Canine Rights

EMTs Suspended After Providing Medical Care to Dog Injured in Auto Accident

Two Emergency Medical Technicians responding to a deadly auto accident were suspended from duty after the pair provided emergency medical care to a dog injured in the crash.

EMTs Nick Farmer and Tyler Wessel were first on the scene of a crash in which a pickup truck driver made a left turn into the path of a semi-truck traveling east on Ohio 32 near Beaver, Ohio, about 100 miles east of Cincinnati, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol. Pickup driver James Smith, 68, of Beaver was killed on impact.

After treating the semi-truck driver and seeing him into a medical helicopter, Farmer and Wessel discovered a small dog trapped beneath the pedals in the pickup truck. Farmer, a dog owner himself, said the dog was seriously injured and struggling to breathe. He was able to free her from the vehicle and moved her into the ambulance where the pair fashioned a makeshift oxygen mask for her and put homemade splints on her broken legs.

“I engineered some splints from cardboard, and seeing it was a wiener dog, I just broke off the pieces and wrapped them around the dog’s wounded legs” Farmer explained to KHOU.

Farmer asked for permission to take the dog, which he described as a dachshund mix, to Shawnee Animal Clinic in Portsmouth, about 20 miles away in the next county, unaware that a veterinarian in Waverly, the county in which they worked, was about 15 miles away.

Although they got permission from the Pike County Emergency Medical Service chief to take the dog to Portsmouth, they received a call several minutes later from a secretary saying there was no protocol in place. But, they were not given instructions to stop the transport.

When Farmer and Wessel returned to the station, they were suspended by EMS Director, Kevin Jenkins.

Still the compassionate EMTs never doubted their decision to help the dog.

At a Monday meeting, Pike County Commissioners met with the EMS director Kevin Jenkins, who had called for an investigation into the men’s actions.

“I want animals taken care of, but the EMS, their object is to take care of the people in the county and not animals,” said commissioner Fred Foster.

Following private discussions, Farmer and Wessel were reinstated to work and will not face additional disciplinary action. House Bill 187 was enacted last August which grants EMTs permission to care for dogs and cats after all humans are taken care of. However, Farmer and Wessel were not permitted to leave the county as they did.

Following the events, Pike County Sheriff Charlie Reader said he will work with Jenkins, the president of the firefighters association, the dog warden and Pike Pet Pals to establish a procedure for future situations where animals — including police K9s — are injured or in need of treatment at an accident or crime scene.

Although Farmer and Wessel feared they might lose their jobs, both say they would do it again.

“We done it just because it was the right thing to do,” Farmer said. “We’re not trained to not do something.”

Sadly, Mabel, the dachshund Farmer and Wessel risked their jobs to help, did not survive her serious injuries which included a broken back. She was buried along with her owner who died in the crash.

45 Comments

45 Comments

  1. Robin

    Mar 27, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Another clear case of the 'stupid' who usually can't function in a demanding job getting promoted. Odds are that Mr Jenkins, the EMT Director, is functionally inept as an EMT, was promoted to get him away from direct care activities. As a nurse for over 40 years, I've seen the same thing happen in nursing. Incompetent nurse? That means we'll promote you to Head Nurse (because we don't want you to touch a patient – we might get sued!). Mr Jenkins' lack of common sense in this issue clearly shows his continued incompetence!

  2. Ann Diamond

    Mar 19, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    When did humans stop being humane? Protocol or not, the EMTs did what was the right thing to to. We need more people like them and less people like Mr. Jenkins.

  3. Pam

    Mar 19, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Thank you, we need more like you two, glad your boss wasn't there, seeing how he would of not cared for the injured Shame on him…

  4. Eileen Benak

    Mar 18, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks for doing what was right…shame on the director for suspending you..I applaud you both..

  5. Vickie Carmody

    Mar 18, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Kudos to these two EMT'S who proved they have what it takes to be in the field of EMS. There have caring, generous hearts that will help any one (human or animal) that needs help. So glad they did not face any discipline for being caring EMT'S.

  6. Kathleen

    Mar 18, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    There is nothing more disgraceful in a human than one who would walk away from and living creature who is in distress …What happened here comes out of kindness and genuine compassion. ..no one should be dismissed from their position for having these fine qualities. …most of society I am sure support you for doing what you did!

  7. Cindy miller

    Mar 18, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Thank you for caring about all species. Not just humans.

