EMS Tips

EMS Tips – Medic Killed – Medic Injured – You are Not Alone

1. N.C paramedic allegedly murdered by spouse

MEDIC (N.C.) paramedic Rebekah Hart-O’Sullivan was killed in her home, and police said her husband, Patrick O’Sullivan, shot her and fled the scene. He is wanted for murder.

In July 2016 I wrote that Our concern for personal and partner safety needs to extend from scene safety to off-duty safety from intimate partner violence and abuse. Paramedic Hart-O’Sullivan, like EMT Ashley Scott before her, reminds me of Kelly Wing-Schmidt. I think of Kelly, her five kids and family and her potential as a caregiver — a life cut short by an abusive and violent man — each time I read news about a woman killed by a boyfriend or spouse.

I made a vow to Kelly, Ashley and Rebekah  if I ever believed a friend, a relative or a co-worker was in danger from domestic abuse or intimate partner violence that I would start the conversation with this question: “Are you safe at home?

Bonus: The beliefs of EMS providers are about domestic violence are not reassuring. Read this Research Analysis: Pervasive domestic violence myths EMS providers believe.

2. EMS provider has significant head injury

Poor road conditions led to an ambulance collision in Ohio. It’s not clear if the driver or a different EMS provider has a head injury.

This collision, perhaps the first significant collision of 2018, is a reminder to all of us to slow down, wear a seatbelt at all times in the ambulance, and reduce or eliminate distractions. Be safe friends.

3. EMS agency staffing

In many areas of the country staffing, regardless of paid or volunteer, there is an EMS staffing crisis. A Minn. EMS agency is taking what seems to be a counter-intuitive approach by increasing volunteer reliance and decreasing paid staff.

“The new director has already brought some EMTs back, and we have a new first responder class of about 15.”

Recruitment and retention is likely to be a top EMS issue of 2018. Let me know how it plays out for your agency.

4. You are not alone

If you or someone you love is the victim of domestic violence, you are not alone and there is help available. or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE). 

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.