Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Shameful Day in EMS

"FDNY EMTs Allegedly Ignore Pregnant Woman in Distress".

This was the headline of the article that arrived in my email box today, from a fellow Emergency Response Team member. I had to read the headline twice, to be sure. A pair of EMTs, on a break from their shift and at a bagel shop, allegedly ignored a pregnant woman who had gone into seizures, and then walked away from the scene without rendering aid.

How could this happen ?

Most people in the EMS industry are in it because they enjoy the work and want to help others. Even though the daily drudgery of papercuts and frequent flyers can wear on one's enthusiasm and cause burnout, all responders and volunteers - no matter how jaded - still understand the duty to act. That duty, spawned from the requirements of the job, and reinforced by one's inner desire to assist others in need, was completely absent from this pair, on this fateful day where a pregnant woman and her unborn child met an untimely death.

Did the EMTs' negligence and refusal to assist contribute to the passing of the patient and her baby ? The investigation, I am certain, will bring that to light. Either way, I am shocked and saddened to learn of the EMTs' blatant disregard for the woman's degenerating condition.

It is a sad and shameful day in EMS, when a responder's coffee and bagel trump the health and well-being of a person in genuine need of assistance.

I hope the prosecutor throws the book at these two. They are a disgrace to the EMS community.

FDNY EMTs Allegedly Ignore Pregnant Woman in Distress]
[FDNY EMT in Woman's Death Asked Dispatcher to Hide Name]


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