Paralyzed EMT wants safer ambulances after crash
Matt Deicher believes minor steps can prevent crashes like the one that paralyzed him
MOSINEE, Wis. — He went golfing that summer morning, humidity already rising. He prepared grilled steaks for dinner, stopping when an emergency call crackled through the radio. He walked quickly from the house to his truck and drove to the Mosinee Fire Station.
Matt Deicher doesn't remember the rest of July 31, 2003. But he was told that he and another part-time EMT jumped into the back of an ambulance, unaware that a state inspector had ordered its failing tires replaced two days before. He was told that his wife, Melissa, spent much of the next six months by his side, while he recovered at hospitals in Wausau and in Denver, Colo.
He was told that a two-month investigation found the worn tires, in addition to a rain storm, the newly paved highway, and the ambulance’s speed, all contributed to the crash. What he didn't have to be told was that he was paralyzed, from the neck down. Nearly 10 years later, Deicher can re-tell the story without anger.