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State by State: March 2019

A new print feature collects EMS news from around the nation.

ALASKA: Three Presumed Dead in Air Ambulance Crash

Three Juneau-based crew members aboard a Guardian Flight King Air 200 transport mission were lost in a presumed turboprop crash near Kake, Alaska Jan. 29. Flight nurse Stacie Morse, flight paramedic Margaret Langston, and pilot Patrick Coyle were aboard the aircraft at the time it lost contact, according to the Anchorage Daily News. At press time the U.S. Coast Guard had called off the search following nearly three days of around-the-clock search efforts. 

MINNESOTA: Medics “Acted Appropriately” in Ketamine Cases

Three investigations commissioned by Hennepin Healthcare found its paramedics and research staff acted appropriately in a ketamine study of agitated patients. The findings came after civil rights investigators questioned whether Minneapolis police officers inappropriately urged paramedics to sedate people with ketamine, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Disputing the findings of a Minneapolis police oversight office report, the reviewers concluded paramedics “demonstrated independent and appropriate” clinical decisions and didn’t sedate patients at the direction of police officers.

FLORIDA: Orlando Fire Dept. Hires Civilian Medics

Despite pushback from the firefighters’ union, the Orlando Fire Department inducted 23 civilian paramedics Jan. 18. The decision put OFD and the firefighter’s union at odds when first announced in 2017, according to the Orlando Sentinel, with the union contending the department should be hiring more firefighters, who can provide medical services and respond to fires. The department countered that the new hires “will not replace existing firefighters” and instead will help balance the workload at a cost of about 50% less.

VIRGINIA: State Senate Passes Concealed-Carry Bill

Firefighters and EMTs could carry concealed weapons on duty under a bill the Virginia Senate narrowly passed Jan. 22. The measure would require emergency personnel to obtain the usual concealed-carry permit as well as permission from the local fire or emergency medical chief and the local elected governing body, according to the Washington Post. The measure now goes to the House, which killed a similar bill last year.


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