Paramedics from Southern California refused permission to visit a post-acute facility in order to treat a man suffering a cardiac arrest last month. A bodycam captured an officer arriving at Rialto Post Acute Care Center on November 11. A pair of paramedics greet him outside wearing Rialto Fire Department masks.
Firemen demanded that the patient be removed from the facility before they could treat COVID-related statutes. After being allowed into the hospital, the officer was received almost immediately by staff. The officer rushed into the room where the man was suffering from cardiac arrest. He informed staff that they wouldn’t allow them in due to COVID-19 law.
The officer was then able to see several CPR-trained staff members. The officer was able to move the bed because the patient wasn’t lying on a bed that had wheels. An officer navigated the corridors on a wheelless bed until they came to a halt in front of paramedics.
The fire department insisted that the patient be taken outside before lifesaving efforts could begin. They refused my request to help me get outside assistance.
After they freed the man, emergency medical personnel arrived to treat him as if he was a paramedic. They also asked questions about administrative matters.
He was taken to the hospital where he was declared dead about 30 minutes later.
He stated that he had asked firefighters about the law after the incident and they replied that it was “some COVID-19” law that was still being rewritten.
San Bernardino County Fire Chief’s Association sent a memo to all departments informing them that they would request facilities to move patients outside.
Rialto City Fire Department Acting chief Brian Park stated that many of his employees were placed on leave as a result of an investigation into disturbing footage.
Park stated that the Fire Department’s mission is to provide exceptional medical emergency service and compassionate service. He would like to thank Rialto Police Department and Fire Department for their exceptional efforts in saving lives.
Deborah Robertson, Rialto Mayor, also stated that she supports independent investigations into these events.
Robertson stated that the investigation will focus on the conduct by the Fire Department personnel who did not enter the acute-care facility right away. We offer our condolences to the family, our police officer, and all those at the care center who had to deal with such a difficult situation.