- New Haven, CO: Protestors Resist Moving For Ambulance
- Young Father Dies After Ambulance Blocked
- Man Dies Waiting for Ambulance In Berkley
- Child Rescue Attempt Delayed
Over the last couple of years the use of ‘highway protesting’ has hit the pavement with some activist groups. Black Lives Matter being one of the most notable groups to use Highway protesting regularly. These specific protests stemmed from various ‘cop on black’ shootings and the most recent political election. Highway ‘demonstrations’ are so prominent that several dozen highways have been shut down at one time or another over the past two years. Although highway protesting may seem to be nothing more than a nuisance, it can cause some serious problems. Highways transport everyone from the Seven-Eleven clerk to the trauma surgeon. The Seven-Eleven clerk missing work by a few hours might not be a big deal. But, what about the trauma surgeon? Here are four examples of ambulances obstructed by highway protests leading to serious or almost serious repercussions.
1. Protestor Resists Moving For Ambulance
Most recently in early February, EMT’s in New Haven, Connecticut had to perform emergency procedures in an ambulance due to protestors blocking the route to the hospital. The leader of the protest, Norman Clement, incited demonstrators to continue blocking the highway and to resist orders from the police.
After running through his supporters to evade the police, he was arrested on charges of inciting rioting, disorderly conduct, and reckless use of a highway.
2. Young Father Dies After Ambulance Blocked
In mid-November, 2016 a post showed up on Facebook by an EMT who explained he needed to ‘take a break’ from social media.
Although this was only a ‘report’ and not technically verified by news sources, it’s not all that difficult to imagine such an event happening. Many highway protests shut down freeways for hours if not entire days in particular incidents. All that’s required is one ambulance being stuck in traffic for a few hours with a patient who has life threatening conditions.
3. Man Dies While Waiting For Berkley Ambulance
Emergency services received a phone call that a 62-year-old man collapsed in his apartment on Kittredge street. He reported symptoms of “difficulty breathing and sweating” and that he would be waiting in front of the elevator. However, due to the protests, the ambulance was unable to get to the man in time to save him. The average response time of the Berkley emergency service department is approximately 5 and a half minutes, but during the time of protests, the response time was delayed by nearly 30 minutes.
4. Child Rescue Attempt Delayed
When I-55 was shut down in July 2016, a paramedic was unable to get to a child stuck in traffic needing medical attention. The paramedic, Bobby Harrell, had to wait for a police escort to go down the highway in the wrong direction to reach the child. The child had to be ‘handed over the median’ in order to get to the ambulance. Fortunately, the child was OK and arrived at the hospital just in time. If things went just a bit longer, there could have been another tragic victim of highway protests.