  8. Cheryl Robel

    Mar 17, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    You did the right thing! Thank you for helping the dog too. You are Wonderful and caring and a perfect example of what EMTs should be.
    Concerned Citizens for Animal Welfare

  9. cherie preston

    Mar 17, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    I applaud you for helping the injured dog after you did what you are supposed to do and that is take care of the injured humans. they are breathing animals that are very important to the human you just helped.. Bravo and thank you for what you did…

  10. Beth

    Mar 17, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Bravo to these two EMTs! Thank you for your service and kindness-how lucky their department is to have two individuals who are so compassionate and willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. Shame, shame, shame on that department for punishing them for not only doing their job according to protocol, but for taking a chance on an injured dog knowing that they may face repercussions. And Mr. Commissioner? You need to rethink your protocol and how you treat such dedicated employees.

    • mike

      Mar 17, 2017 at 11:59 pm

      It's sad that Mr. Jenkins was born without a heart.

  11. Timbalionguy

    Mar 17, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Kudos to EMTs Farmer and Wessel. Shame on EMS director Jenkins. You were the perfect example of an uncaring Government bureaucrat!

    • Nancy Raymond

      Mar 17, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      I agree 100% – These gentlemen Mr. Farmer & Mr. Wessel DID THE RIGHT THING – They are there to save lives, be it human or animal. They are HEROES! Director Jenkins needs to find a new job – his lack of compassion for a defenseless injured dog is deplorable.

  12. Lisa

    Mar 16, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Thank you for doing the right think. Shame on your boss and the commissioner. How heartless can people be? Thank you again for all your service. You both should be rewarded.

  13. CATHY WALL

    Mar 16, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    I think these guys are true heroes, the people were taken care of FIRST and then the fur baby…..These are the kind of people the I appreciate for doing a wonderful job….If my fur baby was injured with me in a wreck, I sure hope someone would help and not say…..well it is just a dog…..IT IS NOT JUST A DOG…..THIS IS MY FAMILY…..THANKS AGAIN FELLOWS.

  14. Diane

    Mar 16, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    Nick and Tyler . Words can not describe how wonderful you are. Thank you for going above and beyond. What this world needs is more people like you to think out of the box and do the right thing. Your moms must be so proud. I'm sorry your department was not so kind to you all. You deserve so much more. Rest In Peace seeet dachshund with your master .

  15. BobbiAlyce

    Mar 16, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Wow..GREAT job Guys! AS for who made the decision to do that to you,,SHAME ON THEM!!,,You can bet,,the Man loved his dog..and hopefully his Family will be greatful too! God Bless you Both!!

  16. Gail

    Mar 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks to both of you! No doubt in my mind you did the right thing. Your compassion for 2 AND 4 legged animals shows!!

  17. Vicki L. Piebenga

    Mar 16, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    EMTs Farmer and Wessel, you showed that you truly have a heart to help all others; even those in animal form. It was the right thing to do. May God Bless you for being strong and true to your compassionate hearts! Thank you for helping the injured dog.

  18. Kris

    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:33 am

    Thank you both for trying to save the dog's life. It's too bad he died but he is with his human in Heaven now. I'm glad you did the right thing and would do it again.

    • GOC

      Mar 16, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      Thank you, HEROES, for helping the little dog. Mr. Jenkins could have initiated a protocol without putting you both on the carpet. Never ever doubt that you did the right thing and performed your duties with professionalism and compassion.

  19. Vicki

    Mar 16, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Great job Nick and Tyler! If more people were like you then the world would be a better place. Don't let anyone take away your compassionate hearts.

  20. Jane Christensen

    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    They should be commended for helping the people and then the dogs!!! "Thank-you" to the men that helped both!

  21. Veronica Mangine

    Mar 15, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    These men were heroes. We are a country filled with animal lovers. The 2 men in charge, who were going to fire the EMTs, should be fired.

  22. Sylvie McGee

    Mar 15, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you, EMTs Farmer and Wessel, for showing compassion to the injured dog. Kudos to you for doing the right thing – and the thing that for sure, that dog's owner would have prayed you would do!

  23. Michelle

    Mar 15, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    It is a denial of justice not to stretch out a helping hand to the fallen; that is the common right of humanity – Seneca

  24. Lynda

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    EMT's are there to save lives, the best way they can. Human comes first, no argument there, but then fur should be given a fair chance. No person suffered….and 2 humans made humanity a bit prouder. Thank you for your service. Bless you both.

