September 23, 2017

** Utah paramedic, who also works as Salt Lake City detective, suspended after using excessive force with nurse

** UK ambulance service to introduce random drug and alcohol testing

UNITED STATES NEWS

** Gold Cross Ambulance in Salt Lake City, Utah has laid off a part time paramedic after he used excessive force with a nurse during his full time work as a detective. Fox 13 (Lauren Steinbrecher/Brock Damjanovich/September 5) said the service took the action after the incident was recorded on a body cam and circulated on the Internet. According to the news site, Detective Jeff Payne forcibly arrested Nurse Alex Wubbels after she declined to get a blood sample from a patient. Wubbels told police it was against policy to do a blood draw when a patient was unconscious. The footage then shows Payne dragging Wubbels from the hospital and handcuffing her. Gold Cross spokesman Brad Holder said Payne’s aggressive behavior was not characteristic of him. Holder said Payne has been with the company since 1984. He said the suspension will be in place during the criminal investigation of Payne. Payne has also been suspended from the police department.

UNITED KINGDOM NEWS

** The Yorkshire Ambulance Service could soon become the first in the country to usher in random drug and alcohol testing for paramedics. The Yorkshire Evening Post (September 5) said the practice is being considered so that the service can secure a patient transport contract for all of South Yorkshire. According to the newspaper, the union has protested the move, but said little could be done to stop it. The contract, however, could provide hundreds of jobs to the region. An ambulance service spokesman said the move was part of ensuring the health and fitness of its employees.

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