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State by State: April 2021

COLORADO: Report Faults Paramedics, Cops in McClain Death

Aurora police and paramedics made substantial errors at nearly every stage of their interaction with Elijah McClain, an independent investigation found. Aurora police did not have a legal basis to force McClain to stop walking, to frisk him, or to use a chokehold on him, according to the investigation commissioned by the city, and paramedics with the city’s fire department failed to properly evaluate McClain—or even attempt to speak to him—before injecting him with the powerful sedative ketamine. McClain suffered cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital, where he later was declared brain dead. He was taken off life support six days later.

MISSOURI: EMS Official Found Dead in Hospital Parking Lot 

The director of Missouri’s Central County Fire & Rescue died in the parking lot of a suburban St. Louis hospital after his wife says he was refused admission three times. Sadie Bell says she took her husband, David, to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Peters twice during the week of January 8, and both times staff refused to admit him, instead just giving him ibuprofen. David Bell returned to work but had difficulty breathing. Following a third attempt Sadie Bell says she found her husband outside the hospital in a wheelchair. He died as she tried to get him to another hospital. 

NORTH CAROLINA: Bill Would Let Medics Carry Firearms at Tactical Scenes

Paramedics in North Carolina could be permitted to carry concealed weapons when assisting in tactical law enforcement emergencies under a new bill in the legislature. Rep. Harry Warren said the bill came at the request of a paramedic in his district who is embedded with a SWAT team. The bill does not give blanket permission for paramedics to carry concealed weapons on duty but only applies to those who work in tactical situations and have gone through extensive training. Warren said the bill’s intent is to let paramedics defend themselves if they come under fire. 

CONNECTICUT: To Diversify, Hartford Will Pay for Locals’ Training

The city of Hartford has teamed up with American Medical Response to pay Hartford residents to train to become emergency medical technicians in order to help diversify the first responder workforce. The “Earn While You Learn” Program, a 10-week academy, covers costs related to obtain EMT certification, pays students while they complete their training, and provides job opportunities as soon as they’re certified. An AMR spokesperson said the program wasn’t just created because of a need for EMTs, but with “the intention to diversify our workforce.” 


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