Fla. medic arrested for dumping hospice patient on ground

He was arrested and charged with elderly abuse after police reviewed surveillance footage of the incident

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. — A paramedic was arrested after police say he flipped over a stretcher carrying a hospice patient.

Brevard County Fire paramedic Kenneth Hallenbeck was charged with the abuse of the elderly or disabled, and has been suspended with pay following a transport of James Slater, 48, to Wuesthoff Medical Center in Rockledge, Florida Today and WFTV.com report. 

Once in the triage area, Hallenbeck asked Slater to get off the backboard and he refused, according to reports. That’s when Hallenbeck allegedly overturned the stretcher, dumping Slater on the ground.

Police reviewed surveillance footage of the incident and spoke with witnesses in the emergency room, Rockledge Police Department Lt. Donna Seyferth said.

“The best evidence is when he refused to get off the backboard repeatedly,” she said. “It sounded like the paramedic flipped the backboard to remove him.

Hallenbeck has been a firefighter and paramedic with the county for 11 years, and faces a disciplinary hearing next week.

WFTV reports that his record indicates he was suspended twice before; once in 2006  for an incident related to an argument with another firefighter/paramedic, and again in 2008 for not completing patient-care reports within 24 hours.

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