EMT suspended for breaking rules to get suffering boy to hospital resigns

An emergency medical technician in upstate New York took emergency action to save a young boy’s life – and ended up without his job for his pains.

According to the Times Herald-Record in Ellenville, N.Y., 20-year-old Stephen Sawyer was suspended by the board of the Ellenville First Aid and Rescue Squad for getting behind the wheel of a rescue company ambulance and taking the boy to a hospital for treatment.

emtsuspended1231newFire company rules say ambulance drivers must be 21.

According to the Times Herald-Record, the incident occurred Dec. 11 when a woman called the rescue squad because her son was suffering a seizure. A paramedic who responded notified Sawyer, who was at the headquarters, that the boy needed an ambulance.

Sawyer was unable to find another rescue company with an ambulance available so he decided to take matters into his own hands. As an ambulance driver for another private rescue company, he felt qualified to break the rules to get make the five-mile drive to get the boy to the hospital.

The drive occurred without further problems and the boy was later transferred to a regional medical center, according to the Times Herald-Record.

But controversy followed. The newspaper reported that Sawyer was called by a captain of the company later that night to ask about the incident. At a meeting on Monday, Dec. 16, the rescue company’s board voted to suspend Sawyer for 60 days.

Sawyer quit in disgust.

“I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night or go to school knowing there’s a four-year-old suffering,” he said, according to the Times Herald-Record.

Board member John Gavaris, a captain with the Ellenville First Aid and Rescue Squad and a town councilman in a neighboring town, said the squad’s rules are similar to those of other rescue squads in the region – and aren’t dictated by insurance policies.

Requiring drivers to be 21 simply ensures that drivers are experienced enough to be trusted in life-saving situations, Gavaris said. Experience driving for other ambulance companies doesn’t necessarily count, Gavaris told the Times Herald-Record.

Gavaris also told the Daily Freeman that the situation was more complicated than Sawyer portrayed it, and said the 20-has been punished in the past for protocol violations. He declined to go into detail about Sawyer’s previous disciplinary problems, citing advice from an attorney, the Daily Freeman reported.

“This is the type of story that the public doesn’t need to be told,” Gavaris said, according to the Times Record-Herald. “There’s no value in this story other than shock value and gossip.”

Sawyer, not surprisingly, disagrees.

“As far as policy wise, the guys and girls on the board need to rethink their policies for the good of the community,” he told the Times Herald-Record. “People shouldn’t have to suffer over policy.”

H/T: Daily Mail

 

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

Comments

151 thoughts on “EMT suspended for breaking rules to get suffering boy to hospital resigns

  1. LTsiao says:

    So, a young boy’s life is to be left in danger to preserve a rule? Young men younger than this one fight and die at 18. We can trust them to keep us safe far from home but not to drive when no one else is available? Seems priorities need to be reevaluated.
    Preserve the “spirit” of the rule but he should not be punished for violating it if it was a life saving move.

  2. JHorvathJr says:

    I am aghast, Mr Smith, that I find myself applauding your post.

  3. lildebrarae says:

    No good deed goes unpunished.

  4. AFSarge says:

    Another clear case of explosive annul/cranial inversion. At 17 I was taught self aid and buddy care in basic training. At 18 I was trusted enough to work on multibillion dollar aircraft and nuclear weapons and still do and this guy at age 20 can’t be responsible enough to make a critical life decision involving a child? All because of some rule stating that a 21 Y/O is more responsible to drive! This stinks of some lame liberal union rule book and someone got their panties in a bind because they were on brake and no one else under a cretin age is allowed to drive their precious ambulance.
    New York is one of those heavily unionized liberal politicking blood sucking wastelands like most of the East Coast and by God the rules, procedures, palm greasing and back stabbing will be followed, even if someone must die! This is obvious by the jackass John Gavaris’s statement that Sawyer ” has been punished in the past for protocol violations”. Another liberal tactic of making people look away from the real problem by throwing someone under the bus trying to make them out to be the bad person. Then He declined to go into detail about Sawyer’s previous disciplinary problems, citing advice from an attorney. In other words, Gavaris can see if they dig any deeper he and the system are in big trouble. Then there are his other statements, “This is the type of story that the public doesn’t need to be told.” and “There’s no value in this story other than shock value and gossip.” Yep, he is a honed back stabbing, butt kissing liberal politician using magician tricks so you do not see what is really going on behind the curtain. If there were any other serious disciplinary actions on Sawyer, they would have been made public to back up Gavaris’s claim. Or, more than likely, the “citing advice from an attorney” is his attorney’s way of telling him to plead the 5th and keep his mouth shut because it will show all the dirty deeds, palm greasing and other things going on behind closed doors. After all cockroaches can’t stand the light being shined on them!

  5. Kriegar says:

    “Gavaris also told the Daily Freeman that the situation was more complicated than Sawyer portrayed it, and said the 20-has been punished in the past for protocol violations.”

    OF COURSE! Any of that would be relevant, how, even if true? I don’t care about them pissing their pants over some arbitrary protocol. What I care about is that a 4 year old received the medical care that he needed.

  6. Montesquieu says:

    In part, escapist fantasies regarding the utopian lifestyle of the mythical noble savage motivate people to chase illusions such as socialism, communism, and the welfare state.

  7. lraivala says:

    Reminds me of what HHS Secretary K. Sebilius said when the young lung transplant victim was denied access to a lung because she was supposedly out of the age range acceptable. “Some people live and some people die”.
    And you lefty’s think it is going to get better? This is going to be the norm in a year or 2 if this does not get rescinded in 2014.
    You might as well kiss your family member good bye right now and when the time comes you won’t have to worry about that you did not get a chance because one of these heartless bureaucrat’s makes that life altering decision to prevent you or your loved ones a$$ good bye.
    It amazes me how people (lefty’s) can be able to put the lives of their own loved ones including themselves in the hands of someone who has never met them. They actually think that they will lose sleep if they had to pull the plug on your child, hahahaha….

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