Fire dept. questioning why ambulance wasn’t dispatched to crash

Nowata Fire Department Chief Stephen Parmenter said police dispatched another department, resulting in the patients waiting 30 minutes for a response

By EMS1 Staff

NOWATA COUNTY, Okla. — A fire department is questioning the response to a vehicle crash that resulted in two injuries.

News On 6 reported that Nowata Fire Department Chief Stephen Parmenter filed a statement with the city manager asking why their ambulance was not dispatched to a crash they could have responded to in three to six minutes.

Chief Parmenter said the Nowata County Sheriff’s Office instead dispatched another department, which took around 25 minutes to arrive.

“That was just an incident that didn’t have to happen,” Chief Parmenter said. “The patient sat out there for approximately 30 minutes with us not responding.”

The sheriff’s office said the Nowata ambulance was on another call, but the fire department said they had a second one ready to go.

“My dispatcher did try to get ahold of the fire department by telephone,” Nowata County Undersheriff Chris Sitsler said.

When asked about the incident, Sheriff Kenny Freeman allegedly attributed it to a high number of new dispatchers, but Chief Parmenter said it could have been a result of a dispute between police and firefighters.

“It’s just a lapse in how things are supposed to be done and how they’re supposed to be trained,” Chief Parmenter said. “I know there’s a lot of bad blood right now between the fire department and the sheriff’s department. That’s not what we want.”

Sitsler said it does not have anything to do with the relationship between the two departments.

"It has nothing to do with them, nothing to do against them,” he said. “It’s just if they’re tied up and they don’t have anyone else available, we will call another agency. We’re thankful for the outside agencies that are willing to come in to help and we are thankful for Nowata EMS, too, for the hard work that they do, especially when we get real busy."

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