Ministry Of Health Investigating the Fatal Accident on Saturday, July 7, 2018 & the Response Of The Emergency Medical Services (Ems); Police Launches High-Level Investigation

July 10, 2018 in National

On Saturday, July 07, 2018 a young man fleeing the Police was involved in a fatal accident. The Commissioner and the High Command of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) wish to express deepest condolences and sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased.

Our previous release was issued based on preliminary information, and was done purely to keep the public informed. No conclusions have been made at this time. As information is gathered and more is revealed, the Police will be guided accordingly.

However, we have found the concerns raised regarding this incident are very troubling. As the institution charged with investigating criminal matters, we have initiated a high-level investigation into the incident, given the serious allegations regarding the Police’s involvement. Following routine investigative practices, we have put a number of things in place and have taken several steps. Such steps include, but are not limited to the following:

1) An investigation team has been put together headed by a Senior Ranking Police Officer;
2) A retired Assistant Commissioner of Police with years of experience as an investigator has been engaged to provide advice;
3) All closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras along the route will be carefully reviewed;
4) The Police vehicle involved in the chase has been grounded for forensic analysis purposes;
5) An independent assessment of the motor cycle and the Police vehicle involved in the chase will be conducted by a qualified mechanic and certified vehicle inspector;
6) After consultation with the Director of Public Prosecution, he has appointed a Crown Counsel who would serve to advise the investigation team;
7) An appeal has been made – and continues to be made – for any witnesses to the chase to contact the Traffic Department to give information;

The investigation team will follow every lead and examine every piece of information received and evidence collected. The findings of this investigation upon completion will be made available.

Meanwhile The Federal Ministry of Health wishes to advise the general public that an investigation was launched on Saturday, July 7th 2018 regarding the response of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team of the Joseph N France General Hospital to the fatal accident that occurred on the said day. The management of the Ministry of Health wishes to extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

The Ministry’s investigation into the EMS’ handling of the case on Saturday was spawned by a widely circulated amateur video which partially documents the handling of the case by a two-member team of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). The Ministry is rather disturbed by the contents of the video, and on Monday suspended both of the EMT officers who responded to the emergency call. These officers will remain on suspension for the duration of the investigation, with a final determination of their future employment being made by the Public Services Commission (PSC) at the end of the investigation.

The Executive Management Committee (EMC) of the JNF General Hospital has also scheduled an emergency meeting of the entire EMT staff on Tuesday, July 10th 2018 in order to (a) officially document the Ministry’s dissatisfaction and disappointment with the handling of the emergency call on Saturday; and (b) reinforce the Ministry’s demand for the highest standards of professionalism and practical application of skill sets among the EMTs who are well-trained and expected, when called upon, to serve the people of our Country with distinction, compassion and respect.

The Ministry of Health wishes to further emphasize that Saturday’s unfortunate incident warrants an entire retraining and re-sensitization of all EMTs regarding their expected response to emergency calls, in particular those involving accident-related trauma and injuries. This training programme will be immediately implemented.

The Ministry of Health will update the general public at the conclusion of the investigation. Meanwhile, the Ministry sincerely apologizes to the family and friends of the deceased for the conduct of the EMT officers who responded to Saturday’s fatal accident.