NEWARK - An ambulance crew working for University Hospital in Newark was caught on camera ignoring an emergency call, because the ambulance driver was live-streaming while on duty.
James Hovan and his partner were working late Thursday night. Hovan was using Periscope while driving around Newark. Periscope is a smartphone app that allows the user to live-stream video to an audience.
At one point during their shift, Hovan and his partner decided to take a dinner break at White Castle.
While waiting on their food at the drive-thru, a call for service is heard on the radio.
Hovan is heard saying “Oh no they didn’t!” and continues to wait for his food.
A few moments later, one of the viewers posts a comment asking why they weren’t responding to the emergency call.
“I ordered my food before the [expletive] call came in,” Hovan responds. “What do you think, I just throw it up in the air and run off? No!”
Hovan and his partner then say that they assume the emergency call is a “taxi ride,” which refers to a patient who doesn’t’ necessarily have a medical condition, but just wants a ride to the hospital.
“I’d be willing to bet my paycheck this is a taxi ride,” Hovan is heard saying.
Next, a second call comes in for a woman who is unconscious and struggling to breathe.
The food arrives and the pair takes off to respond to the call. As they drive, Hovan and his partner are heard mocking the condition of the patient.
“I’m struggling to eat my [expletive] mozzarella sticks,” Hovan and his partner are heard saying.
A spokesperson for University Hospital released a statement about the video that says, "University Hospital is deeply concerned about this matter. The individuals involved have been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending an investigation."
News 12 New Jersey attempted to reach out to Hovan through social media, but did not get a response. By Friday evening, all of Hovan’s social media accounts were deleted.