AN FDNY AMBULANCE IN QUEENS, New York, was responding with lights and siren activated for an unconscious person Sunday afternoon when it collided with another auto. The crash caused the ambulance to veer off the road and through a yard fence before striking a house where it came to rest.
The driver of the car was seriously injured and is hospitalized in stable condition. The two EMS workers were transported for minor injuries and later released.
WNBC-TV has filed this video report from the scene:
A FDNY EMT HAS BEEN ARRESTED AND CHARGED with official misconduct, petit larceny, and possession of stolen property. Donald Vasquez, 45, of Brooklyn was nabbed when he stole marked money from an undercover policeman in a sting-style operation.
Vasquez, who has been in the department since July 2004, came to the attention of internal affairs following a complaint against him by a purported victim. The sting was then set up as reported by WABC-TV:
According to the criminal complaint, Vasquez responded to an emergency call in a Brooklyn apartment and was directed into a bedroom to retrieve identification for the patient who was actually an undercover investigator.
Video surveillance showed the defendant stealing money from a wallet in the bedroom and the surveillance video also showed Vasquez later took additional cash from an envelope in the apartment.
The money ($280) was recovered from Vasquez.
Vasquez has been suspended for 30 days and is facing disciplinary action as well as the criminal charges.
A PEDESTRIAN WAS KILLED WEDNESDAY MORNING when an FDNY ambulance collided with a work van in Queens, NYC. The ambulance was transporting a stroke victim to the hospital with lights and siren operating when it crashed into the side of the van in the middle of an intersection.
New York Post photo
The van rolled over, landing on a 75-yr.-old man who was walking along the sidewalk, fatally injuring him. Bystanders rushed to the van and lifted it off of the victim, but he died shortly after at the hospital.
One witness said that the ambulance was “creeping” through the intersection against a red light when the collision occurred. The two EMT’s and the van driver suffered only minor injuries. The patient was transported by another ambulance.
THERE IS AT LEAST ONE BATT. CHIEF IN THE FDNY who will be glad to see the last of EMS Lieutenant Michael Palleschi when the separation papers are completed. Palleschi, 36, is one of those self-appointed jokesters who stepped out of bounds recently on an ambulance call and dropped his job responsibility down the priority list. Palleschi was on an ambulance call for a woman who was complaining of a “swollen vagina” and he found that to be hilarious. So funny, in fact, that he used his camera to take a pic of the computer screen showing the complaint and uploaded it to his Facebook page.
Not only did it show her complaint, but it also visibly displayed the patient’s name and address, which is a serious violation of federal laws relating to patient confidentiality. The FDNY failed to see the humor and began separation procedures on the station clown. During the process he was delegated to another station in Brooklyn on restricted duty where he kept up his fun-loving lifestyle. The New York Postreports:
Even as his job hung in the balance, the pudgy prankster got into hot water again — this time for an alleged joke on a teenager in the EMS Explorer program at the Brooklyn EMS station in Canarsie, where Palleschi had been exiled on modified duty, sources said.
An anonymous tipster told the FDNY that, two weeks ago, Palleschi wrote a stickup note demanding cash, then folded it up and passed it to the young Explorer, claiming it was a coffee and bagel order that he should get filled at the nearby Dunkin’ Donuts.
According to sources, Palleschi admitted he added a line about a stickup to a coffee order compiled at the station but said he ripped that part off before the Explorer ever left the building to hand it to a Dunkin’ Donuts clerk.
The head of Palleschi’s union local isn’t trying real hard to defend him either. Read the full story HERE.
IT HAS ONLY RECENTLY BEEN REVEALED that last month the FDNY has pulled the 35 volunteer ambulance squads in the city from its 9-1-1 dispatch system. In a memo to the dispatchers, a high-ranking EMS chief said that the volunteers “are no longer required” to help cover the calls sent out for emergency medical services.
The volunteer squads operate about 50 ambulances, mostly in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. They usually respond to more than 10,000 EMS calls a year, albeit most of them are not dispatched directly from the 9-1-1 center. When the city is overloaded, or sees a response delay, they sometimes call the vol. units on a phone line or the mutual-aid radio frequency. Most of the squads have their own emergency phone number and the citizens in their territory call them directly.
Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps (Brooklyn) website photo
The medics who ride the units all have the same qualifications and certifications that any other medic units have. Many of the volunteers, in fact, are off-duty FDNY medics.
The New York Post has the full story on this recent revelation HERE.
The local city council members were caught unawares of this new policy and are already beginning to plan hearings on the reason for this puzzling decision. The volunteer squads are not only saving the city a lot of money, but they are seriously reducing response times in many instances.
Here are some selected websites for a few of the NYC volunteer ambulance squads:
AN FDNY AMBULANCE STRUCK AND KILLED A PEDESTRIAN in Brooklyn just before dawn Tuesday morning.
The ambulance was taking a 100-yr.-old woman with abdominal pains to the hospital when another woman, believed to be in her 70′s or 80′s, entered a crosswalk into the path of the ambulance. Neither police or fire authorities have yet confirmed if the ambulance was traveling with its lights and siren activated. The victim was reportedly pushing an old grocery cart ahead of her when she started across an on-ramp with her back to where the ambulance was approaching from.