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Ambulance-crash driver doesn't remember crash

Original post made on Dec 22, 2008

The driver in the ambulance crash on University Avenue "does not recall the incident and could not provide any information as to the cause," police Detective Brian Philip reported late this afternoon (Tuesday). The 56-year-old woman passenger is still in critical condition at Stanford Hospital.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, December 23, 2008, 7:03 PM

Comments (69)

Posted by Ivana
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 22, 2008 at 4:54 pm

I want to seet what the driver has to say


Posted by Monsieur
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Dec 22, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Since when does someone take an ambulance to a "routine medical exam." ?


Posted by Downtown
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 22, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Monsieur, this was a non-emergency ambulance. People get transferred to doctor's appointments all the time in these types of ambulances when they can't walk themselves, have significant medical conditions or need special monitoring to get to their doctors. Also used for dialysis appointments, radiation treatment, etc.


Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2008 at 7:31 pm

I asked the same question and almost instantaneously the post was removed. Even the article, using quotation marks for "routine medical appointment", makes the need for an ambulance questionable. If this really is routine, why the quotation marks?


Posted by Ned
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 22, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Does it really matter about quotes people?? A woman is in critical condition and all you can think about quotes? Typical Palo Alto response.

Like Downtown said, people use private ambulances all the time.


Posted by paddington
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Alot of "Code 1" or non emergency traffic consists of those not able to ambulate, as well as those with such severe medical conditions to begin with (cardiac history, stroke, dementia, alzheimers, contact precautions and disease, and respiratory related issues) Usually these problems come in pairs or even triplets, thus making gurney van or private vehicles near impossible for transport to wound care for the bed-bound, dialysis, and routine checkups. These patients require EMT BLS (Basic Life Support) Or even PARAMEDIC ALS (Advanced Life Support) Monitoring at times.

There is a lot of abuse of the non emergency ambulance, and a lot of the times the patient probably dosn't require the level of monitoring and care possible with even a BLS ambulance. That being said its a huge industry, even the Palo Alto Fire Department is involved. Along with their Paramedic transports that focus on 911 based type calls, they operate a small BLS unit that provides non emergency transports. Its really easy revenue for the city.


Posted by letty
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Dec 22, 2008 at 9:56 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by margaret
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 23, 2008 at 11:03 am

I'm really sorry that the passenger is in critical condition but I find all the discussion about ambulance services to be beside the point. The article mentioned that the ambulance was going 35mph which is above the 25mph speed allowable on University Ave. University Avenue has a high volume of traffic which routinely speeds. Perhaps, future unfortunate accidents could be prevented if people obeyed the posted speed limit. A little enforcement of the speed limit by the Police Department wouldn't hurt either.


Posted by curious
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2008 at 2:18 pm

I'm curious about who 'removes' posts and what the criteria are for removal... I recall the recent article about "Tony" and reports that those who knew him as somewhat less than perfect and posted as such had their posts promptly removed. That is big brother making decisions about what side of a story to tell! That is bias at its worst, if I continue to see evidence of that I will not pick up one of these periodicals, nor visit the site again.


Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Those judging on why patients use medical transports for appointments need to think before they speak. The patient being transported might've been transported to their medical appointments for various medical conditions that require an EMT team to be there. No one should judge on Why people/patients use medical transporters for medical appointments until you're the one in their shoes. I work in the medical field and know of special cases that require medical transporters. This woman is in critical condition and yes if the driver was more cautious this might have been prevented.


Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2008 at 3:30 pm

I am concerned for the woman patient, and it does sound as there was some reckless driving involved. The reason why I raise the query as to why she was in an ambulane is only because the article uses quotation marks. To me, the article is underscoring this and we are just following suit. If the article mentioned routine medical appointment without quotation marks, none of us would be sceptical. As it is, you can blame the reporter for making this an issue.


Posted by Paddington
a resident of another community
on Dec 23, 2008 at 5:12 pm

I think your looking way to deeply into the article and making more of the quotations then they really are. Why the reporter opted to use quotations? I have no idea. Fact still remains that Non-Emergency ambulances are used on a daily basis for all people with all sorts of reasons, and while they may be abused by some (just like the 911 system and ALS ambulances) its better off we have them and not judge those that use them, then not and just get rid of EMS (Emergency Medical Services) as a whole.


Posted by Solon
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 23, 2008 at 8:01 pm



What income/ revenues does the PA fire Department get from ambulance and BMT?

