The laws surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are supposed to be in place, by the words of the people in charge, you keep people safe and save lives.
But what happened in Southern California when paramedics arrived at a post-acute care facility, could have cost a life, Fox News reported.
Body camera footage shows an officer arriving at the Rialto Post Acute Care Center on the evening of Nov. 11 and greeting two paramedics from the Rialto Fire Department, who were standing outside with their masks on.
The first 30 seconds of the footage are muted, which is standard for many police body cameras, but the officer wrote in his report that the paramedics were there for an unrelated patient and said the facility was being “problematic.”
“After a few moments, an unknown employee of the location yelled out to fire personnel ‘Please come help, he’s having cardiac arrest,'” an officer for the Rialto Police Department said in his report.
“Fire personnel responded by insisting the patient had to be brought outside the facility before they could provide any sort of treatment… due to an unspecified COVID-19 law,” the report said.
The officer went inside the facility when the paramedics would not and he was met by a frantic staff directing him to the patient.
“They are not going to come in,” he said to the staff as he ran to the room where the man was. “They’re saying it’s a state law that they cannot come in.”
When he got there the staff was performing CPR on the man. The bed the man was in did not have wheels so the officer began to push the bed toward the entrance where the paramedics were as the staff continued to perform CPR.
“You’re doing a great job. You’re doing a great job. Keep going,” the officer said to a staff member as she continued CPR.
Eventually the bed came into the view of the paramedics who would still not enter the facility.
“Despite being in their line of sight, fire personnel still insisted on [redacted] being brought to them outside before they began life saving efforts and made no effort to assist me in getting [redacted] outside,” the officer said in his report.
Eventually they got the man outside and paramedics who had arrived after the original crew began performing life saving measures as one of the original crew started asking administrative questions of the facility staff.
The man was transferred to a hospital but was pronounced dead a half hour later.
“Our Fire Department’s mission is to provide excellence in responding to medical emergencies through ‘compassionate service.’ As Acting-Fire Chief, I will ensure the independence of the outside investigation,” Rialto City Fire Department Acting Chief Brian Park said.
“I also want to recognize and thank the Rialto Police Department and the Rialto Post-Acute Care Center nurses for their extraordinary efforts and heroism to save the patient’s life as our responders failed to act to our Fire Department’s expectations,” he said.
Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson said she also wants an independent investigation into what happened.
“The investigation will focus on the conduct of the responding Fire Department personnel and the reasons those personnel did not enter the acute care facility immediately,” she said. “Our prayers are with the patient’s family, as well as our police officer and care center staff who had to endure such an unimaginable situation.”