  25. Edwina Loftlin

    Mar 15, 2017 at 9:40 am

    If your job includes saving people anything with a heart then you should save it and not be fired for savings something that has a heart and needed help desperately

  26. Barbara Baxendale

    Mar 15, 2017 at 8:48 am

    This is bureaucracy gone mad, a life is a life weather it be man or dog. Well done Farmer & Wessel for caring !!

  27. Deb Speelman

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:24 am

    So.were they supposed to just leave the dog to die??? what kind of organization suspends heroes for doing the right thing???

  28. Barbara Johnson

    Mar 14, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO TWO MEN WHO HAVE ALREADY HELPED THE HUMANS THEY COULD FIRST…. AND THEN FOUND THE DOG IN DIRE NEED OF LIFE SAVING? HOW COULD YOU TELL THEM LATER THAT THEY COULD LOSE THEIR JOBS?? WHAT IF IT WAS YOUR DOG? AND YOU WATCHED THEM JUST WALK AWAY AND SAY..SORRY, WE CAN'T HELP. NOT ALLOWED. WHAT IS THAT DOG BELONGED TO A POLICE OFFICER??? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY THEN?

  29. Nancy

    Mar 14, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Kudos to the EMT's. You did the right thing. I travel with cats and have always worried about them should an accident occur. I hope it never happens but if it does I want someone like these guys to respond.

  30. Karen Clark

    Mar 14, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    I think they are wonderful for helping the dog and the world needs more people like them ! I personally thank you both

  31. Candice

    Mar 14, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    These guys rock and thank you for fighting for those that can't speak

  32. Bernadette Grosse

    Mar 14, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Bless them. Two compassionate guys. Compassion for all living things, animal and human alike .

  33. Della Williamson

    Mar 14, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    It is sad that they were not informed of a vet closer. Sadder yet that they were not told to turn back and then were threatened with losing their jobs. Since their chief gave them permission, and the secretary said there was no protocol to take them across the county line. The chief and the secretary should share some in the "reprimand".
    Those men did what they were trained to do. To save a life if possible. They are the heroes in this story. It is great that an effort is being made to put in rules to make sure no one else is penalized for doing the right thing. Animals are far more loyal and compassionate than most people. They are a life from. And deserve can and respect as well

  34. Heather Dostie

    Mar 14, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Good for them! Shame on their boss/company! Providing holistic and compassionate care of humans, includes caring for ALL family members involved. Humans must be taken care of first, but when no more humans need services….furry family members should be taken care of!

  35. Deborah Lynch

    Mar 14, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    I would like to thank you for helping the dog. They are also family.

  36. Gail Warner

    Mar 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I have been in the EMS for 24 years and we have supplies for animals in need. They even supplied us with oxygen masks in different sizes for cats and dogs. It would be a sin not to help someone or something in need.

  37. Joyce turner

    Mar 14, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    How heartless those men should be honored great job guys sorry the poor dog did not make it

  38. Colleen Hardesty

    Mar 14, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    They did the right thing! I disagree with the leaving the county part, though! Are they supposed to drop dog off on county line??? Glad all is well!!!

  39. Nancy

    Mar 14, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    The EMS unit was ALREADY AT the accident scene and attended to the humans injured/killed on the scene. They THEN discovered the owner's injured dog, and rescued her as well. You government people are a real piece of work. The suspension was TOTALLY UNCALLED FOR and UNNECESSARY. You are surely cray-cray.

  40. C. Ruff

    Mar 14, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Give me a break – all humans were taken care of first and this little dog needed help right away. These guys should be commended for going above and beyond the call of duty. Its sad that master and dog both didn't make it but at least the EMT's can sleep at night knowing they did the right thing.

  41. Alice Schaefer

    Mar 14, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    The animal the EMT's worked on to save was not "just an animal" he was/is a family member! Those EMT's did the right thing and should be commended for their actions and quick thinking NOT disciplined! What is wrong with the people there?? The EMT's did not let a human being suffer or die due to lack of proper care! Why in the name of all that is good would anyone expect them or anyone else to let the dog suffer and possibly die! Pull your HEARTS out of your BUTTS and learn to care & love ALL of Gods creatures!

  42. Ruby Wilson

    Mar 14, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Thank guys for caring enough to help this pup! I am a nurse & I would not have thought twice if it was me! I applaud you both for going above and beyond!

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