I recall one lady, where the firetruck came, 911 anxiety call, and then she also rec'd TW0 $ 800 plus bills through Medicare for one ambulance, also Fire Dept, she believed, but she could have been wrong there ("Don't worry about how much it is, you don't have to pay it,Medicare does" she was told.) Twice, Eventually, we were able to cancel one of the duplicate bills she had not even noticed.

SO, what ARE the revenue streams for our Fire Dept.? Is medical calls significant?


Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 23, 2008 at 8:41 pm

The 'retail' cost of taking a patient from the Palo Alto Medical Clinic to the Stanford ER is approximately $800+ (or it was two years ago) and that is only 6/10th's of a mile. I said 'retail' because Medicare sets the rate for those on Medicare (it's called "accepts assignment") and the PA ambulance service accepts the assigned rate that Medicare sets... as do hospitals e.g. Stanford and many MD's e.g. PA Clinic. MediCal also has its own fee schedule Perhaps someone not on Medicare can tell us what some insurance companies pay - e.g. deductible, co-pay, etc. But if you are having a heart attack, the cost is the last thing you are concerned about.


Posted by YouShouldKnow
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 24, 2008 at 1:27 am

Poor woman. They were driving a bit too fast. Wonder if the driver was texting or on thr radio?


Posted by Downtown
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 24, 2008 at 2:06 am

Solon,
The lady should have gotten only 1 bill, which is from the ambulance trip. The City does not charge for the Fire Engine/Fire Truck response -- the bill comes only if the patient is transported. As such, she should have received only one bill -- $800 does sound right for a one way trip to the ER -- the duplicate one was probably a mistake. Also, medicare will only pay for the cost if the transport was medically justified -- so if the patient asked to be transported to the hospital because of a minor cut to the finger, Medicare might deny the reimbursement. If the patient does not provide Medicare information (this happens quite a lot actually) -- the patient may end up getting the bill as the City can't bill Medicare without the information. The patient then has to submit the paperwork to medicare themselves.

The statistics on the number of calls are on the City of Palo Alto Fire Department website. Medical 9-1-1 calls make up most of the emergency responses in the city. I'm not sure though how many people actually end up paying because there are people who can't pay, don't have insurance, provide the wrong information, etc.


Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2008 at 2:57 am

Emergency vehicles do not know how to drive and they do not seem to know how to put on their lights or use sirens. I cannot tell you how many times I see police cars all of a sudden take off, or run through a light or stopsign without putting on their lights. Ambulances put their lights on one minute and then turn them off, and drive all over the place.

What is with people ... anybody have the same experiences as me or do I just happen to see a lot of bad driving on the part of emergency vehicles?

These vehicles should all have video cameras, and they should all be monitored or put on the internet so the public can see how the police, fire and ambulance drives are driving ... not to mention taxis.


Posted by concern
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Dec 24, 2008 at 7:30 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by YouShouldKnow
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 24, 2008 at 8:58 am

Under the circumstances, the lady should not be getting a bill at all! If there was ever an 'innocent' victim', she is it.

By the way, the reporter wasn't using quotes as a form of implied doubt. It was merely intended to convey a general quote from someone involved in imparting the information on the wreck.


Posted by Ken
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2008 at 10:36 am

What is the posted speed limit in the area of the crash?


Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Dec 24, 2008 at 12:05 pm

The speed limit on University Ave is 25 mph end to end.


Posted by Tim
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Bruce,

All fire and police are trained to drive code 3(red lights and siren). Cameras are already in police cars. We need to get all the facts before we start pointing fingers at someone.


Posted by Lawrence Escobar
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Posted by Monsieur, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Since when does someone take an ambulance to a "routine medical exam." ?


Just to comment on the comment made by the person about why would you take an ambulance to a routine exam, well if you knew this woman which I do because she is the grandmother of my 2 boys, you would know that she is unable to walk due to the fact that exactly 3 years ago she lost her son who was murdered. She had a nervous breakdown which made every single muscle in her body tensed up. As far as the driver not remembering.....im sorry to say but thats a crock of you know what!!!!! I have seen how these ambulance drivers seem to drive now a days and its ridiculous.....they have no consideration for any kind of laws, rules or regulations. With that all said and done, have a little consideration for my family and dont worry about why someone would take an ambulance to an exam. Instead worry about how your tax money can help hire better more qualified ambulance drivers, seems like they just hire anyone now a days.........


Posted by citizen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 25, 2008 at 2:28 am

Your tax dollars do not hire ambulance drivers, as ambulance drivers or to be more correct EMTS and PARAMEDICS (who both practice medicine and drive) Are all private based. Different counties have different contracts but its not state or government run, AMR is a private entity. (except in Palo Alto where fire department run the 911)

Secondary, anyone certified to drive an ambulance has to pass an EVOC course or Emergency Vehicle Operations Course.

