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Home > Topics > Paramedic Chief

Exclusive: What EMS crews experienced on Ferguson Day 1

EMS Chief Chris Cebollero talks about what his crews encountered in the first minutes on the scene of the Mike Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo., which led to looting and riots the next day
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Michele Logue Michele Logue Wednesday, August 20, 2014 5:55:47 PM What happen to scene safety first? One officer , one shot and maybe a couple other people. Your crew was in immediate danger just approaching that body in the street
Ray Jagger Ray Jagger Wednesday, August 20, 2014 6:41:30 PM I am very glad to hear that they have started warm zone response and training. This is a great thing that could save a great many lives. Sure it is safer to stay back until everything is cold...including the bodies of the people that you could have saved, but most of us got in the business to make a difference, and you usually have to take some risk to do that.
Rhonda Coles-Nelson Rhonda Coles-Nelson Wednesday, August 20, 2014 6:44:27 PM And you couldn't last 1 hour in a real EMS world. Standing around with them hands on their hips LOL wait for them tornados
Paul Coates Paul Coates Wednesday, August 20, 2014 8:12:10 PM EMS crew did well in their response. The experience they learned on that call will be studied and used in training for other EMS personel for a long time.
John Pecoraro John Pecoraro Thursday, August 21, 2014 8:16:44 AM will do
Andrea M Caldwell Weems Andrea M Caldwell Weems Thursday, August 21, 2014 9:02:54 PM Outstanding Job CHEMS!!
Jen Royer Jen Royer Thursday, August 21, 2014 9:29:04 PM Where were you positioned on this call? Oh, you weren't on the call? Thanks for the armchair quarterbacking but we have this.
Joel Werths Joel Werths Friday, August 22, 2014 9:45:07 AM Hi Ray! You are an idiot. Did you by any chance get an accurate body count on all those "cold bodies" we could have saved? My guess is that a braying jackass like yourself, you probably have not a clue as to what you are talking about. I and my fellow medics have been out here every day. Personally threatened with a fire bomb, driving by graffiti like "kill a cop, kill EMS." Responding to hostile people that hate anyone in uniform and perfectly willing to kill you. Scene safety is learned early on thank God. I only hope that you never have charge over another person or being. A fool like yourself would surely get someone killed. You are an idiot. Shut up. Go back to your tractor or combine or whatever you are doing in Kirksville.
Ray Jagger Ray Jagger Friday, August 22, 2014 6:32:57 PM (Chuckling) Joel...you make a lot of noise. It sounds like you are right..you should probably go play in a safer place.
Joel Werths Joel Werths Friday, August 22, 2014 10:09:57 PM Ray Jagger, I will reiterate. You are an idiot. You are the absolute epitome of what any right minded person would perceive to be complete and total fool. Anyone that is so stupid and illiterate that they are unable to spell a common word like "situation" is probably not worth wasting a few keystrokes on. Why I would take the time to respond to such an obvious fool is beyond me. I and my associates have been on the front lines of some of the most dangerous ares in the St. Louis area. For nearly 25 years I have been exposed to things that would send a mealy mouthed sissy like yourself squealing back to Kirksville. A place where the men are men.... and the sheep are nervous. You have not a clue as to our situation is here. Do us all a favor and just leave your hands in your pants.
Ray Jagger Ray Jagger Saturday, August 23, 2014 5:45:03 AM Joel...you are a funny person..trying to pick a fight that I have no interest in. However, I think it is very important that EMS crews take a more active role, particularly on active shooter scenes. I agree, if you are sitting around in the hot zone waiting on something to happen...then you probably shouldn't be there. However, if you are cowering in an ambulance while people are dying, waiting on the cops to declare everything safe and tidy...you should probably go to work in nice safe hospital somewhere. Granted, this requires interagency cooperation with protection members being assigned to the EMS team, and I know that level of cooperation is sometimes hard to get in the big city.
