BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) – An EMS supervisor in Bladen County is on paid suspension after she says she tried to protect herself during an emergency call.
"I need law enforcement, we're on 87 just past Newfield heading toward E-Town," Bladen EMS 5 told 911 while transporting a patient from a clinic at Smithfield Foods. "Patient got up out the back of the ambulance and came towards me aggressively. He's been sprayed with mace at this time."
According to Lynda Sanders, who has been with the county's EMS department for five years, she and another emergency worker were called out to get a psychiatric patient.
"Can you go ahead and get me a county unit coming this way to the clinic inside the plant then," said the person who called 911 from the clinic at Smithfield. "Um, what we classify as I reckon abnormal behavior right this second."
When the caller reached 911 he said the patient was in the clinic with them and that he was "lethargic, not violent." Sanders said a 911 dispatch operator said police assistance was not needed for the situation.
At some point while Sanders was transporting the patient she called 911 to say he had come at her aggressively and that she sprayed him with mace.
Later in the drive Sanders called 911 again and then changed her mind. Dispatch operators immediately returned the call to make sure everything was okay.
It's difficult to hear the audio on the 911 call, but it sounds like Sanders said the patient was moving around and she was calling to get back up but decided not to because he started behaving.
"Well, hopefully he'll behave because we have NO ONE available right now," 911 told Sanders.
According to Sanders, she was told Saturday morning she was suspended.
The Bladen County manager said this situation is being thoroughly investigated.
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