An EMT worker in Ellenville, NY, was suspended for rushing a boy suffering from a seizure to a nearby hospital for emergency treatment last month. 20-year-old Stephen Sawyer received notice about the boy from a paramedic, but was unable to find another rescue company with an ambulance available. Sawyer decided to get behind the wheel of the ambulance himself and transported the boy to the hospital without incident.
However, Ellenville First Aid and Rescue Squad rules indicate that all ambulance drivers must be 21. At a meeting five days after the incident, Sawyer was suspended by the board for 60 days and told that his other gig driving a small ambulance for a paid service was not applicable. Sawyer decided to quit his position in response.
“I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night or go to school knowing there’s a four-year-old suffering,” he said. “The guys and girls on the board need to rethink their policies for the good of the community. People shouldn’t have to suffer over policy.”
Board member John Gavaris said the issue was more complex than Sawyer indicated and claimed that the 20-year-old had received disciplinary action in the past for protocol violations. However, he wouldn’t indicate what protocol policies had been violated. “This is the type of story that the public doesn’t need to be told,” he said. “There’s no value in this story other than shock value or gossip.”
Because Sawyer quit his job, he will be unable to pursue any legal action against the rescue squad.
(Photo Ellenville First Aid & Rescue Squad)