Driving an ambulance is difficult, they are larger, are filled with blind spots, make motorists around uneasy, as well as impatient (yes ambulances do go slow at times) and as a driver you have alot of stuff going on all at once.

While my best wishes are with you and your loved one, don't attack an industry, a service, and some of the hardest working people in our community. I find that irrational and irresponsible.


Posted by EMT
a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2008 at 3:27 am

bruce,

Im going to have to agree with tim. All ems personel are trained on how to drive an emergency vehicle. If you knew anything about being a medic, emt, cop, etc.. you would know that if we turn our lights on, then turn them off, there is a chance that the call was cancelled. Being an emt I can tell you that we do get trained on how to, and how not to drive. Lets find out why they wrecked before pointing fingers. I do hope the pt. recovers from her injurys, and never has to go through something so tragic ever again.


Posted by Current EMT
a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2008 at 7:44 am



As a current EMT and volunteer fire fighter, i believe its ridiculous how everyone feels that they can make sudden assumptions and comments about our lack of training and respect we have for todays laws, obviously you have not taken your time to do any research on what exactly we have to do to become a driver. Also i doubt many people know that BLS (BASIC life support) transport is strictly code 1 (transporting patients to doctors appointments, assisted living facilities, dialysis etc.) and Code 2 (transporting to the ER with NO light and NO sirens). to those who want to talk about our lack of respect for laws, are you serious? let me just tell you, people these days on their cell phones or just plain not paying attention is one of the number 1 causes of ambulance crashes today. when driving code 3 down any street we have to obey all laws including company policies of driving (which we are trained tested and evaluated on) just like everyone else if we do not abide by these laws 1. we can get ticketed and fined and 2. we can get not only our Ambulance drivers license suspended, but our California Drivers license as well... as for driving with lights one min and then not the next ever heard of a cancelled call? guess not.. To the patient and family you will be in my prayers may we ask for a speedy recovery, to the driver and EMTs teching the call we ask the same. Thank you to my fellow Medics, EMTs, Firefighters, Police, etc... keep doing your job... thank you to those who commented on finding out what really happened before pointing fingers, and to those with YOUR LACK of knowledge of the medical field, please do your research and next time your driving be sure to pay attention at all times. Thank you


Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2008 at 8:07 am

Do ambulances, have seat belts for patient and staff?


Posted by paddington
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2008 at 9:52 am

Resident, yes they do. The front cab as well as the bench seats at the back for the EMT/MEDIC. Most EMTs/Medics do not wear them in the back though as it often times conflicts with Patient care, which is our primary task. Patients and ride alongs must be belted in, the Patient is attached to the gurney which is locked into the bed of the ambulance, the gurney should have a 5 point harness (at lest in this county) that consists of a leg belt, a waist belt, a chest belt with two shoulder belts (much like the race car seatbelts)


Posted by p.a. mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 25, 2008 at 12:00 pm

My sister had to be taken by ambulance to appointments for months after having both legs broken (thanks to a drunk driver) It was not physically possible for her to get into a passenger vehicle.


Posted by Mandell Safer
a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2008 at 3:53 pm

I am a Certified Emergency Vehicle Operator Insturctor and without more information I can find no way of telling what was going on in the ambulance. If the speed limit was 25 mph then the driver was speeding. This is baesed on the fact that this was not reported to be an emergency run. The driver should be trained that he/she is responsible for their crew, patient, the public and there self. The question is why was he/she speeding?


Posted by s.martinez
a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Please people show respect for the grieving family, the patient who happens to have been a dear friend, died yesterday Dec. the 24th, at 3:00 PM, brain dead, due to the injuries suffered during the accident, her daughter and her son had to make the difficult decision to pull the plug.
To all of those that find enterteinment on making stupid comments, God have mercy on your soul, hope you enjoyed your Christmas with your love ones, since this family lived through it with a terrible tragedy.


Posted by totan
a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2008 at 12:18 am

We are sorry for your loss


Posted by current emt
a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2008 at 12:48 am

i am so sorry for your loss... your family will be in my prayers


Posted by PL
a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2008 at 2:16 am

Posted by Monsieur, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2008 at 6:10 pm




Since when does someone take an ambulance to a "routine medical exam." ?






