Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Paramedics defend dad's walk to ambulance

Paramedics defend dad's walk to ambulance

In spite of criticism from the family of the city’s second murder victim of the year, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service brass say the call was handled properly.
Family members of Garth Isfeld, 44, who was struck with a beer bottle early Saturday morning outside his North Kildonan home and died later in hospital, told media Sunday they were not pleased paramedics did not drive right up to his home and questioned why Isfeld walked to the attending ambulance.
Christian Schmidt, assistant chief of operations for Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, said departmental policies were followed.
“It would appear the call was handled appropriately,” Schmidt said. “It would appear that, in the review of the patient care record, the care was appropriate.”
Stuart said paramedics briefly parked several blocks from the Stuart Avenue home until police secured the potentially hostile scene, as is department procedure, and then drove as near as possible to the home.
He said numerous police and fire department vehicles were blocking the ambulance’s way to Isfeld’s home.
Despite successfully having several emergency vehicles moved, Schmidt said the ambulance could only get to the intersection of Stuart and Pentland Street, several houses down the street from Isfeld’s.
Schmidt said the initial call came in at 12:30 a.m. and that paramedics arrived at Pentland and Stuart 15 minutes later, when a police officer walked Isfeld to the ambulance.
The assistant chief said paramedics completed a full-body survey on Isfeld in the ambulance, as is standard procedure, to look for potentially life-threatening injuries and assess vital signs. Isfeld was transported to hospital at 1:10 a.m. in stable condition.
He died in hospital later Saturday. Isfeld’s family had been critical of paramedics, questioning why he wasn’t taken to ambulance on a stretcher and why he wasn’t immediately transported to hospital once inside the ambulance.
Darren James Hall, 23, of Winnipeg was arrested later Saturday and has been charged with manslaughter in Isfeld’s death.
Schmidt said further review of the incident will be undertaken with department officials.

As I reading this article, I really couldn't find any noticeable biases. The author presented the facts and opinions of others but did not seem biased towards either side of the argument. Well written!
I feel that the paramedics did follow procedure in this case because it was initially reported that a gun was involved and they followed standard procedure.

Ambulance waited for police

He was hit on the head with a beer bottle, walked to an ambulance, then later died in hospital.
Garth Isfeld's family says they are unhappy with how he was treated, but a top Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) official said employees handled the case correctly.
WFPS assistant Chief of Operations Christian Schmidt said Monday an ambulance crew had to sit about four blocks from the house where the man awaited help because a 911 call indicated gunshots had been fired. In potentially dangerous situations, paramedics and fire officials must wait nearby until police ensure the scene is safe, he said.
He said paramedics did the right thing by not entering a potentially dangerous situation without police clearance.
"Our staff are not police officers. They do not carry equipment with them for self-defence," he said.
Isfeld, 44, died in hospital on the weekend after he got into a fight with a party crasher at a Stuart Avenue birthday party, witnesses said. Emergency personnel were near Stuart Avenue within 10 minutes of the call, Schmidt said.
Once police gave the all-clear, about five minutes after the ambulance arrived, the route was blocked by a police car and fire department vehicle which had to be moved. When the ambulance reached Pentland Street at Stuart Avenue -- about 30 metres away from the house -- a police officer and Isfeld walked to the ambulance.
Family members of Isfeld said they thought it was wrong their father had to walk to the paramedics. Isfeld's daughter said there were eight to 10 police vehicles near the Stuart Avenue home and the ambulance could have come closer to meet him.
"They shouldn't have been that far... there was room. There was obviously room," said Stephanie Krasnesky, 18.
Relatives also said paramedics should have used a stretcher to carry Isfeld to the ambulance, and medical personnel did not rush him to hospital fast enough.
Schmidt said paramedics arrived at hospital at about 1:10 a.m., about 40 minutes after the 911 call and 25 minutes after paramedics initially encountered Isfeld.
Police arrested and charged 23-year-old Darren James Hall with manslaughter. Isfeld is the second homicide victim of the year in the city.
Police did not comment on the incident Monday on their handling of the incident.

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