Waiting for Second Ambulance Questioned in Columbia Child’s Death

COLUMBIA — Jadan didn’t make it, and more than his family and friends are upset about it.

His death has reopened a debate between the Columbia Fire Department and the Richland County Emergency Medical Services about an EMS policy that forbids firefighters from driving ambulances.

After his mother dialed 911 on Sept. 17, firefighters from Engine 13 arrived first and began CPR on the boy. EMS workers arrived shortly afterward.

Critical patients often require two EMS workers to care for them in the back of the ambulance. Because one ambulance carries two EMS workers, that does not leave anyone to drive the ambulance to the hospital.

On Sept. 17th, the EMS workers waited four minutes until another ambulance arrived to provide a driver for the first ambulance, according to a report written by Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Edmonds, who was not at the scene but was the supervisor in charge that day.

Jadan’s mother, Jessica Myers, stayed inside the house while firefighters and EMS workers rushed Jadan outside. She watched through a window and said the first ambulance did not leave until a second ambulance arrived.

I was thinking, What is going on? Why haven’t they left yet, Myers said.

Firefighters from Engine 13, meanwhile, were begging EMS workers to let one of them drive the ambulance to the hospital, which was less than a mile away, said Michael Bingham, a Methodist minister and chaplain for the fire department.

Read More, Child’s death raises questions over ambulance-driving rules

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