Just to comment on the comment made by the ignorant person about why would you take an ambulance to a routine exam, well if you knew this woman which I do because she is the grandmother of my 2 boys, you would know that she is unable to walk due to the fact that exactly 3 years ago she lost her son who was murdered. She had a nervous breakdown which made every single muscle in her body tensed up. As far as the driver not remembering.....im sorry to say but thats a crock of you know what!!!!! I have seen how these ambulance drivers seem to drive now a days and its ridiculous.....they have no consideration for any kind of laws, rules or regulations. With that all said and done, have a little consideration for my family and dont worry about why someone would take an ambulance to an exam. Instead worry about how your tax money can help hire better more qualified ambulance drivers, seems like they just hire anyone now a days.........

well just to comment on this comment...i am sorry for your loss, but if you knew the driver you would know..and you cant judge the driver just by this, you werent there so you wouldnt know wut happened..i know you're probably going through a rough time, but if you think about it, the driver probably is too..so dont speak so quickly


Posted by Shawn
a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2008 at 2:28 am

Since when does someone take an ambulance to a "routine medical exam." ?














Just to comment on the comment made by the ignorant person about why would you take an ambulance to a routine exam, well if you knew this woman which I do because she is the grandmother of my 2 boys, you would know that she is unable to walk due to the fact that exactly 3 years ago she lost her son who was murdered. She had a nervous breakdown which made every single muscle in her body tensed up. As far as the driver not remembering.....im sorry to say but thats a crock of you know what!!!!! I have seen how these ambulance drivers seem to drive now a days and its ridiculous.....they have no consideration for any kind of laws, rules or regulations. With that all said and done, have a little consideration for my family and dont worry about why someone would take an ambulance to an exam. Instead worry about how your tax money can help hire better more qualified ambulance drivers, seems like they just hire anyone now a days.........




well just to comment on this comment...i am sorry for your loss, but if you knew the driver you would know..and you cant judge the driver just by this, you werent there so you wouldnt know wut happened..i know you're probably going through a rough time, but if you think about it, the driver probably is too..so dont speak so quickly

I agree with the comment aboght this comment. you are really quick to judge but the funny part is you have no grief for the other passengers that were in the vehicle at the time of the crash. im sorry for your loss. but to take you anger out on the driver... is a sad and very pathetic move have you once thought to your self how the rest of the people in that crash are doing are they ok??? you are looking at it with a one tract mind... but like i said befor i am really sorry for your loss and you have my condolences.


Posted by Jacob in Idaho
a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2008 at 11:53 am

Hi I am from Idaho. I have read the threads provided here and find them very disturbing. How can a community judge without all of the facts. I am the EMS Chief in our small community and much of what is being discussed is policy and or policy changes that may need to be made. With that being said, each agency should take a look at the public record when it becomes public and train each of their providers/drivers so that this unfortunate crash has a lesser propensity of occurring again. Many ambulance drivers and EMT's, Fire, and police go through numerous hours of emergency operations annually. If the general public would take into account all of the training that occurrs, and then try to match it, then there may be fewer vehicle crashes for ambulances to respond too. How many drivers actually wear their seatbelts in their private vehicles, how many speed? Ask yourselves these questions before you judge. I am an EMS instructor as well. I teach all of my students that driving an ambulance is part of the job and is a very sensitive part as well. If a crash happens with an ambulance, then the patient in the back is in jeopardy, the patient that the ambulance is going to go get is in jeopardy. So many of the public take advantage of EMS. My regards to the family of the patient that was lost, but my regards also go out to the ems providers/drivers involved as well. This is a tough situation.


Posted by Mom
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Dec 26, 2008 at 12:24 pm

The ambulance driver doesn't remember crash? That's convenient. I'm sure the driver was being as careful as possible and it's insulting that people are saying he may have been texting while driving. What if the patient dies in the ambulance because he couldn't get there on time because traffic was in his path? You think he wouldn't be affected by that? He was doing his job the best he could. With everyone pointing the finger, he should repress those memories.

Perhaps it's the public who was not yielding to the ambulance which caused the crash. I see people continuing to drive when they see emergency vehicles. We are supposed to pull to the side of the road and stop even if the emergency vehicle is on the other side of the street, driving toward us.

According to the CA DMV, here are the laws regarding this:

Emergency Vehicles

You must yield the right of way to any police car, fire engine,ambulance, or other emergency vehicle using a siren and red lights. Drive as close to the right edge of the road as possible and stop until the emergency vehicle(s) has passed.

However, never stop in an intersection. If you are in an intersection when you see an emergency vehicle, continue through the intersection and then drive to the right as soon as you can and stop.

