 block of North Michigan Road.

Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services Unit 30 responded to a childbirth run in the 6200 block of Michigan road and picked up the patient. As it was leaving, the ambulance was hit by another vehicle.

The ambulance requested assistance from Pike Township Fire and an engine an ambulance responded. The second ambulance transported the patient to the hospital.

Unit 30 stayed at the scene for reports.

No injuries were reported.

This story will be updated as more details become available. 

   


 

Ambulance crashes into pole in Sleepy Hollow - New York

Thursday, March 5, 2015  Alex Taylor, artaylor@lohud.com

An ambulance crashed head-on into a utility pole in Sleepy Hollow on Wednesday, blocking traffic on Route 9.

An ambulance from SeniorCare Emergency Medical Services hit a pole around 2:15 p.m. across from Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. It was unclear if anyone was injured in the accident.

Sleepy Hollow police said Route 9 was closed in both directions between Merlin Ave. and Palmer Ave.

The pole was cracked and the ambulance seriously damaged. A stretcher was seen hanging out the back door of the vehicle as its horn blared in short bursts of three.

Matt Spilane contributed to this report 

   


 

Crash puts ambulance out of commission - Mississippi

Thursday, March 5, 2015  One of the Oxford Fire Department's ambulances is going to be out of commission for an estimated three weeks following a crash Tuesday morning.

According to Fire Chief Pete Scholz, the ambulance was eastbound on W. Drahner Rd., near Glaspie Rd., when it struck a pickup truck pulling a trailer that "turned right in front of" the emergency vehicle.

The pickup was sitting on the shoulder of the road (south side) when it pulled out to make a left-turn into a driveway on the north side of W. Drahner Rd., the chief said.

Neither driver was injured. The ambulance was not transporting a patient.

Scholz reported the ambulance sustained "quite a bit of damage" to its front end and suspension system.

"It will be out of service for a while," he said. "Probably about three weeks."

The department owns three other ambulances, unfortunately, one of them is currently being serviced, so the agency is down to two units. However, when needed, Oxford relies on mutual aid from neighboring fire departments to handle medical calls.

At the time of the crash, Scholz said the ambulance's lights and siren were activated because it was responding to a house fire at 20 Ensley St. in the village.

The fire had began on a stovetop, then spread to a cupboard and ceiling above it, according to the chief. Firefighters were able to knock it down right away.

Scholz estimated the home probably suffered approximately $25,000 in damage. 

   


 

Ambulance Side-Swipes Vehicle At Johnson Christian Village - Indiana

Thursday, March 5, 2015  (BEDFORD) - An IU Health Hospital ambulance side-swiped a parked vehicle when it went to pick up a patient at Johnson Christian Village Monday.

According to a Lawrence County Police report, 46-year-old Michael Potter of Bedford was driving the 2014 Chevrolet ambulance and had responded to a call at Johnson Christian Village on State Road 158 around 9 a.m. to pick up a patient when the accident happened.

According to police, because of the snow, Potter didn't have much room to maneuver the ambulance in the parking lot and that is when he side-swiped a parked 2004 Dodge Durango.

No one was inside the SUV when the accident happened and no one was injured in the ambulance. 

   


 

Car crash victim points gun at medic, then kills himself - Missouri

Thursday, March 5, 2015  ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — A man involved in a car crash pointed a gun at a paramedic responding to the scene, fired a shot, and was found dead in his vehicle after police arrived.

Paramedics from St. Charles County Ambulance District were dispatched Sunday around 7:45 p.m. to a motor vehicle crash on Highway 61, according to a press release from the service.

Battalion Chief Jeremy Hollrah was in the area of the crash and the first responder on the scene. He saw several vehicles pulled to the side of the road, and a black pickup truck off the roadway, resting at an odd angle on the edge of a wooded area alongside the road.

Witnesses told Hollrah the driver of the truck had exited the vehicle. As Hollrah approached the driver got back into his truck, and appeared to searching for something. Hollrah asked him several times to exit the vehicle; the driver did not comply, then pointed a gun at  the paramedic. Hollrah backed away and the driver fired a shot.

