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Ambulance Crashes Impact Agencies Nationwide

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     Several major ambulance crashes have occurred in recent months resulting in death and injury.

     In one very tragic case, New York EMT Bonnie Ames, 21 (pictured at right), lost her right arm after the ambulance she was riding in crashed into a parked truck on April 14.

     According to local news reports, the crash sheared off the passenger side of the ambulance where Ames sat, causing serious injury to the right side of her body. She was extricated from the wreck and airlifted to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla for surgery. Her arm had to be amputated, and she suffered additional injuries including a fractured vertebra. EMT Scott Millar, 19, who was driving the ambulance, suffered a head injury and was kept overnight at Westchester for observation.

     The two work for Regional Emergency Medical Services, sister organization to Rockland Paramedic Services.

     A few weeks after the accident Ames was in good spirits as she made small steps toward recovery, Rockland Paramedic Services Director Raymond Florida told EMS Magazine. However, "She's going to be in rehab for a really long time," he said.

     Florida said that as an employer, his sense of responsibility for Ames has made this an extremely emotional experience. "I'm just beside myself. I read about events like this in the magazines all the time," he said. "You never think it's going to happen in your organization. You have to be very, very careful and on your guard at all times."

     "EMS was her life," Florida said of Ames. "She's just a very caring person. We're all devastated by her accident."

     Contributions to help Bonnie Ames defray her medical bills can be made in her name to the Regional EMS Benevolent Fund, at P.O. Box 614, Nanuet, NY, 10954, or online at www.rps10-13.com. In addition, family and friends have posted a website at www.BonnieAmes.org.

     The following reports from the past several months also involved fatalities or serious injuries.

Nebraska Ambulance Rolls Over
     An Omaha paramedic was in serious condition after an accident on May 4. The driver, who was the lone occupant of the ambulance, was reportedly cut off by another vehicle. The ambulance spun, hit a guard rail, and rolled over on the road. No other injuries were reported.

FDNY Ambulance Crash Injures Six
     Six people were injured in an ambulance crash in Lower Manhattan this April. The driver of the ambulance and one other person were in serious condition.

Six Hurt in CA Ambulance Crash
     A 23-year-old woman was in critical condition after crashing into an LAFD ambulance on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu in April. The patient onboard did not appear to sustain additional injuries in the crash. The four responders aboard the ambulance sustained significant but non-life-threatening injuries.

Patient Killed in KY Ambulance Crash
     Also in April, a 54-year-old woman was killed after the ambulance transporting her crashed in Shively. She was taken to University Hospital where she died from injuries sustained in the crash. The EMT who was driving reportedly swerved to avoid a pedestrian in the road. However, a witness disputed the EMT's account and the crash was under investigation.

Civilian Killed in OH Ambulance Crash
     In March, an ambulance and a car collided after the car pulled out in front of an ambulance. The civilian, a woman age 51, died from trauma to the chest.

South Carolina College Student Killed
     Also in March, an ambulance was headed to a medical call and was trying to pass a line of stopped traffic when a woman turned her car left into its path. The 22-year-old driving the passenger vehicle was a senior at the College of Charleston.
-Heather Caspi, EMSResponder.

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