An EMT who rushed a 4-year-old child to the hospital because he was having seizures has been suspended -- because he was one year too young to help the kid. Say what?? It all started when 20-year-old First Aid and Rescue Squad volunteer Stephen Sawyer was at his squad's headquarters in Ellenville, New York, when a call came in about a little boy desperately needing an ambulance.
Sawyer, who was alone at headquarters and who is forbidden to drive an ambulance since he's not yet 21, called another volunteer squad, but they were too busy to help. He considered calling a different squad that he volunteers for but knew it was 45 minutes away and probably wouldn't get to the boy in time.
He called for three more ambulances but couldn't find any. Yikes! Sounds like a real shortage of ambulances in this county!
So despite the rule that he needed to be 21 to drive an ambulance, Sawyer hopped behind the wheel and drove the five minutes to the little boy's house, picked up him and his mom, and brought them to the hospital.
Instead of being hailed as a hero, Sawyer was suspended!
He was so angry about this that he decided to quit. Great, this town doesn't sound like it can lose any dedicated EMT volunteers!
The over-21 rule is apparently not dictated by insurance, says a board member for the squad, but he won't say why it's so important that drivers be 21. Seems kind of odd, considering they are allowed to volunteer.
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The squad put this man in a terrible position -- they left him alone at headquarters, very well knowing that if a call came in, he wouldn't be able to drive to help out. So he had to either let a little boy possibly die -- or follow the letter of the law.
Apparently the letter of the law was more important than its heart -- which is to help people. Which he did.
This is absurd and I hope Sawyer moves to a town where his heroics are appreciated.
What do you think he should have done?
Image via didbygraham/Flickr