Emergency vehicles often use the wrong side of the street to continue on their way. They sometimes use a loud speaker to talk to drivers blocking their path.

It is against the law to follow within 300 feet of any emergency vehicle which is answering an emergency call.

You must obey any traffic direction, order, or signal by a traffic or police officer or a fire fighter even if it conflicts with existing signs, signals, or laws.

If you drive for sight-seeing purposes to the scene of a fire, accident, or other disaster you may be arrested. Casual observers interfere with the essential services of police, fire fighter, ambulance crews, or other rescue or emergency personnel.



I found this online:

"I currently work for a 911 ambulance. When I drive lights and sirens I’m always aware of other driver’s and how they might react to me. Mostly because a lot of people who try and race us, just not pull over at all until they hit a red light or will pull to the left and block the only empty lane for us to pass. Another one of my favorites are those that will pass us on the street.

So the next time you see a emergency vehicle pull over to the right. For all you know they may be going to your or your family's house. After all it only takes 4 to 6 minutes with no oxygen before someone becomes brain dead."


Posted by Robert
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 26, 2008 at 4:37 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by ellie
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 27, 2008 at 8:23 am

It's totally possible that the driver does not remember the crash. Any traumatic event, particularly one involving physical injury can have a memory loss associated with it.

In the past year I broke my foot and also fell on stairs and humongously sprained my wrist. In each case, the moment of injury is not in my memory banks.

As for going 35 in a 25 mile an hour zone, please, when was the last time you saw someone observing a 25 mph speed limit.


Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 27, 2008 at 11:10 am

Tim and EMT, both of you criticized me for including criticisms of the way I personally have seen police, fire and emergency vehicles drive. I am happy for the times when they drive well, and I support the codification of rules for that ... but I am saying that a high percentage of the time I see these vehicles driving they often do not follow these rules. Particularly police who drive at high speed, or make illegal U-turns against lights with no lights or siren on, which I believe is not following those rules.

Is that correct or not? I often see police speeding on El Camino, or HP on the freeway with no lights on or warning ... maybe to sneak up on speeders. Is that policy or not? I suppose I could be wrong.


Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 27, 2008 at 11:13 am

By the way, I did not mean to point fingers or make assumptions about this case, the article put me in mind of all the times I have seen what I believed to be incorrect usage of these emergency vehicles. It is not right to blame me as pointing blame when I am just related my experience. How does an ambulance crash on University without the driver knowing what happened?


Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 27, 2008 at 11:15 am

Martinez, sorry to hear the outcome of this tragic event. Condolences to the family.


Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 27, 2008 at 11:17 am

>> Just to comment on the comment made by the ignorant person
>> about why would you take an ambulance to a routine exam

A question does not make someone ignorant. You can inform
someone without calling them names can't you?


Posted by Mom
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Dec 27, 2008 at 11:19 am

Bruce,

Maybe they don't want to put their sirens and lights on because sometimes drivers freak out when they do.

Also, do law enforcement have to follow all the driving rules if they are in pursuit? If they are trying to get to an armed robbery or catch a speeding car, should they be expected to wait at the red light when it would otherwise be safe for them to turn? If they sat there and waited, people would complain that the police lost the chase or took too long to get to the scene.


Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 27, 2008 at 11:22 am

Jacob,
So far I have not heard anything new or unfamiliar that talking, brainstorming or going over the rules to improve would change. I can understand how you might feel defensive about someone being critical of people in the EMT profession, if you are in that profession or concerned about it, but when these things happen when these rules have been in a place for a long time and these people are supposed to be trained to follow them and there is so far no extenuating circumstance, it is not fair to criticise people who are concerned and even angry at professionals who might not be doing their jobs right ... especially since this seems to be rampant in lots of areas of the economy.


Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 27, 2008 at 11:27 am

Mom ....

"maybe" they think drivers will freak out if they see emergency lights? When I got my first drivers license there were questions on the test about how to handle emergency vehicles, I know my responsibilities in that regard ... do you?

Are you seriously interpreting my comments to mean that police when chasing bank robbers should stop at red lights? I was more saying that when doing something they would give someone else a ticket for, ie. breaking the rules of the road, that they should not be doing it unless it is necssary, like chasing a bank robber, or they should have their warning lights and sirens on.


Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 27, 2008 at 11:31 am

Mom....

> What if the patient dies in the ambulance because he couldn't get there
> on time because traffic was in his path?

That is not an excuse to crash. A driver is trained to know how to drive
safely under these circumstances, and they are not to risk their lives
and the paramedic's lives by driving unsafely.