Unsure who the shot had been fired at, Hollrah and other paramedics and firefighters who had arrived on the scene and were treating other patients involved in the accident ushered the patients and bystanders to safety behind parked vehicles.

Wentzville police arrived shortly after, and discovered the man in the truck died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“The circumstances surrounding this incident bring a stark reality into focus – the fact that even the most seemingly routine of calls have the potential to become dangerous for emergency responders, said St. Charles County Ambulance District Chief Taz Meyer, “We’re thankful that our Battalion Chief, paramedics and [fire and law enforcement] colleagues on-scene were not harmed in this tragic incident, and applaud their actions in getting patients and bystanders to safety.” 

   


 

Wayne County ambulance overturns in Snow Hill - North Carolina

Thursday, March 5, 2015  An EMT and a paramedic suffered non-life-threatening injuries when their ambulance crashed on a busy highway this morning.

According to the Snow Hill Fire Department, a WayneNET (non-emergency transport) ambulance had just finished transporting a patient to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville and was making its way back to Wayne County around 8:20 a.m.

Troopers tell us the ambulance was traveling southwest on Highway 258 when it ran off the road, struck a ditch, and overturned. The vehicle ended up in the roadway of Newell Road at the intersection of Highway 258.

The passenger and driver both were transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

The vehicle was significantly damaged.

Highway 258 was shut down for roughly 30 minutes, while Newell Road was closed for about 2 hours. All roads have since been re-opened.

Troopers say the driver will be drug tested which is policy for his employer when a wreck occurs.

No charges have been filed at this time. 

   


 

Car crash with ambulance sends two people to the hospital in Paterson - New Jersey

Thursday, March 5, 2015  By Stephanie Dazio

PATERSON — A car crash involving a city ambulance and a car sent two people to the hospital Tuesday but their injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Deputy Fire Chief Frank Calamita said the police department is investigating who hit whom in the accident.

The two people taken to the hospital were in the car, he said.

The crash occurred around 8:45 a.m. at East Haledon Avenue and North Main Street, Calamita said.

Email: dazio@northjersey.com 

   


 

County Ambulance Strikes Pedestrians after Sliding on Ice in Silver Spring - Maryland

Thursday, March 5, 2015  BY ANDREW METCALF
A Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services ambulance slid down a hill on a Silver Spring road and struck two people, including a woman who was injured after she slipped on ice and fell.

Fire services spokesman Pete Piringer said the ambulance was responding to a call about an injured woman around 8 p.m. Tuesday night when the ambulance lost traction on ice at the bottom of Cameron Hill Court and hit the woman and a male neighbor at low speed.

The man, who was assisting the woman, was able to jump out of the way, but was still brushed by the ambulance, according to Piringer, while the woman suffered a more serious leg injury. Piringer said the paramedics immediately treated both victims and called for help from additional units, which left their vehicles at the top of the hill. Both the man and woman were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“Fortunately, the injuries were not serious,” Piringer said. He said the townhouse neighborhood had not treated the brick sidewalks or the road at the time of the incident, leading to slick surfaces. The neighborhood is off of Ramsey Avenue in downtown Silver Spring, not far from the Discovery Communications headquarters.

The paramedics were not injured in the collision, Piringer said.

The incident happened during what became a wild night for firefighters as a light rain coupled with low temperatures created icy conditions around the county. Piringer said firefighters responded to a high percentage of calls between 5 and 8 p.m. from people who had fallen on ice. Conditions in Burtonsville were so icy that the Route 29 bridge over Route 198 had to be closed around 10 p.m. due to several wrecks on the road.  

 

   


 

Colleagues mourn Pa. medic struck by coal truck at crash scene

Thursday, March 5, 2015  By Ron Musselman
The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — The flag was flying at half-staff Monday afternoon and a black sash hung from the West End Ambulance Service building in Johnstown.

It was in remembrance of 38-year-old paramedic Janice Livingston, who was killed earlier in the day when she was struck by a coal truck while assisting at an accident scene in Upper Yoder Township.

Livingston died in the last of a sequence of three crashes that took place on an icy part of Route 271 near Fender Lane in Upper Yoder Township.

