Mo. Patient Takes Ambulance For Joy Ride Across State Lines
HOLLISTER, MO—On Sept. 25, TCAD paramedics were called to assist Hollister Police with a 20-year-old male subject on Knox Avenue in Hollister. Paramedics were caring for the patient and getting information from Hollister Police when the patient suddenly jumped into the driver seat of the ambulance. Before police or paramedics could react the patient placed the ambulance in drive and sped away.
Officers from Hollister Police, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Taney County Sheriffs Office, Arkansas State Highway Patrol and Harrison Police assisted in the chase that lasted approximately 45 minutes. Arkansas State Highway Patrol successfully ended the chase near McDonalds on Business Highway 65 in Harrison, Arkansas. TCAD Paramedics Communication Center assisted law enforcement using tracking technology on the ambulance. The Communication Center was able to give law enforcement the location, direction of travel and speed of the ambulance during the chase.
TCAD Paramedics Chief Darryl Coontz said, "Our standard practice is to lock all entry to ambulances when the crew is not in attendance, but in this instance the crew was standing next to the unit preparing to transport when things escalated. We are thankful no one was injured, including the patient. The ambulance was undamaged and after a safety inspection will be returned to service. We will be evaluating all aspects of this incident to determine if there are steps we can take preventing similar incidents in the future."
TCAD Paramedics is an EMS agency providing exclusive ambulance transport for Taney County, Missouri. The ambulance district encompasses 620 square miles of varying terrain and three prize-winning lakes. Taney County has a year-round population of 52,956 residents and boasts over 7.5 million visitors annually. TCAD has served the residents and visitors of Taney County for over 40 years and respond to approximately 12,000 ambulance requests annually. TCAD Paramedics was voted the 2014 Missouri EMS Service of the Year and is the only CAAS Accredited ambulance district in Missouri.