** Illinois paramedic facing 14 years in jail on child porn tags
** Greek ambulance services straining under country’s economic woes
UNITED STATES NEWS
** An Illinois paramedic/firefighter from Frankfort is being held on a $500,000 bond after being arrested for child porn offences. That is the word from The Herald-News (Brian Stanley/June 15) which said Sean Field, 31, appeared in court Wednesday on three separate tags. According to the newspaper, Field, who is facing up to 14 years behind bars, was found to have literally thousands of offensive pictures on his computer. Authorities began investigating him in March after an anonymous tip. County Assistant State Attorney Chris Messina said Field admitted to possessing the snaps. He told police he used the pictures to prevent himself from actively abusing any children. Field was employed at Joliet’s Ingalls Memorial Hospital at the time of his arrest. His current employment status remains unclear. There is no word on his next court date.
** Greece’s ongoing financial woes are straining EMS services with one estimate claiming Athens has only 40 ambulances for over 4 million people. The Associated Press (Thanassis Stavrakis/June 16) said the city is being particularly hard hit, with half the ambulance fleet out of commission. According to the news service, the prehospital rigs are sitting idle because of a lack of spare parts. Those that are running have around 1 million kilometres logged on their odometers. Paramedic Dimitris Dimitriadis said many residents are calling EMS so they can jump ahead of others at emergency rooms. Others hail paramedics to take them to hospital because they can’t afford the cost of a taxi. Government officials say they are trying to upgrade ambulance services. However, it is a private grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation that will pay both for 143 new ambulances for across Greece and for an Athens dispatch centre improvement. The economic troubles are just part of a long slide for the country that has seen state spending cut, taxes hiked, and pensions reduced to conform with European Union and International Monetary Fund bailouts.