(Black Press Media files)

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

A labour arbitrator in British Columbia says two long-time paramedics should be fired after they were accused of mistreating a patient who was in pain and allowed to crawl to an elevator.

In a written statement issued last month, Paul Love says video from a building in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside where Alyson Banner and Michael Crawford were called on Oct. 14, 2019, ”shockingly reveals” the paramedics leading a 56-year-old man who is crawling to the elevator.

Love’s decision says Banner claimed a cot wouldn’t fit in the elevator and then told a mental health worker that the writhing man was not in pain and could walk.

Had the mental health worker not spoken up or there was no video evidence, Love says the complaint may not have succeeded.

CUPE Local 873, which represented Banner and Crawford and opposed their discharge, did not respond to a request for comment.

The ruling says the paramedics showed a lack of remorse by being dishonest throughout the investigation and the hearing, prompting what Love says is “most probably” a career ending decision by upholding their firings.

“The lack of candour both during the interview and at the hearing, demonstrates that although (Banner and Crawford) are experienced and well trained, the bonds of trust have been broken,” Love says in the decision.

“This is a tragic case in terms of the careers of the (paramedics), their treatment of the patient and their demonstrated lapse of service which reflects poorly on the employer.”

Both Banner and Crawford said the man, who is not named, was aggressive, foul-mouthed and refused treatment, but the mental health worker provided notes disputing that assessment.

The patient was diagnosed with life-threatening sepsis, which Love says “can result in delusional thinking, agitation and confusion.”

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital, Love says in the decision.

He says he struggled with the decision by British Columbia Emergency Health Services to fire Banner and Crawford, calling the case only a “small slice” of the paramedics’ combined 17 years of service.

“A theme suggested by the employer throughout the hearing, which I agree with, is it is difficult to imagine that this type of sub-standard patient care by a paramedic would be afforded to anyone out of the (Downtown Eastside), and the patient, a resident of the (Downtown Eastside), should not have experienced this treatment,” the decision says.

Love upheld the firings and dismissed union grievances about the timing, style and fairness of the investigation by British Columbia Emergency Health Services.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lake Babine Nation in Woyenne sees two positive Covid cases

Chief Gordon Alec gives the community an update

Burns Lake locals protest for Global Climate Change Strike

A few locals in Burns Lake, answered the call for a global… Continue reading

The sunset over Cheslatta Lake on the last day of summer 2020

A magnificent sunset captured by Marco G J at the Cheslatta Lake… Continue reading

Burns Lake local to fund summer students for Ducks Unlimited Canada

Ray Maher’s 10 year-committment to help several students and the organization

The regional district gets a Business Liaison through NDIT

Will help navigate local businesses and non-profits through the rough Covid-times

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Most Read