Joel Werths Joel Werths Saturday, August 23, 2014 11:42:55 AM Ray Jagger ... Funny? Hmmm, Well I guess I will take that over being oblivious and stupid. As far picking a fight, I believe that very first asinine comment in this thread was yours. "as·i·nine" 'as??nin/ adjective extremely stupid or foolish. synonyms: stupid, foolish, brainless, mindless, senseless, idiotic, imbecilic, ridiculous, ludicrous, absurd, nonsensical, fatuous, silly, inane, witless, empty-headed; Thought I'd save you the trouble of looking that up or asking somebody. Now ... you "think" that EMS crews should take a more active role on active shooter scenes? Well, I think that I will wait for someone that is not an obvious moron to say that before I dismiss it immediately. I will thank God every day that our Chief has much better sense than the Homer Simpson/ Rambo from Kirksville. Hey Homer, Have you ever heard of Reginald Denny? He was an innocent truck driver pulled out of his vehicle and nearly beaten to death. I would hope that anyone in your charge would Google this poor guy. They might see the fate that awaits them should you take charge of a hostile environment. Personally I would be terrified at the thought of one of my friends or family member left at your mindless discretion. Luckily here in North St. Louis County, we are guided by intelligent leaders. Unlike your training which probably consists of watching old episodes of Emergency! Our leaders are training daily. Staff and scene safety will always be a top priority. As for a safe hospital. I have worked in a few EDs over the past 25 years. I prefer the streets. Maybe you should be in a hospital setting Ray. One with lots of padding. I have walked in on scenes still clouded in gun smoke. Surrounded by angry, hostile mobs. I and my associates are far from fearful. We do not cower. We are led by intelligent, experienced men and women that have our safety fixed as a priority. I am grateful that my career was not cut short by some moronic Rambo wannabe sending my partner and I into a meat grinder so he can feel like a big man. Let me dumb this down for you Ray, so you'll understand. If I see an incident involving a spacecraft, I don't contact NASA or post inane suggestions online. I know nothing of rocket science. Although trained in Hazmat and biological emergencies, I will never contact the CDC and offer suggestions or accuse someone of "cowering." You have proved to myself and others that you are in fact clueless as to how a hostile or dangerous incident should be managed. Again your assertion that "people are dying while police make it safe and tidy." I never got that body count from you Ray. Do you have a body count yet? Oh... That's right. You weren't there! After the initial pt which was deemed an obvious death and then a police investigation...... The body count was..... ready Ray? The body count waiting for EMS? Ray? Ready? drum roll......... ZERO! Yes!!! CHEMS 1! Ray the knuckle dragging imbecile ZERO! Guess what Ray..... Christian Hospital was recently awarded the EMS SERVICE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR. Maybe instead of showing us how ignorant and foolish you are everyday... You should be watching and taking notes. On a final note. Ray attempting to live vicariously through others is always ugly. Ray, stop being ugly. P.S. Glad you learned how to use your spell checker. I noticed the edit where you removed your post with the spelling errors. "cituation" that was great. lol... But you took it down! I will give you that Ray. Kind of sad when the posts you take down are the only sign that you may have a very, very tiny spark of intelligence.
Skip Kirkwood Skip Kirkwood Saturday, August 23, 2014 12:22:51 PM Tony Smith, you ought to have a little respect. Chris Cebollero IS intelligent, and sounded so his presentation. These guys done good in a difficult situation and if you weren't there, you'd do us all a favor if you kept your personal insults to yourself. Chris knows of what he speaks and represents us well. Disagree with his tactics if you know better (which I doubt), but when you start out attacking someone personally, your personal credibility goes straight down the tubes.
Andy Smith Andy Smith Saturday, August 23, 2014 12:42:13 PM Tony Smith, watch out, you are attacking someone you don't know. Chris has a lot of experience and is very intelligent. Skips right your credibility goes right down the tubes.
Scott Lancaster Scott Lancaster Saturday, August 23, 2014 12:59:09 PM Joel Werths Mature. We can disagree about the need for warm zone response (I think it's a great idea just for disclosure), without name calling and juvenile behavior. The strawman arguments used (Reginald Denny for one) don't make the post seem more intelligent. The immediate aftermath of this incident doesn't compare with the LA riots - days latter sure, but that's not what the discussion was about. As far as the need for some sort of EMS in warm zones; there is actually numerous cases where patients were found alive by PD, but weren't evacuated or treated until the entire area was clear (or safe). By the time EMS got to them, they had expired or their morbidity had increased. Should it be every medic entering a warm zone? Perhaps not, but there is a need for faster responses.
