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Del. Medic Reported as Dead is Alive


JEMS.com Update: We're pleased to tell report that John Schmitt, the paramedic who was injured in a Jan. 28 crash, was released from Christiana Hospital Sunday afternoon. He is at home, resting comfortably, and is expected to make a full recovery.

GEORGETOWN, Del. -- A paramedic who has been reported as dead is alive and still under evaluation for injuries he sustained during a collision this morning.

At 6:15 a.m. Jan. 28, a Millsboro Fire Company ambulance was involved in a collision with a sport utility vehicle at the intersection of Beaver Dam and Indian Mission roads in eastern Sussex County.

The ambulance was returning from a medical call to Beebe Medical Center in Lewes when, for an unknown reason, an SUV crashed into the right rear side of the ambulance. The ambulance was occupied by two EMTs, a male and female, from the Millsboro Fire Company and one paramedic, a male, from Sussex County Emergency Medical Services.

Delaware State Police continue to investigate the cause of the crash. One fatality, in the SUV, occurred.

The three medical personnel all suffered injuries that required immediate medical attention. The female EMT, identified by Millsboro Fire Company officials as Mercedes Berry, was transported to Beebe, where she was treated and released for minor injuries. The male EMT and Sussex County paramedic John Schmitt were flown to Christiana Hospital near Stanton, with serious injuries. The male EMT, identified by Millsboro Fire Company as Frank DeFord, is still being evaluated at Christiana Hospital. Schmitt, a 15-year veteran of SCEMS, was admitted to ICU with possible head injuries and is still under examination.

Sussex County Emergency Medical Services Director Glenn Luedtke said the incident has touched many within the SCEMS family, especially because Schmitt is a long-serving member of the unit with many friends and colleagues.

The collective thoughts and prayers of the SCEMS family are with John and the other medical personnel who were injured in this crash, Luedtke said. Our staff, and other public safety providers like them, risk their lives every day to provide quality, compassionate and professional care. Sometimes that risk catches up with you. We re hopeful John can mend quickly, and we here at SCEMS will do whatever we can to support him and his family in this time of need.


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