Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

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

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.

RELATED ARTICLES

FERNO's New 'Proof of Concept' Ambulance has the EMS Industry Talking

You'll hear a lot more about this innovative new ambulance interior, so I will just highlight what its most impressive offerings are to me: Interchangable, c...

Washington State Signs Community Paramedicine Bill into Law

With a lot of passion and perseverance, it’s possible to change the history of EMS.

Firefighters Rescue Man Who Wedged Inside Wall to Evade Cops

A central Indiana man who hid inside a wall in his home to avoid arrest had to berescued by firefighters after he became wedged next to its chimney for ...

17 Patients Evaluated After Plane Makes Emergency Landing

SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow said new information from medical personnel confirmed that "a total of three passengers reported a loss of consciousnes...

Nurse Practitioner Now Responding to EMS Calls with Green Valley Fire

The district has started a first of its kind program that brings urgent medical care right into a patient's home.

New WTC Study Focuses on EMS Personnel

New research shows that EMS workers who went to Ground Zero suffer from poor health.

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers