Catskill EMS workers taken off duty after video shows apparent mistreatment of disabled patient

Catskill Town Supervisor Patrick McCulloch say the workers have been taken off-duty and that the incident is under investigation.

Blaise Gomez

May 20, 2024, 10:09 PM

Updated 35 days ago

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Two emergency medical service providers in the Town of Catskill were taken off duty after they were caught on camera appearing to mistreat a disabled patient during a recent call.
Several Nest home surveillance videos were shared to Facebook on Friday by a person who said the patient has a partially amputated foot and previously suffered several strokes.
The workers are seen on the video pulling up to the residence in a marked ambulance that has “Catskill Ambulance” written on the back doors. They then get out of the vehicle. One worker is heard calling out, “Who are we here for? Come on down. I can’t carry him down the stairs. He’ll have to go on his butt and come down.”
Another surveillance video shows the patient apparently sliding down the stairs on his buttocks one step at a time. At one point, the man is seen being escorted to the ambulance by the EMTs by arm, who then audibly instruct the patient to climb up the back of the ambulance himself.
“Let’s go,” one worker is heard saying. Both EMTs are seen standing by while the patient struggles by himself to climb up on his knees. The patient is eventually seen collapsing in the back of the ambulance before getting onto the stretcher.
“You need to get up,” one worker is heard saying. “I’m not doing this.”
Another is heard saying, “I literally just watched you put yourself on the ground on purpose. I’m not playing this game with you.”
“It’s terrible and hard to watch, hard to process as a provider,” says Ashley Lurie, EMSPAC Hudson Valley division leader.
Lurie says ambulances are equipped with stairs and have state-required equipment on hand to help in situations in which patients cannot walk.
“It’s called a stair chair. The state has a set of requirements that list at a minimum what an ambulance should have,” Lurie says.
Lurie says the behavior exhibited by the workers in the videos seemingly highlights the need for more mental health resources in the workplace this National EMS Week.
“I don’t think they began this job with that attitude,” Lurie says. “At one point, what may have been a good provider - post-pandemic, there are many things that may have caused that.”
Catskill Town Supervisor Patrick McCulloch say the workers have been taken off duty and that the incident is under investigation. Officials say the behavior is not an example of the service the ambulance corps is known to provide.
The person who shared the videos says the patient remains in ICU after he was taken to the hospital but that his condition is improving.


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