Nevada EMTs Fight for Jobs Following 2006 Arrest for Failing to Aid Patient - @ JEMS.com


Nevada EMTs Fight for Jobs Following 2006 Arrest for Failing to Aid Patient


 
 

Henry Brean | | Tuesday, December 4, 2007


LAS VEGAS -- Two emergency responders arrested last year and accused of letting a man die are fighting to get their jobs back with the Pahrump Valley Fire-Rescue Service.

Emergency medical technician Rodd Fernandes and paramedic Carrol L. Meeks are appealing their dismissal by the town of Pahrump, which fired the men in April in connection with a Nov. 24, 2006, call that ended in the death of Linus Wendler.

Pahrump Town Manager David Richards said the matter is set to be heard by an independent arbitrator in January.

Fernandes and Meeks have already been reinstated by the State Health Division s Emergency Medical Service and Trauma Program, which serves as the regulatory agency for EMTs and paramedics in Nevada.

Program Manager Fergus Laughridge said both men had their state licenses suspended in May. Fernandes, who did not appeal the disciplinary action, had his license reinstated on Nov. 6. Meeks successfully petitioned to have his suspension overturned and erased from his record on Oct. 12.

Laughridge said the hearing officer who presided over Meeks appeal ruled that he maintained a professional demeanor throughout the Nov. 24, 2006, call.

According to the Nye County Sheriff s Office, Meeks and Fernandes were dispatched to Wendler s trailer in Pahrump on a medical call, but the chronically ill 63-year-old shot himself in the head just as their ambulance arrived.

Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo said the emergency responders initially reported that Wendler was dead, but a deputy who arrived later noticed the man was breathing and still had a pulse.

DeMeo said Meeks and Fernandes had to be ordered to treat Wendler.

Regulatory standards dictate that paramedics and EMTs must render aid to any patient not clinically dead, regardless of how slim the chance of survival might be.

Wendler reportedly went without medical care at the scene for at least half an hour. He was pronounced dead within 16 minutes of his arrival at Pahrump s only hospital.

Six days after the incident, Fernandes and Meeks were booked on one count each of felony criminal neglect of a patient and felony neglect of an older person.

Neither man has been formally charged.

Nye County District Attorney Bob Beckett on Friday said he had not decided whether to prosecute Fernandes and Meeks or drop the case altogether. I anticipate a decision to be made here shortly, he said.

Laughridge said a criminal prosecution could prompt the state to consider further action against the two men s licenses.

At this point, though, both of them are cleared to return to work, Laughridge said. Right now, we re not anticipating any changes.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, Legal and Ethical

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Press Conference, East Village Explosion and Collapse

Fire is contained to four buildings; 12 people have been injured.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Mayor Adds Ambulances to Peak Demand Period

10 additional ambulances will be on the streets from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Utah Commission Privatizes Ambulance Service

Mayors in Iron County loose management fight.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ambulance Delay Raises Concerns over Response Times

Officers give up after waiting 20 minutes for an ambulance.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Patient Carry during Snowstorm

Firefighters, medics and officers lend a hand in Halifax.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Terror Attack in Tunisia

19 people killed outside of a museum.
More >