Joel Werths Joel Werths Saturday, August 23, 2014 2:48:31 PM Scott Lancaster, Let's start of with the obvious. You were not there. You have never been here. You have no idea what is going on here. "The straw man arguments used (Reginald Denny for one) don't make the post seem more intelligent." Well now your post is much less intelligent. I hope and pray that you or someone you care about never experiences what this poor man did. We have received daily death threats and not by phone. Up close and personal. Threats by people that would gladly kill us over an ink pen or a pack of cigarettes. Multiple vehicles including a news crew have had their windows smash and survived only by the grace of God and well armed police. So don't try and say the mention of Mr Denny has no place in this argument. "As far as the need for some sort of EMS in warm zones; there is actually numerous cases where patients were found alive by PD, but weren't evacuated or treated until the entire area was clear (or safe). By the time EMS got to them, they had expired or their morbidity had increased." If you you feel Mr. Denny is not a factor, that entire comment is moot. Here in North St. Louis County there were no fatalities save one. That being Mr. Brown. In a perfect world there would always be faster responses. Again. You and Ray were not there. Lord knows we greatly appreciate all your comments and suggestions after the fact. Some of us can never overstate the obvious. No one died. Not one person. We all went home to our families. I think we were managed very well. No thanks to you. I am sorry if my rant offends you. Some people are thin skinned and bruise easy. Ray accused my people of cowering in our ambulance. I will not accept that. If his remarks are obviously moronic and stupid. Then an apple is an apple. I have been running calls nearly non stop for weeks and I am stressed to the gills. My apologies.
Scott Lancaster Scott Lancaster Saturday, August 23, 2014 2:54:34 PM Joel Werths I'm hardly offended. I was talking in generalities and about the initial incident, not the ongoing protests, which I made clear. Your conflating the Denny case (which was horrific) with this case is nonsensical, period. Your repeated "...your not intelligent" response to everyone who has disagreed with your statements doesn't further your position, it weakens it to all who read it. And I have been in like situations in my career, in other cities. To dismiss anyone who doesn't agree with you based on geography is intellectually dishonest. The OP was about the first day, not the time since.
Steve Cotter Steve Cotter Saturday, August 23, 2014 6:54:00 PM We'll said skip. Some do nothing drag us down.
Ray Jagger Ray Jagger Sunday, August 24, 2014 6:49:22 AM Joel..hopefully you can either get some sleep, or a snicker bar or something. Otherwise, you need to talk with the docs about getting your PTSD meds straightened out. None of what I said was about Fergason, or the people there, other than the need for EMS to be there and take an active role. I have nothing but respect for them. It was meant to be a general statement, about the need for getting medical treatment for victims of violence as soon as possible. The combat medics in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven big time that this can save lives. You are right..it means that those medics are put in danger of being injured and killed, So, we are going to have to be careful deciding on every scene whether the risk are worth the gain. My point was for this to work properly, some folks are going to have to change what they see as the role of EMS, and it takes a lot more interagency cooperation and training than most of us are doing now...the question is whether we can make that happen. I really think we can at least here in the rural area.
Skip Kirkwood Skip Kirkwood Sunday, August 24, 2014 9:01:33 AM Where was the immediate danger? The bad guy was already dead, and there was law enforcement present. And you drove up on it - it wasn't even an EMS call. Is your recommendation to drive over or around the body and keep going? I sure hope not! The 20/20 hindsight (the medical retrospectoscope) is a dangerous place from which to comment.
Pete Gitto Pete Gitto Monday, August 25, 2014 3:33:11 AM Great great interview. Would have loved even more info!
Ray Kemp Ray Kemp Monday, August 25, 2014 12:20:27 PM Pete, we have already produced another video on the Ferguson incident and that will be out shortly. Thanks!
Waldo Treehorn Waldo Treehorn Tuesday, August 26, 2014 7:27:42 PM It's "lying", not "laying".
Rex Moates Rex Moates Thursday, August 28, 2014 2:40:02 AM Interesting situation.
Ann Omiss Ann Omiss Wednesday, September 03, 2014 5:20:00 AM Z
Ann Omiss Ann Omiss Wednesday, September 03, 2014 5:25:27 AM Joel W. and Jen R. are terrible representatives of this organization. So quick to anger... Makes one question the organization's culture that harbors these hotheads.