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Pa. EMS chief charged with sexual abuse of teen at station, home

Former Yellow Breeches leader Douglas Allen Shields was the student’s supervisor


Photo/Yellow Breeches EMS

By Naomi Creason
The Sentinel, Carlisle

MOUNT HOLLY SPRINGS, Pa.—The Yellow Breeches EMS president, who has since been suspended, faces sexual assault charges in connection with incidents in 2021 involving a teenage girl at the station.

Douglas Allen Shields, 53, of Mount Holly Springs, was charged last week with felony statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, corruption of minors and sexual assault by volunteer or employee of nonprofit, as well as misdemeanor indecent assault of a person younger than 16, after an investigation that started last year.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, State Police said they received a report of a sexual assault in May 2022 where a teenage girl reported that she had sexual encounters with Shields while he was her EMS supervisor. The girl had been 15 at the time, which is too young under the law to give consent, and she was taking courses on the weekend and participating in a ride-along program with EMS staff in March 2021.

Because of that work, the girl would spend time at the station and stay overnight in a dorm room, where she slept about seven to eight times during that month, according to the affidavit.

During an interview at the UPMC Children’s Advocacy Center, the girl talked about lewd comments and detailed a number of sexual encounters that happened in Shields’ dorm room, outside on a secluded side of the building or in a storage room, as well as at Shields’ home, of which she described details and had a picture of a clock in his home, according to the affidavit.

The girl also had recent Snapchat messages, where Shields told her they can’t go back to the way things were before and that he has “to worry about things getting out. That will kill me.”

According to the affidavit, police interviewed Shields at his residence and he confirmed the Snapchat messaging but claimed the conversation was first about him being afraid of their friendship becoming known, then about how his mother’s death was affecting him personally, then claimed it was about breaking a promise to her about keeping her secret that she left the station.

He then claimed to a Cumberland County Children and Youth Services caseworker that the messages were about comments he made regarding his dying mother and wishing for her suffering to end, which he said would be awful if someone else overheard that, according to the affidavit.

Shields also gave “vague and conflicting” replies about whether she was ever at his home before he denied to a caseworker that she was ever there, according to the affidavit.

Though the interviews happened last summer, State Police did not file charges until Jan. 26. Shields was arraigned, and he was released on $25,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 22 in front of Magisterial District Judge Dan Freedman.

Yellow Breeches EMS posted on Facebook that Shields has been suspended indefinitely from his position and employment with the company, pending the outcome of the criminal case.

“Yellow Breeches EMS is shocked and deeply saddened by the allegations raised regarding Doug Shields,” the company said. “We have faith in the integrity of the legal process and reiterate that Mr. Shields, like all criminal defendants, is innocent until proven guilty. Nevertheless, the highest priority of the Yellow Breeches EMS has always been, and continues to be, the safety, health and welfare of the public we serve.”

The EMS company said it performs state and federal criminal history background checks and required child abuse clearances for all employees and volunteers.

The Yellow Breeches company provides service to areas of southern Cumberland County including Mount Holly Springs and Dickinson, South Middleton and Monroe townships.

The Yellow Breeches EMS president, who has since been suspended, faces sexual assault charges in connection with incidents in 2022 involving a teenage girl at the station.


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