Tags: emt | suspended | save | choking | girl

EMT Suspended for Trying to Save Choking Girl

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By    |   Friday, 30 Oct 2015 10:19 AM

An EMT in Brooklyn has been suspended for trying to save a choking girl on his own last week while he was transporting another patient.

Qwasie Reid, an emergency medical technician for the private Assist Ambulance, was transporting a patient from a nursing home when he was flagged down by a teacher and a school safety agent at P.S. 250 in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood to help a girl who was choking, NY1 reported.

The girl, 7-year-old Noelia Echavarria, was eventually taken to the hospital after she was found unresponsive. The New York Daily News said the first-grader is on life support at University Langone Medical Center and is not expected to recover, according to family attorney David Perecman.

Reid told the Daily News that when he found the girl, no adults were around so he went to work to try to save her before a crew from FDNY arrived four minutes later to take her to Woodhull Hospital.

"She was unresponsive," Reid said. "Her face was blue. Nobody was doing anything. She was definitely choking. I cleared the airway."

For getting involved and leaving his own patient, though, Assist Ambulance has suspended Reid indefinitely. The company declined comment to the Daily News.

"I vowed to save a life, lives, as many as I could," Reid told NY1. "That little girl, Noelia, superseded that gentleman that was in my ambulance that day. And I would never change anything if I had to, never."

Reid, the school, and Echavarria's family all said they contacted 911, but it was not clear who called the emergency number first. A city hall spokesman told the newspaper that dispatchers did receive two simultaneous calls but did not identify where they came from.

The family said that Reid's help was important, and insisted that the school did not act quickly enough to help the young girl.

Administrators, however, refuted that claim.

"We believe the principal and faculty responded swiftly to the emergency, notifying 911 and the student's family immediately," education department spokeswoman Devora Kaye told the Daily News.

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An EMT in Brooklyn has been suspended for trying to save a choking girl on his own last week while he was transporting another patient.
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Friday, 30 Oct 2015 10:19 AM
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