Paramedic In Mistaken Death Case Gets Credentials Reinstated
Posted August 6, 2005 12:32 p.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — A paramedic who played a role in sending an injured man to the morgue in a body bag was cleared to go back on the job.
Suspended paramedic Paul Kilmer received his emergency medical technician credential back this week from the state after reaching an agreement with the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services to earn his way back to paramedic status by essentially starting over from scratch.
Kilmer was the lead paramedic the night of Jan. 24 when a car hit Larry Donnell Green as he walked down Highway 401 north of Louisburg.
A written report of the incident said that Kilmer never personally evaluated Green, who was pronounced dead -- even after Green appeared to have taken a breath. Instead, Kilmer relied on the opinion of another Franklin County paramedic, Randy Kearney, who responded to the accident as a firefighter and told emergency workers he could not find a pulse.
Emergency Medical Services Chief Drexdal Pratt said he thought Kilmer deserved the second chance.
"Remedial education is like rehabilitation and remedial education is an effort to get that individual performing at the expectation of that credential," Pratt said.
If Kilmer were hired as a part-time, full-time or volunteer EMT, he could immediately assist on calls. He would have to work his way back to paramedic status through education and repeated evaluations. If he were hired as a paramedic, his calls would be monitored for one year.
Green survived, but is now at a Wilson rehabilitation center where he can now talk some, his family said. They are unsure, however, if he will ever be able to make a full recovery.
Green's father, Larry Alston, said he is not happy about this week's development and cannot comprehend why the state would enter into this agreement.
"It's like a slap in the face," Alston said. "Sometimes you're at a loss for words. How can you be reinstated after you've done something so devastating?"
Kearney's credentials as a paramedic are pending. The state is expected to make a final decision in his case in the next 60 days.
The state EMS office said it does not think Kilmer or Kearney are currently working as emergency medical personnel. Both were fired in January from their paramedic jobs in Franklin County.