When 9-1-1 Isn’t A Joke, EMT Workers Are

22 Dec

Is anyone as tired of hearing about death as I am lately?  Don’t get me wrong, it is always painful to lose or to learn of loss, but it can be especially tragic and heart wrenching when that loss occurs around the holidays.  The only reason I am even dwelling on it today is because this story out of New York is just SO implausible that I can’t help but to wonder if having such a cold heart will garner a non-stop, first class ticket to THE hot place!?

 

Although the events of December 9th are still being sorted out, one thing is certain; a woman collapsed in a New York coffee shop and later died while two EMT workers sat in that same establishment, preferring instead to finish their breakfast than to assist her.  The woman, Eutisha Rennix, who was six months pregnant and worked at the shop collapsed in the restroom during her shift.  When several employees and patrons sought help and came upon the EMTs, it is alleged that the horrified onlookers were told to call 9-1-1 because (get this) the two were on their break. Yeah, we all know that New York is the city of hard luck and even harder knocks, but those statistics ought not negate ones responsibility as a technician to provide immediate medical treatment in the event of an emergency (I mean geez, that much is even spelled out in the job title for crying out loud)!

 

What I find even more inconceivable than these individual’s apparent and indifferent negligence is the fact that although the Uniformed EMTs & Paramedics spokeman Bob Ungar has stated that any activity by their members that can harm the public are never condoned (I would certainly hope not), the workers’ attorneys are requesting that authorities and the public not rush to judgment.  Certainly, in this country everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but in light of the fact that some of the staff and even some of the restaurant diners actually witnessed the two getting their eat-on while a pregnant woman and her unborn child lay dying on a bathroom floor, I am thinking that the last thing out of anyone’s mouth is an implication that there were underlying factors (other than complete disregard for human lives) which led to the EMTs’ inaction in this situation.

 

Let me be clear, I am not New York bashing.  I love (to visit) NYC.  Being a city-kid myself, I love the sights, smells, atmosphere and diversity.  I get it that many agency workers (police, fire & rescue, etc) are over-worked and underpaid and need any break that they can get in order to recoup and function properly.  But doesn’t a life or two lost in your presence (even if not on your watch) kind of defeat the whole purpose of you having trained to be in the life-saving business?

 

I know that New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg has denounced the technician’s actions as unconscionable and has himself been working to revamp the city’s infrastructure, political dynamic, and overall image, but until his office identifies the city’s pulse (it’s people) and works toward better communications between that pulse and the city’s many service agencies and departments, he ought not be surprised to see yet another wrongful death lawsuit against the city while on his watch.

 

I’m Packing Up,

~Tiff

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