Update: Pennsylvania Township Mourns Fallen Paramedic

JEMS.com News

Updated 3/8 @ 5p ET -- A veteran Bensalem, Pennsylvania Paramedic died Sunday night after suffering a massive heart attack while chasing a man he was responding to help, officials said.

The Latest
  • Paramedic identified as 39-year-old Daniel McIntosh
  • McIntosh suffered heart attack after chasing after victim who fled from the scene
  • Suspect in custody, undergoing evaluation
  • McIntosh was also a tactical medic and recently hired as a part-time police officer.
  • McIntosh leaves behind a wife and two young children

WPVI Video News Report

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NBC Philadelphia First Report Interview

More news videos at: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/video
At about 7 p.m. Sunday, EMS and police units were dispatched to a male with a reported mental illness (initially reported by WPVI as a possible suicidal subject). The medic, identified Monday morning as Daniel McIntosh, was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

An interview on NBC Philadelphia with police Sgt. Andrew Aninsman reported that medics approached the individual and he fled. Officials said McIntosh gave chase, during which he collapsed.

Initial local media reports stated the medic was injured during some sort of altercation with or attack by the victim, which was not the case.

"It appears that when (McIntosh) gave foot chase after the suicidal subject to try and help this guy, he had a massive coronary and fell to the ground at which time he sustained some significant trauma to the head," Bensalem Police Director of Public Safety Fred Harran told NBC Philadelphia during a Monday afternoon press conference. (More from KYW)

McIntosh is from Bensalem Emergency Medical Services in Bucks County. The organization's Web site listed McIntosh as an EMT-Paramedic assigned to Station 186. He'd been with the department since 1998. The 39-year-old medic has been with the organization since 1998 and is married with two daughters, ages 1 and 5.

McIntosh was also a part-time police officer and a tactical medic.

"Sometimes you just don't know what is going to happen," PhillyFireNews.com News Editor Steve Skipton told users of the site's forum Sunday night. "I teach new EMT's and preach scene safety on every response well this brings that point home that no calls are 'routine'. Be safe"

Police say the unidentified suspect has a history of mental illness and is being evaluated at a hospital, according to the Associated Press.

JEMS.com will have further details on this story as new information becomes available.

Tags: Bensalem, LODD

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First I want to say my heart goes out to the family. My heart aches when one of our own have given the ultimate sacrifice. Our prayers are with his wife and children. May God fill the void left in your heart.

Now I'm trying to understand, Is it not Pa. protocol to have the scene secure by PSP before approaching a known mentally ill, or suicidal pt.? Or was this not relayed to the crew?

Just asking. Like it was mentioned earlier, hopefully we all can learn something from this.

Again, our condolences goes out to all involved in Daniel's life.
Grant me the wisdom so that I may treat
Those of your children that lay at my feet.
Let my hands be gentle, sure and swift
To impact to them your sacred gift.

Let me see only a patient’s need
Not their color, race or creed.
Help me always to be my best
Even when it’s my hours rest.

Grant me the insight to understand why
Patients of mine are going to die.
Let me remember that when they do
These is a wonderful life in Heaven with you.

Lord, if in the time of duty I should fall
Help my family to hold their heads tall.
For it was You who decided that I should be
One of your chosen few, an EMT.

Author unknown
We all came into the EMS field to save lives.
What happens when one of us has fallen?
We are brothers and sisters in the EMS family.
We must remember our fallen EMS brother who has died in the line of duty.
It's a tragedy how his life was taken.
He died doing what he loved most, being EMS.
Dan, Fly High!
Soar with the Eagles.
May the Great Spirits welcome you with open arms.
Dan, May You Rest In Peace.
God Bless You.

Andie


To his family, partner, and co-workers may you know that you are lifted up prayer this week.

We are all here for you.
I would like exstend my heart felt sympathy to the faily of our fallen brother, I know that the hurt is deep and I will keep his family and his friend in prayer, my Gods love watch over and be with you in this time.
"Now I'm trying to understand, Is it not Pa. protocol to have the scene secure by PSP before approaching a known mentally ill, or suicidal pt.? Or was this not relayed to the crew? Just asking. Like it was mentioned earlier, hopefully we all can learn something from this." Mark A. Duell

Mark-

I'm sure that Public Safety Dispatching Agencies everywhere make it a point to send the police when they receive a call of a possibly suicidal or mentally ill patient. I'm also sure you would agree that due to a lot of factors, including staffing, call volume, response times, etc., either EMS or Fire or Police may arrive at a scene before the other agency gets there. As I understood it from the local news reports (I am just south of Philly, about 25 miles away), the police just happened to get there after EMS. As an experienced provider, if you got to the scene of a similar situation, you might not immediately know the exact location of the patient, and might happen to encounter them suddenly. Would you shift into reverse and drive away from a subject who was just walking/standing on the street, or, if you could see that his hands were empty and he appeared non-threatening, would you at least initiate a discussion with him, to see if he was the patient, or if he could provide information about the patient? Using your years of talking to people and assessing them before you even touched them, would you attempt to establish a rapport and maybe coax him into going with you to seek the help he needed? These are the things I would do, these are the things many of my peers here and across the country would do, and I imagine you would, too.

This is not a mistake by a provider, from which we should learn. This is a tragic coincidence. Paramedic McIntosh had a vast background of experience and training, and what I have chosen to take from his actions is that he appeared to care about the patient enough to follow him when he ran away, rather than just let him take off and possibly harm himself. I would hope to honor his memory by choosing to act in the same spirit. Unfortunately, while his emotional heart was strong, his physical heart was not, and he might not have ever suspected this. We experience coincidence all the time, sometimes to our advantage (like the call that comes in just after our relief arrives (a few minutes early, for once!), and involves a patient discharging the most foul-smelling stuff from every orifice). This coincidence did not go in his favor, and we may not ever understand why.

This hits very close to home- I am a medic who became a SWAT medic, then became a cop, and I'm a year older.

God Bless Brother Dan, he spent too little time here, but gave us an example to live by.
Paramedic McIntosh was laid to rest today. The Philadelphia Police Dept. did a great job assisting Bensalem EMS and PD with coordinating the procession and organization of all attending agencies. EMS, fire, and PD agencies from all over PA and the tri-state area were represented.

The following honor guards were present (that I saw): Boston EMS, New Castle County (DE) EMS, Pittsburgh EMS, Philadelphia FD, & Philadelphia PD.

Overall great support for a fallen brother paramedic.

RIP Paramedic McIntosh.

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