More Fallout From EMS Related Deaths: Chicago and Memphis

In the aftermath of murder charges against two Illinois medics, two more stories are in the news related to the deaths of patients. In Chicago, a fire department paramedic has been terminated and a second suspended following an investigation into the death of a man last summer.

The incident occurred on August 31, 2022 when personnel were dispatched for a naked man lying in a parking lot. The man, Leonardo Guerrero, 44, appeared to be hallucinating and on drugs. He was transported to the hospital, but according to allegations made against the medics, he was not properly monitored during transport. Some time during the transport he arrested. CPR was initiated shortly after the ambulance arrived at the hospital, but Guerrero was later pronounced dead.

Paramedic Dakota Ibrahim, the medic who was supposed to be monitoring Guerrero, was terminated and paramedic Joseph Schultz, who was driving, was suspended from the Chicago Fire Department. The Illinois Department of Public Health suspended Ibrahim’s license for six months and Schultz’s for three months. More on the story.

In Memphis, two firefighters have been “relieved of duty” pending an investigation into the death of a Black man, Tyre Nichols. Nichols died on January 10, 2023, days after a confrontation with police following a traffic stop. Five police officers, identified by Reuters as being Black, were fired following the incident. The FBI, the US Department of Justice and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations are continuing the investigation.

Fox News is reporting the firefighters were terminated, but other sources have not confirmed that.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 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) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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