In this episode of Inside EMS, cohost Chris Cebollero is joined by NAEMT President, Chief Bruce Evans, MPA, CFO, SEMSO, NRP. Evans is the fire chief for the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District, located in Bayfield, Colorado.
The duo discuss the recent indictment of paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec, and what the charges mean for EMS.
Paramedics Cooper and Cichuniec each face second-degree assault charges for administering ketamine to Elijah McClain, who died on Aug. 30, 2019, after suffering a cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital after the interaction with police and EMS.
In the wake of McClain’s death, Colorado legislators passed a bill to substantially limit first responders’ use of ketamine. Speaking from his experience with Colorado emergency medical services, Evans explains how state EMS and Fire Chiefs associations, local chapters of NAEMSP and ACEP, as well as the state medical director, engaged with legislators to attempt to provide factual information during the height of social movements centered on police reform, and what’s next for Colorado providers.
Legal analysis: What the paramedic criminal charges in the Elijah McClain case mean for EMS
Manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and other charges attempt to criminalize acts of medical malpractice and make deviation from EMS protocols a crime