EMT says he was suspended for trying to save a choking girl

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

EMT Quasie Reid says that he was suspended after making an unauthorized ambulance drop to try and save a choking girl last week.


Reid told ABC 7 that he was driving a private ambulance past PS 250 in Brooklyn, New York last Wednesday when someone ran out and flagged him down to help seven-year-old Noelia-Lisa Echavarria. "She was blue in the lips, blue in the face. No circulation. She wasn't responding to anything. She was basically unconscious," Reid said.

He acted fast, tried to revive her with CPR, a defibrillator, and oxygen mask. Echavarria is now on life support, and has reportedly been declared brain dead.


ABC 7 reports that Reid was taking a patient from a clinic to an assisted-living home—not responding to an emergency—when he made the decision to stop. The New York Daily News offers more details:

Noelia’s family believes Reid’s help was vital. But his employers are upset he got involved. He’s been suspended from his job indefinitely at Assist Ambulance for leaving his patient… Reid said he’s already looking for a new job.

David Perecman, a lawyer for the child's family, says Reid appears to have been the first, and possibly only, one to call the police for aid. "With the little information we have, it appears there was a 911 phone call at about 2:30. But that’s the same time that the EMT called 911. And if that’s the case, that means he’s the first person to call 911," Perecman told Fox 6 Now. Because of this, the family is blaming the school for the tragic event.

Reid told the Daily News he's baffled by the suspension: "This is what I signed up for, and I’m being penalized for what I was actually supposed to do. But he has no regrets. "If I have to jump out another ambulance, again, to save another child's life, I would do anything."


Assist Ambulance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter