A New York City EMT has been suspended after stopping his ambulance to rush to the aid of a choking 7-year-old girl at a public elementary school without having been dispatched to the scene, according to Fox News.
Despite Qwasi Reid's valiant effort, the girl, Noelia Echavarria, a second-grader at P.S. 250 in Brooklyn, was declared brain-dead Friday after choking on her lunch last week, the family's attorney told WPIX 11.
The incident began while Reid, who works for Assist Ambulance, and his partner were transporting a nursing home patient to the hospital Oct. 21. While they were stopped at a red light, a frantic man approached the vehicle and told them that a student inside the school was choking, the report says.
Reid said that his partner informed the man that they already had a patient and there was nothing they could do. The company's policy does not allow drivers to make stops without being dispatched to the scene, the report says. But Reid, who has driven ambulances for four years, leaped from the vehicle and performed first aid on the girl, who he says had turned blue, meaning that her brain was deprived of oxygen. "No one at the school was rendering first aid," he told the news outlet.
"I don't regret it," Reid, who said he is suspended without pay and could be fired, told Fox News. "I'd do it again. If I know there's a child choking, I'm going to do my best to help her."
The Department of Education released a statement to WPIX saying that it believes the faculty responded in a timely manner but that it will continue to monitor the situation.