We may be starting to sound like a broken record, but first responders: Please secure your ambulance before exiting. It doesn't matter what the call may be, an unsecured ambulance is a danger to you, your partner, the public, and your patient. The whole point in responding to a medical emergency is to render top-notch patient care to your patient and to transport to the hospital. If you don't have an ambulance to do so with, you are pretty close to useless.
All this being said, it is hard to break old habits, and many emergency medical providers can get into a firm routine where certain details get overlooked. Unfortunately, two paramedics with the Dayton, Ohio Fire Department had their unit stolen as a result of leaving the truck running.
The incident occurred around the 400 block of Salem Avenue on October 20th around 6:30 pm, Fox 45 Now reported. According to police, while personnel were loading a patient into the ambulance and beginning patient care, Jeffrey Lamar Brown jumped into the driver's seat and took off. With two medics and a patient in the back, Brown brazenly flew down the street with police in pursuit for approximately one and a half mile miles. Eventually, police were able to stop the ambulance and remove Brown from the driver's seat. Fortunately, no serious injuries occurred as a result of the incident.
Jeffrey Lamar Brown was taken to Montgomery County Jail where he was charged with kidnapping, abduction, grand theft auto, and failure to comply.
There are several ways you can secure your ambulance—the easiest being, turn it off and take the keys with you. However, there are many cases where that is not possible, so we suggest you advocate that your department install override switches if your ambulances are not already equipped with them. If for some reason your department can't afford such switches, then bring two sets of keys and lock the running ambulance.