Unless someone else hit this driver the crash would be their fault,
and as such not understandable according to their job description.

Is there any more information on this yet?


Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 27, 2008 at 11:33 am

Ellie:
> As for going 35 in a 25 mile an hour zone, please, when was the last
> time you saw someone observing a 25 mph speed limit.

When someone is being paid to drive safely, the fact that everyone
else may not is not any excuse. I do see people driving the speed
limit downtown, mostly, because when they do not it is very apparent
in the middle of Palo Alto.


Posted by Mom
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Dec 27, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Bruce,

Just because you don't freak out when you hear lights and see sirens doesn't mean that someone else reacts the same. Not everyone reacts to things according to the way you react.

And when you see police breaking the law by running a red, you do not know where they are going. It should be assumed that they need to be somewhere quickly, or they would not be breaking laws. Maybe they should announce on their loud speaker that they are following a bank robber, but then they would not have both hands on the wheel, eh?

Re the ambulance driver not driving safely, perhaps some bimbo jumped out in front of the driver and the driver had to swerve. You think the bimbo is going to stand around to take the heat from all the finger-pointing, judgemental Town Forum posters who assume the worst of people?

Sure, they are paid to drive safely, but ambulance drivers are also paid to get the patient to the hospital as fast as they can. Most people find it okay for emergency vehicles to speed when there is an emergency and seconds count. Except for the rigid few who would rather insult the people who are trying to help others.

Some people would rather find fault in others because it's easier than finding fault in themselves. Life isn't perfect. No one is perfect. Things happen. Accept it.




Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 27, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Mom, I really do not understand your persistance in irrelevence, it doesn't really matter how people react, we have an emergency protocol for these kinds of situations and both sides are supposed to know what to do when the time comes. Do you ever notice how ambulance drivers slow down when approaching an intersection? That is their job to make sure that no one is screwing up.

I was not assuming anything when I was stating that police often break the rules of the road without putting on their lights or siren, I was just stating fact, and I believe the law says that when police break the rules of the road they need to do that.

I guess you must be joking though with your next statement.

As to bimbos doing unpredictable things, besides your posts, I always drive like someone is going to do the unpredictable of there is something I do not see. Did you happen to see the crash picture in another article here? This was on the residential curvy part of University and the van drive right into a tree and overturned.

I think this occurrence has not been properly explained, and I also think that this was not an emergency run.

Again, "Mom", who am I insulting? You are the one using all kinds of sarcasm and silly absurdities to try to get at me, wasting both our time.


Posted by Mom
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Dec 28, 2008 at 12:13 am

Okay, my friend, this is my last round with you.

There are many questions such as "How could this happen? If everyone is doing the right thing, this should not happen. Why can't people just do the right thing?..How does an ambulance crash on University without the driver knowing what happened?"

THINGS HAPPEN whether or not people follow rules. Life follows no rules. Bimbos jump out in front of cars, people run red lights, people are killed in crossfire, fires start unexpectedly, athletes trip and fall, people lose their keys, policemen are killed in the line of duty, patients die on operating tables, etc. Why does there have to be an explanation for everything?

Accept that life is not perfect and move on.





Posted by grey_wulff1
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 28, 2008 at 9:58 am

for those of you lumping police with ems/fire vehicles, Police fall under a different category involving emergency lights and sirens. If police are enroute to a crime in progress, many times they will NOT use lights and sirens, since obviously they lose element of surprise when pursuing a criminal. In many police protocols itis taught not to use lights and sirens when responding to a criminal call. Police officers get continous driving training for every facet of their job. If they are responding to a medical emergency or vehicle accident they will run lights and sirens. As was said before, many times emergency/police are disregarded enroute to a scene and therefore will suddenly shut off lights and sirens. Ems/fire vehicles are not allowed to run only lights or only sirens however, BOTH are needed. I for one get tired of people not paying attention or ignoring an emergency vehicle and refusing to pullover to side of road, that attitude is getting more and more prevalent


Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 28, 2008 at 11:44 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by narnia
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 28, 2008 at 1:04 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Dude
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2008 at 1:09 pm

You folks need to find something more productive to do....

This debate has wandered so far off the topic, and consumed too much time that could have gone to much better uses.

Go hug your families, appreciate them while they're here. Thanks to those in the public safety profession who take care of us every day. We all recognize that there all always exceptions to the rule, but I am proud of the services provided to our community.

As to the original accident: Until the investigation is completed, it is a tragic accident with consequences for both the original patient and also the EMTs. Let the investigation run it's course and leave judgement to those who are entrusted with the right to judge.


