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Home > Topics > Ambulances / Emergency Vehicles
March 24, 2014

Patient flees as medics argue in back of DC ambulance

"They were constantly bickering back and forth with one another, said patient Rose Preston, who took a train to the hospital

NBC Washington

WASHINGTON — A D.C. woman who called 911 ended up getting out of an ambulance and taking Metro to a hospital after the paramedics started arguing, she said.

Rose Preston thought she was having a stroke when she began experiencing numbness and tingling on the left side of her face during around 2 a.m. March 15. She called 911, but once she was inside the ambulance, two members of the D.C. Fire & EMS crew began having a heated argument.

"They were constantly bickering back and forth with one another, and to the point that I felt so uncomfortable," she said. Preston wasn't sure what the two men were arguing about, but said it seemed to be personal.

Full story: D.C. Woman Gets Out of Ambulance, Takes Metro to Hospital After Paramedics Argue

Comments
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Jason Combes Jason Combes Monday, March 24, 2014 3:17:02 PM really? you cant keep that crap at home? probably arguing over someone of the other sex
David Newton David Newton Monday, March 24, 2014 6:07:42 PM We need to get the fire departments out of EMS......
Stephen Kirdy Stephen Kirdy Monday, March 24, 2014 7:33:48 PM Sounds like she was really ill.
Ed Hillenbrand Ed Hillenbrand Monday, March 24, 2014 7:50:12 PM Read the whole article. Apparently the EMT had to fetch the paramedic then force him (the medic) to do an assessment. Professionalism folks -- do your damn job or get out of my field!
Gary Ford Gary Ford Monday, March 24, 2014 8:52:08 PM We need to get crappy managers, crappy supervisors and crappy caregivers out of EMS. Regardless of what uniform they're wearing Dave.
David Newton David Newton Monday, March 24, 2014 9:19:20 PM Gary Ford Well, I guess I can't argue with you here, you right. And when you're right, you're right!
Darci Grunett Darci Grunett Monday, March 24, 2014 9:47:11 PM What is going on in EMS? I think EMS in general needs a major overhaul! After 24 years in this industry, I can say we seem to be in big trouble.
Dave Cook Dave Cook Tuesday, March 25, 2014 5:57:23 AM Read the whole article, BLS unit had to ask for the Paramedic on the fire truck to get off his ass and come look at the pt. They then were both unprofessional in front of the pt. Turned out all she had was bells palsy, but that doesn't excuse the laziness or being unprofessional.
Allison Ludwick Smith Allison Ludwick Smith Tuesday, March 25, 2014 3:14:40 PM Darci, I'm from NC, and I can honestly tell you that I can't think of a single place in my state that this would happen. D.C Fire and EMS has been in trouble for a while, and they need and overhaul from the top down.
Darci Grunett Darci Grunett Tuesday, March 25, 2014 3:37:18 PM Unfortunately, it is not just DC that is in trouble, their problems are just highly public. Look at all the companies closing with no notice, poor leadership/management, embezzlement, drug abuse, etc...
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 3:42:27 PM Regardless whether she was or not, she requested services. She deserved better service than she received; she was the customer and no one should be subjected to that. We constantly tell people to 'call early'... 'time is brain cells'... 'we are here to serve you'. It is an Emergency SERVICE and just because their 'worst day possible' doesn't match your criteria of need, too bad. Patient Education is called for, not a snide comment.
Bruce A Mills Bruce A Mills Tuesday, March 25, 2014 3:44:27 PM Union protection any place I have worked you did this you were out of there . Called being adult for starters and professional comes to mind as well. Add this to the laundry list of ineptness of DCFEMS .
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 3:48:25 PM This behavior (and the recent patient neglect case in DC) are symptoms of a greater disease that is afflicting DC Fire and EMS. Poor morale, indifferent leadership and fiscal failure are all components of this 'perfect storm' we are seeing. It doesn't stop in DC; there are horror stories all around the country as well.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 3:51:17 PM This isn't an episode of 'Sirens'.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 4:06:25 PM EMS is a microcosm of what is happening to society in general. We are circling the drain and whining about it the whole way,
Lenny Dixon Lenny Dixon Tuesday, March 25, 2014 4:38:08 PM I agree with "Perfect Storm". Bad management, favoritism, browning out rigs, brow beating over stupid stuff etc. Not enough time for meals, bathroom breaks, rig check out, paper work etc. Running from call to call over non emergency sickness. This system should not be about customers. It should be about patients and if you don't think you are dying, you should not be in back of a 911 ambulance. That is what a car, taxi, bus, friend or family is for. You can also start out with your cupboard (ASA, pepto bismol), pharm, clinic, or Dr. The public has a huge hand in this abuse of 911 workers too. Are we perfect. No. Do we have a few bad apples. Yes. Do I care? Absolutely. But the majority are just tired of the abuse all around.
Donna Baer Donna Baer Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:46:19 PM If the fire unit was dispatched with medic on board I'm not clear why he had to have someone go get him to do his job. Arguing in front of a patient is uncalled for regardless of circumstances, and this patient was made to feel at risk being in these folks' care. That the bottom line: when your patient feels so uncomfortable in your care they'd rather leave than continue care you've crossed the line. PATIENT CARE is first priority, I don't care what your differences are. These 3 all need to be disciplined for neglecting that priority. Sorry this woman delayed care in a potentially life threatening situation--the Bell's Palsey mimics stroke in many ways and had this been a full fledged stroke she could have died thanks to this unprofessional care.
Doug Zalud Doug Zalud Thursday, March 27, 2014 10:29:38 AM All of these problems with DCFEMS have been going on since I lived down there in the 80's and saw it on the local news. They are just one giant train wreck that everyone else can't stop watching. At least they serve as a glaring example of how not to function as an entity.
Stephen Kirdy Stephen Kirdy Friday, March 28, 2014 6:54:52 AM larn572001 loosen up! I can not tell you how many times an accusation was made that was the furthest from the truth. We are human. We are not perfect. If you ever worked somewhere where you run 16 calls in 12 hours, you would appreciate that once in a blue moon, there will be conflict. Its unavoidable. Work for a service that runs 70,000 calls a year and chant your customer service bs somewhere else.

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