A Special Reunion
There are many terrific stories of paramedics and EMTs being reunited with patients whose lives they saved or had a tremendous impact on, but the reunion of Mathew DeCuir and Ty Chaney is most unusual indeed.
On Aug. 17, 1991, Chaney, at that time still fairly new to his job as an EMT with Acadian Ambulance, and his partner responded to a call from a woman who was in labor. They arrived at her home in Cottonport, La., but while they were en route, the woman’s contractions got more severe. “She went into labor,” Chaney says in a video posted on YouTube. “She started screaming and hollering and before I knew it there’s a baby’s head coming out.” It was clear that baby Mathew wasn’t going to wait to be delivered in the hospital.
Today, Chaney has delivered more than 20 babies, but DeCuir’s birth was his first. “It was quite an experience for the very first time ever delivering a baby,” Chaney says. “I was nervous, and I was excited, and it was probably the best thing I could think of in my entire life.”
Fast-forward to the fall of this past year, when DeCuir himself was hired as an EMT by Acadian Ambulance. He had heard the story of his birth many times and now worked for the same ambulance service that aided in his delivery. So, DeCuir asked his partner if he knew a Ty Chaney. He did, and he also knew that he still works for Acadian.
One month later, the two medics were reunited as adults. DeCuir shared his baby pictures as well as his birth certificate which he asked “Dr. Chaney” to sign.
“Unfortunately my mother isn’t living today,” DeCuir says. “But if she was, she’d tell Ty Chaney, ‘Thank you for being there to deliver my son into the world.’”
We applaud all involved in the effort to reunite DeCuir with Chaney to allow him to thank him for assisting in his delivery, and we’re happy to see that Chaney’s passion for EMS rubbed off on the newborn that fateful midsummer day.
In Olyphant, Pa., police arrested Thomas Ksiezopolski, Jr, in December after he went to the house of his then-girlfriend, repeatedly told her he was a Lackawanna county paramedic, insisted she was dehydrated and inserted an IV with saline solution into her hand.
The woman was left with pain and significant bruising in her hand, and Ksiezopolski was charged with assault after police determined he was not a registered paramedic in the state of Pennsylvania. He was later released on $5,000 bail.
Along the same vein (no pun intended), in January, Susan and Joseph Andrews were each charged with one count of unsworn falsification and prohibited acts after they allegedly impersonated EMTs when they responded to the scene of an emergency in Nelson, N.H., and then subsequently filed claims with the town stating that they were licensed and certified by the state of New Hampshire.
Police haven’t concluded whether care was provided at the scene, but prosecutors say the two were not licensed by the state at the time they provided care.
We chide Ksiezopolski for impersonating a paramedic and assaulting a woman in his attempt to insert an IV line, and also point our thumbs down to the Andrews for lying about being licensed EMTs in the state where they were providing care.
Patient Care at 30,000 Feet
Rensselaer County, N.Y., Sheriff’s Deputy Adrian Morin was returning home on a flight from Charlotte, N.C., when he heard a flight attendant call over the intercom for someone with EMT training.
One of the passengers, 68-year-old Phillip Blackstone, had lost consciousness and fainted. Morin, like all Rensselaer County deputies, is certified as an EMT. Using his training, he was able to revive and treat Blackstone, keeping him calm until the plane landed in Albany, where he was then turned over to paramedics.
Blackstone later wrote a letter to the sheriff’s office expressing his gratitude to Morin, who was subsequently commended by the Rensselaer County legislature for his “heroic efforts.”
Morin told Albany News10, “The EMT training that I have I use every day. Sometimes we’re the first person to get to the call. ... I’m just glad I had the knowledge and the ability to help.”
We commend Deputy Morin and give a thumb up to the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office for being the only county in New York State that requires EMT certification for its deputy sheriffs. It really made a difference for this patient.