Trending Topics

11 weirdest EMS news stories of 2022

This year’s strangest tales involved a medic who won a lottery, providers treating family members, a heroic dispatcher, unfriendly animals and unique car crashes


It seems like EMS providers can encounter anything on a call or even while off-duty. Some interactions are weird, wild or actually wonderful.

Here’s a look back at some of the strangest EMS news of 2022.


You may have dealt with unruly patients or had a long day, but these two men survived an alligator attack and being lost at sea for 18 hours.

1. ‘I felt the scales, then I felt the teeth': Fla. FF-medic survives alligator attack

With a partly crushed skull and a broken jaw, J.C. La Verde, also known as J.C. Defeats, kept swimming until he reached safety.


J.C. La Verde survived an encounter with an alligator in August. “I heard my jaw snap, and I just continued swimming,” he said.

2. Man survives 18 hours at sea by clinging to toy ball

The man was caught in powerful currents off the coast of Greece. He saw a half-inflated ball floating toward him and clung to it until he was rescued.


Sometimes you wind up helping a family member; sometimes they help you.

3. Calif. firefighter-EMT, wife deliver own baby on side of road

Fresno’s Taylor Cruz said he went “into work mode” for his first baby delivery – his daughter.


The Cruz family now includes Taylor, Lisa and their two children.

Photo/Fresno Fire Department

4. Wash. FF honored for rescue after performing CPR on FF-medic father

Spokane Firefighter Alex Rossi woke up to find his father, who also is a firefighter, in cardiac arrest. The younger firefighter immediately began CPR.

Lucky day

5. ‘Didn’t seem real’: Retired N.C. paramedic wins $100K on lottery scratch-off

Randy Boggs’ winnings came after he purchased a $30 scratch-off ticket. He and his wife were stunned.

Hunting mishaps

6. Md. EMS chief in group facing 223 charges of hunting crimes suspended

A Maryland EMS Chief was charged with misdemeanors of spotlighting, hunting from a motor vehicle, having a loaded firearm in a vehicle and conspiracy.

Speaking of hunting …

7. Moose gores bow hunter who shot and missed

The hunter’s GPS device triggered a response from deputies and EMS providers.


8. New Orleans teen calls 911 after being robbed at gunpoint, forced into freezer. Her mom answers

Teri Clark, an assistant operations manager at the Orleans Parish Communications District, wasn’t even supposed to be working but had stayed late when she heard her daughter’s voice on the line.


“If I could clone Teri [Clark] I would,” Orleans Parish Communications District executive director Tyrell Morris said. Clark (pictured) took an unusual and frightening call in November.

Photo/Orleans Parish Communications District


9. Woman with hatchet blocks Utah ambulance during rush hour

Police officers said the woman was also carrying a bullwhip and a knife.


EMS providers respond to MVCs every day, but these two were unique.

10. Tesla crashes down Calif. embankment, lands on Falck ambulance

San Diego Fire-Rescue EMS providers transported four people, who were treated for minor injuries.


San Diego Fire-Rescue members responded to this unusual ambulance crash in March.

Photo/San Diego Fire-Rescue Department

11. Calif. lifeguards evacuate swimmers before suspected DUI driver crashes into pool

The lifeguards also extricated two women from the crashed vehicle.


Check out all our weird news articles here.

Leila Merrill served as an assistant editor for FireRescue1 and EMS1. Merrill has worked as a writer, editor, copy editor, digital producer, journalist and communications professional for the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle and other companies. She double-majored in English and communications at Trinity University.