If a person calls 911 for an ambulance, they’re either injured or battling some form of ailment that requires immediate medical care. This was definitely the case for Rose Preston of Washington, DC. However, the two EMTs operating Paramedic Engine 27 didn’t notice the extent of her discomfort, because they were too busy arguing!
According to NBC Washington, Preston called 911, around 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 15, after suffering from complications of Bell’s palsy. For those who aren’t familiar with the condition, Bell’s palsy is a form of facial paralysis that usually requires immediate medical attention. Unfortunately, even after the paramedics arrived, she didn’t get it. Preston explained that the EMTs sounded as if they were embroiled in a personal dispute that lasted so long she just decided to transport herself to the hospital.
“They were constantly bickering back and forth with one another, and to the point that I felt so uncomfortable,” said Preston, an Army veteran. “I didn’t feel safe being transported by the vehicle,” she said.
Unfortunately, Preston didn’t end up going straight to the hospital after exiting the ambulance. Keep in mind, this incident occurred around 2:00 a.m. in the morning. Hours later, she caught the metro to the local VA hospital.
While Preston’s encounter was immensely disheartening, unfortunately this isn’t the first time the EMTs have been the center of public backlash. There have actually been similar incidents and a number of complaints filed by people who had horrible experiences with the department. Back in January, the department garnered national attention when a 77-year-old man collapsed directly across the street from the local fire station.
Hopefully administrative actions can be taken so these types of mishaps can be avoided in the future. It’s quite obvious they’re occurring too frequently. What actions do you feel the department needs to take to provide better service in the future? Should the EMTs be fired or should the entire department be revamped?
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