** New Mexico paramedic, who stole dying patient’s debit card, avoids jail
** Louisiana paramedic dies on way home from work as a result of drunk driver
UNITED STATES NEWS
** A former New Mexico paramedic, who stole a dying patient’s debit card to run up an $11,000 debt, has avoided jail in favour of a sentence of probation. That is the word from the Associated Press (January 10) which said Santa Fe resident Michael John Harcharik, 32, was handed a six year suspended prison term Monday. According to the news site, Harcharik apparently pilfered the card while responding to a call for an unresponsive patient March 25th. He was arrested the following month and pleaded no contest in December to identity theft x 1 and violating the Remote Financial Service Act x 3.
** Funeral services are pending for a Baton Rouge, Louisiana paramedic who died Monday after a Friday crash with a drunk driver. KSLA (Elizabeth Vowell/January 10) said Josh Mark Wheeler, 26, was hit on his way home from his part time job with Acadian Ambulance. According to the newspaper, a secondary accident killed a bystander who stopped to help and injured a second man. Wheeler, who was also a youth pastor at the Voice of Pentecost Church, was remembered as someone who was always laughing. Church Pastor Robert Martin also said Wheeler never failed to strive to help people. Police are continuing to investigate both crashes. The name of the drunk driver has not yet been released.