Posted by annoyed
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2008 at 1:43 pm

Well stated dude


Posted by Phyllis
a resident of another community
on Dec 29, 2008 at 11:20 am

My thoughts and prayers go out to the patient and her family


Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 29, 2008 at 6:26 pm

Grey-Wuff,

Thanks for some clarification on emergency vehicles, I believe
that drivers of emergency vehicles of all kinds often abuse
the privilege and lose sight of good judgement because they
are given power without the judgement to handle it. For example
the many LA police car chases that taken place against the
mandate that these chases be abandoned with the get too
dangerous.


dude:
> You folks need to find something more productive to do....
> This debate has wandered so far off the topic, and consumed
> too much time that could have gone to much better uses.

Look up "hypocrite", dude. While you're at it you might
do a lookup on "dude" too, dude, as well as self-righeous,
holier-than-thou, prig, etc.

In my opinion the greater issue of discussion EMT vehicles
fits in this discussion, sorry if you do not agree, but you can
skip my comments if you wish, without trying to manage
the entire board.




Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 29, 2008 at 6:43 pm

By the way, the woman being transported, under non-emergency conditions from the East Bay to Stanford died because of this crash on the 29th.

Web Link

There is a picture of the crash in one of the related articles. This was a needless event had the driver been doing his job. In a world of global interdependence try to understand that anything we do or touch relies on many many people doing their jobs. Recall that the probability of a failure is additive in this case making it important to think about in a critical way to protect all of us who would like to live a long life. Case in point, David Halberstam.


Posted by Lawrence Escobar
a resident of another community
on Dec 30, 2008 at 11:42 pm

Just to inform everyone about the the woman that was in the ambulance, well she passed away Dec. 24th 2008......and was buried today. Out of all this i feel the most sorry for the mother of my children whose mother it was that passed......Just 3 years ago she lost her brother, now her mother.....all i got to say is, i hope that the ambulance driver wasnt driving recklessly.....i really do.....


Posted by wwm
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 9, 2009 at 11:19 am

For the record, I worked for Bay Medic and I know how they operate. Ask them for their driver training records for their EMT's......bet they don't have any. Ask them for their Field training records....again, bet they can't produce any. How about Mechanical records for the ambulance itself? This company is run by the most dishonest and unlikable people I have ever had the unfortunate luck of having to work for (luckily for not that long of a period) The driver can't remember anything ? I bet that he was never properly trained on emergency vehicle operations and panicked. In any case, I feel for the family and the EMT's, but I sincerly hope this has a positive effect on Bay Medic to change their operations and actually have some kind of driver training, or they should fold up and close their doors for everybody's safety.


Posted by Carlos
a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2009 at 9:56 pm

I think that the police investigation should look into the ambulance company's policy and procedures, and do a full legal audit on each of their drivers.

I believe that they young driver in question was only 20 years old, and if rumors are true, this was his 6th related ambulance accident.

Youn g- I don't even think you could rent a car if you are under 21!!

And you are putting your life into the hands of a young man that JUST TURNED 20 years old?

Is the company responsible for letting the young man be the driver, or is the young man responsible.

I would think that the police and district attorney should investigate this accident as a criminal offense, at least involuntary manslaughter.

I can't believe that the police or the regulating authority over ambulance companies allow a Bay Ambulance Company to let this young man be a driver.

The district attorney should be investigating this tragic accident.

My heart and prayers goes o the family. The family should hire a very influencial personal injury attorney.

The company is totally negligent in allowing such a poor driver to work for them.

The other injured personnel. One was the EMT partner riding in the back of the ambulance assisting the woman, and th third person was an EMT trainee. There to observe and learn.

If I was the family, I would definitely demand to see the accident record of this Bay Ambulance company.

And WHY would any municipality, or hospital, o insurance company ever HIRE a company with a very poor track record of driving accidents.

Cost is the only reason, and I guess you get what you pay for!!


Posted by Frank Pierce
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2009 at 4:31 pm

As a responce to carlos....

This Ambulance company is one of the few run out of contra costa county that allows drivers under 21 drive. As of age 18, you are able to go through the training and recieve an EMT Cert. at which time you must recieve an ambulance driving Cert. Bay medic however did not until recently require their drivers to go through the EVO 3 class. And by recent, i mean SINCE the accident. I believe this was a true tragity, and my heart and prayers go out to the family of the patient...


Posted by Peace
a resident of Los Altos
on Jun 30, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Dude on 12/28/08 hit the nail right on the head (see below for a memory refresher):

Posted by Dude, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Dec 28, 2008 at 1:09 pm

You folks need to find something more productive to do....

