A California police officer’s bodycam video appears to show last month’s incident which paramedics reportedly refused to enter a care facility for a man who stopped breathing.
KTTV reported that the November 11 incident occurred at Rialto Post Acute Care Center and the man suffering the medical emergency, Joseph Angulo, 56, ultimately died at a hospital. Police camera footage obtained by the news station apparently shows two Rialto fire responders at the front door, telling an officer that they could not enter the facility due to COVID guidelines — and that Angulo would have to be brought out to them.
The officer is later seen in the hallway of the care center, telling staff, “They’re not going to come in. They’re saying it’s a state law that they can’t come in.”
However, KTTV reported that the COVID guideline the fire responders cited may not have been in effect at the time of last month’s call.
“We cannot move him,” a worker is heard saying.
The news outlet reported that staff was unable to move Angulo’s bed because it may not have had wheels. Bodycam footage shows a nurse and nursing assistants performing CPR on Angulo in his room.
A nurse is still on top of Angulo as the officer gets behind Angulo and pushes. The officer and staff eventually make it to the front door, where paramedics take over performing CPR.
Paramedics eventually transported Angulo to the hospital, where he died later that night, according to KTTV.
Rialto Mayor Pro Tem Ed Scott told the news outlet that an employee at the care center reported the incident to him, and he, in turn, reported it to the city attorney.
Rialto city officials, who are investigating the incident, said there were some restrictions at the beginning of the pandemic but none are currently in place. Further, California’s Emergency Services Authority provided a statement to KTTV which apparently contradicts the first responders’ claims.
“Upon acceptance of a call assignment, California paramedics cannot refuse service (i.e., assessment, treatment, transport) unless directed by law enforcement or if the scene is unsafe. Local protocols may change instructions for the conditions to assess, treat, and/or transport,” the agency said.
The Rialto Fire Department told KTTV that the two paramedics who responded to the November 11 call were placed on leave, pending an ongoing third-party investigation.
Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson also promised an independent investigation during Tuesday’s city council meeting. Angulo’s family was not in attendance.
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[Featured image: Rialto Police Department]