EMS agency's response time criticized after baseball player's injury

An EMS provider who responded to the scene was unable to transport the injured player due to not having another crewmember on board

By EMS1 Staff

SEBRING, Ohio — An EMS agency's response time was criticized after a high school baseball player was injured during a game.

The Alliance Review reported that Sebring McKinley High School sophomore Nicholas Weingart was knocked out when he and a teammate collided in the outfield. He sustained a head injury and lost consciousness briefly.

Several fans called 911 after the incident and rushed onto the field to help Weingart.

"We had a fan that was a doctor, along with two nurses who rushed over to help," Sebring Athletic Director Brian Clark said. "We knew our people who rushed to the scene along with both parents of the injured child."

Sebring patrolman Chad Redfern said he heard the tone and went to the scene.

"When I arrived, I told dispatch to call a private ambulance because it was urgent," Redfern said.

Dispatch sent out alerts for Sebring firefighters as well as Stark Summit Ambulance.

"That's when Medic 2, EMS Capt. Barry Schroeder arrived," Redfern said.

Sebring Fire Chief Brian Anderson said the call came when calls are handled by volunteers. At the time, Capt. Schroeder was the only person available. However, he was not authorized to transport Weingart since there were no other crewmembers available.

The private ambulance that was dispatched to the scene encountered a railroad crossing while en route. Once on scene, the private ambulance transported Weingart to the hospital.

"We are volunteers from (5 p.m. to 8 a.m.)," Anderson said. "Unfortunately, due to members having jobs and personal lives, we cannot cover every call that we get. We cover over 90 percent of these calls, which is beyond impressive for a volunteer department. Not being able to get a full crew is not an abnormal situation in volunteer fire department, which is why the protocol (to call a private ambulance) is in place."

Jan Weingart, former Sebring coucilwoman and grandmother of the injured player, said she was unhappy with Sebring's response.

"It concerns me about the response time, and they need to fix that."

Weingart spent a night in the ICU and was then transferred to a regular room, where he remains hospitalized as a precaution.

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