“It seems as if there was a school bus loading some children on and because of the icy roadway there was an additional fender-bender,” Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski said. “Then after that, another car came down and took out a telephone pole, which caused the telephone pole to fall onto the FedEx truck.

“During the work they were doing on the scene, a coal bucket came down on the icy roadway and basically plowed through the emergency scene, hitting one of the emergency people.”

Kwiatkowski said the time of death was 10:35 a.m. and the cause was multiple traumatic injuries.

Livingston’s friends offered their condolences on her Facebook page.

  • “Rest in Peace. May God hold your family in the palm of His hand,” Nancy Smith Gilbert wrote.
  • “My dear friend, working with you was a blast. I have many, many fond memories of our time together. you made me laugh and cry. I will miss you dearly. your smile could light the world. We did have great times that will live on. I love you, and will miss you. Thanks for everything,” Denny Crossen wrote.
  • “No words can express, so heartbroken. I'll never forget some of our times together. My thoughts and prayers are with your family in this difficult time. RIP, Jan,” Caula Rolley-Barley wrote.
  • “Well girl I have no idea what to say or think ... I always loved working with you. Watch over all of us will you ... One last thing ... Thanks for giving the ultimate sacrifice!” Derek Crook said.
West End Ambulance Service, located at 175 Garfield St., Johnstown, posted a message on its Facebook page:

“As many of you know we lost one of our own today. The outpouring of support from friends, family and colleagues has been overwhelming. Yes we lost a friend and a coworker but out of respect for the family that lost a mother, a daughter and a sister, we ask that you respect their privacy at this time.”

The Windber Fire Department also posted a statement of support:

“Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathy go out to all those effected by this terrible tragedy. We ask that you keep West End EMS, the employees, the friends, and the family of the fallen in your thoughts and prayers as well,” the message read.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but there will be a noon news conference on Tuesday at the West End Ambulance Service building.

“It’s tough.” Kwiatkowski said. “These (people) are out in all kinds of weather responding to accidents. Being a firefighter for years, you never know what’s going to happen when you are on scene.”

 

   


 

Mooresville Man Accused of Assaulting Officer & Paramedic - North Carolina

Tuesday, March 3, 2015  28-year-old Jamar Reshon Howard of Colonial Ridge Circle in Mooresville was arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, assault on emergency personnel and resisting a public officer.

On February 27, Sheriff’s Officers stopped a Pontiac Sunfire driven by Howard on North Broad Street in Mooresville for a traffic violation. While speaking to Howard, the Officer noticed him gripping a clear plastic bag in his hand. When questioned about the bag, Howard reached under the seat with his other hand. At that time a physical altercation ensued between the Officer and the suspect.

Other units arrived to assist as Howard continued to resist arrest. A taser was eventually used to bring Howard under control. During the struggle, Howard dropped a bag of cocaine in the parking lot. Officers later learned that Howard had ingested another bag of cocaine during the traffic stop. While E.M.S. attempted to treat him, Howard assaulted a paramedic, spraining the female paramedic’s hand. 

Howard was transported to Lake Norman Regional Medical Center for an evaluation and then taken to the Iredell County Detention Center. He was jailed under a $7,000 secured bond. District Court appearances were scheduled for March 6 and March 27.

Howard was already out on bond for damage to personal property and resisting arrest. He is a convicted felon with a prior history of drug possession. 

   


 

Paramedic Killed At Scene Of Multiple Vehicle Crashes - Pennsylvania

Tuesday, March 3, 2015  JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) – A paramedic who responded to vehicle crashes on a western Pennsylvania highway has been struck and killed at the scene by a coal truck.

Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski says the female paramedic from West End Ambulance Services in Johnstown was killed Monday on Route 271.

Emergency crews say there were at least three separate crashes, apparently related to icy conditions, on the highway in Upper Yoder Township. The township borders Johnstown, about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh.

The paramedic was responding to one of the crashes when she was reportedly hit by the truck, which also crashed as it drove toward the other crash scenes.

The series of crashes were reported late Monday morning.

Calls to the ambulance service were not immediately answered.

A state police accident reconstructionist was being called to the scene. 

   


 
 
 

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