Wednesday, January 15, 2014

EMT Provides Statement to HVWire Amid National Scandal

You may remember the recent story of the Ellenville, NY EMT who was supposedly "fired for saving a little girl's life." In truth, he was not actually fired, but suspended, and chose to resign from the EMS squad with whom he had been serving at the time of the incident in question. The details of the event are hotly debated.

He contacted our page tonight, and we agreed to publish his statement on the matter. This is the PM we received from him tonight:

Stephen Sawyer
  • Dec 28, 2013

    Ok well here is my only input on this entire incident. After this it’s OVER. There is a problem with staffing the END.

    The day of the call, I was provided information which played a major factor of how I made my decisions.

    A call was dispatched, a paramedic was responding to and shortly after a second call which was a critical call as well was dispatched. A total of 3 members were at the station. 1 being a driver and 2 EMTs. I (1 of the EMTs) was advised by a member that another driver was en route to the station to drive. Prior to any units responding, discussion with the members made sense that the first patient was going to receive care at an advanced life support level shortly however, the second critical patient has not been seen yet, so the EMT and driver responded to the second call since from information provided reported that another driver was close by. To me both patients got quick medical care. Unfortunately due to being provide with the wrong information there was actually no driver coming. After exhausting all of my options I did what I do anytime I WORK as an EMT and drove the ambulance. Yes I knew for a fact the second I got in the rig that I was about to break rules. I responded to the call myself (after approximately 15 mins) and transported the patient with the paramedic. The second ambulance was still tied up being within eyes view of the nearest hospital. The paramedic and I did exactly what we do when we work for a commercial agency and transported the patient. The ambulance was returned without any issues and that was the end of the call.

    People may have made different decisions that day however, due to the information provided to me that’s what I did and I don’t really care what you would have done because there is no changing it. BOTH critical patients received immediate medical attention. If the patient from the second call didn’t have an ambulance right away that patient would have suffered just as long.
    Long story short everyone, Ellenville Rescue has members that are properly trained and work as EMTs for commercial services. I am not the only one who works as an EMT that isn’t 21 yet! During the day as many in this area know staffing is an issue. FIX THE ISSUE! No patient should have to suffer longer because of people not preparing for it. There are many ways of fixing the problem.

    1) Pay an EMT during the day to ride in an ambulance with the paramedic. We already pay paramedics which was a start of fixing the problem.
    2) Modify the policy so that people who drive hundreds of miles in an ambulance at their job can drive as a volunteer and help the patient quicker regardless of age.
    3) Contract an agency to provided EMTs 3-5 days a week during the day. This is starting to happen in the county.

    These are just thoughts in fixing the problem. We are all volunteer. Every fire department and rescue squad in this area is run by volunteers who are the real heroes. They put in their own time, use their own fuel, spend their own money in buying extra gear that may keep them safer, and leave their families to respond to calls at all hours of the day and night. I did simply what any person would have done. Both patients got the attention and we all went home safe.