Paramedic Abandonment Investigated in DC Fire EMS

DC Fire is investigating the death of an elderly EMS patient who was transported by EMTs after a paramedic refused to join them in the transport. The paramedic has been placed on paid administrative leave.

The incident allegedly occurred on November 17, 2011 when a paramedic assigned to Engine 11 examined an 87-year-old female patient, concluded her condition was not serious, and allowed EMTs to transport her to Howard University Hospital. She died at the hospital.

Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe refused to say whether the allegations, if true, violated the department’s medical protocols. “There are some concerns regarding this incident… And that’s why we have placed the employee on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.”

DC Fire Paramedic Placed on Administrative Leave: MyFoxDC.com

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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