NJ family accuses EMT company of botching father’s COVID-19 rescue
A family in North Jersey is livid after they say they had a nightmare experience with the EMTs who showed up to help their father who was nearly dying from COVID-19.
Ed Fox is fighting for his life on a ventilator at Valley Hospital.
His son, Spencer Fox, says it goes back a week and a half when he called 911 upon noticing that his father was getting worse. He said he noticed a problem right away when a private company showed up instead of Wyckoff EMS.
"They were attempting to take his vitals and none of their equipment was working," Spencer Fox recalls.
He felt something was off as COVID-19 suffocated his 68-year-old father.
Fox says the EMTs from New Jersey Mobile Health Care sat his father up on the bed and left the room.
"He slipped off the bed and hit his head. His head was pinned between the floor and the mattress frame," Fox recalls.
He admits that his father is a big person, but he never expected that the EMTs would drop him.
"They actually forgot to buckle him in, so when they lifted him up, he fell out of the Reeves stretcher," Fox says.
The police report says Fox ran outside to tell Wyckoff police that "he felt his father was going to die in their hands."
Police say the elder Fox "could not catch his breath and his face was a blueish color."
An officer also noticed "the mask that the EMTs had placed on the patient’s face was not connected to any oxygen source."
"It's just crazy to me that the EMTs forgot to plug into any oxygen. That's like the hardest part for me," Fox says.
The incident already has the attention of state lawmakers.
"It's unconscionable," says Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, who adds that the state health department needs to investigate so that something like this does not happen again.
News 12 New Jersey reached out to New Jersey Mobile Health Care, but it did not get back. Its website claims it "delivers the highest levels of prehospital care to our patients" and says it's has a license from the state health department.
On Monday, News 12 New Jersey asked the commissioner of the state health department if they offered guidance to companies like these during the pandemic and said it has not done anything lately for private ambulances.
"You know that 25 to 30 minutes of them trying to get him to the ambulance truck, I don't know if it would've save him, but we'll never know," Fox says.
News 12 New Jersey also asked the town of Wyckoff why the normal EMS crew didn't show up, whether the town has a contract with the private company and at what cost is it to taxpayers, but did not get a response.