This debate has wandered so far off the topic, and consumed too much time that could have gone to much better uses.

Go hug your families, appreciate them while they're here. Thanks to those in the public safety profession who take care of us every day. We all recognize that there are always exceptions to the rule, but I am proud of the services provided to our community.

As to the original accident: Until the investigation is completed, it is a tragic accident with consequences for both the original patient and also the EMTs. Let the investigation run it's course and leave judgement to those who are entrusted with the right to judge.


Posted by Doesn't matter
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 13, 2009 at 6:52 pm

I too used to work for Bay Medic Transportation Inc. and yes the owners are the worst I have ever worked for, but when I worked there the emt's that worked there took their jobs very seriously, so it doesn't matter how old the driver was or is he was a nice guy...I knew him. I'm sorry for the family, but really I mean I am not trying to sound mean but shit happens...it happens to everybody. I am sure this was a mistake and everybody makes mistakes. Yes I would be pissed if this was my family but what is pissing me off is the comment made about that he was only 20 years old...come on seriously I know MEN that are 18 years old fighting for our country...who are in Iraq. What does his age matter, Im sure people wouldn't care how old he was if he was performing cpr on a loved one. If you think he is so young why don't YOU go to EMT school and do the job if you could perform so much better, and YOU go get your ambulance drivers license, and YOU give up your right to a .08 drinking limit, for your job and your career. The job of an EMT is normally a stepping stone into a different career, like Paramedic,Fire,Nurse...ect., so that's why he was so young because he was trying to do something with his life.


Posted by bay medic worker
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2009 at 10:19 pm

I want to answer you this is your question I am a Certified Emergency Vehicle Operator Insturctor and without more information I can find no way of telling what was going on in the ambulance. If the speed limit was 25 mph then the driver was speeding. This is baesed on the fact that this was not reported to be an emergency run. The driver should be trained that he/she is responsible for their crew, patient, the public and there self. The question is why was he/she speeding? You brought very nice question that why he/she speeding if they investigate bay medic they will find that by medic run the drivers very fast and keep them in pressure to run fast.I worked for this company.


Posted by Doesn't matter
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 19, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Yes bay medic does run their EMT's very hard, which doesn't excuse why he was speeding but all of the blame should not be put on the driver...I think the two owners of Bay Medic Transportation Inc. should be held responsible as well. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by unnamed
a resident of another community
on Nov 23, 2009 at 12:56 am

I used to work at Bay Medic. It was the worst company I have ever worked for, they only pay their employees 20 hours out of a 24 hour shift (no over time), they run their EMT's to the ground. The owners set up soo many calls at the same time, they literally told me to drop the patient off in the hall way of the nursing facility and pick up another non-emergency patient, while screaming at me. He tries to make money by taking all calls and stacking them all in the same time area. One day he was yelling at me and my partner to head to an SF hospital code 3 (lights and sirens), and to do anything possible to get there. There was traffic on the bridge with no side lanes to get by, and the owners kept yelling to get through any way possible (when there was no way in reality). Then when we arrived, I found out that it was a patient that just needed a ride home, completely stable walking and talking like nothing was wrong with her.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Maria Ivanova
a resident of University South
on Oct 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I am sorry I don't know my neighborhood.I just choose that one which name I like more.
Hello.My name is Maria Ivanova.I am Russian.I am 22 years old.I am here because I want to ask for help.Few days ago,it was 10/28/2011 around 4pm I was in the restaurant in Stanford shopping center in Palo Alto,CA. Then I don’t remember anything because I was blacked out(I suddenly felt bad and I was blacked out)than waiter called 911 and ambulance came to the restaurant and took me to Stanford Hospital.I know it is sounds strange but I fell in love with the guy from ambulance.I need to find this guy but I don’t know another way how I can find him.Thats why I am asking people to help me.Please help me!I am sure that this guy still remember me.I am not tall and I have long blonde hairs and blue eyes.that day I were grey jeans and black leather jacket with pink shoes,pink purse and I had iPhone 4 the color was white but the case was pink.Please help me to find this guy.I am sure that he remember me.few hours later,after he bring me to the hospital,he came back to visit me and he asked how I feel.I know that he remember me because he came back later to ask how I feel. Please help me to find this guy!This is my email address [email protected] you can help me PLEASE contact me.I really need to find him.I am not crazy I just fell in love with this guy and I don’t know another way how I can find him.I really hope that somebody will read this and help me! YOU ARE MY LAST HOPE!!!!
Thank you.Maria


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