BROOKLYN - An EMT who raced to help a girl choking at a Bushwick school says he refuses to return to work following a suspension.
Qwasie Reid was initially suspended after the incident, which occurred on Oct. 21. According to Reid, Assist Ambulance said that he shouldn't have left his patient in an ambulance to go help inside the school.
Reid says a school-safety agent had flagged him down to help a choking 7-year-old, Noelia Echavarria, at P.S. 250. According to Reid, the patient in the ambulance was being transported after laser-eye surgery and wasn't in distress or pain. Also, Reid says his partner stayed with the patient in the ambulance.
After the story broke in the media this week, Reid says Assist Ambulance told him to return to work. However, he says he didn't go back because he feels that he needs legal representation in the matter.
An email Reid forwarded to News 12 reportedly sent by his supervisor reads, "You were only suspended for one day for the reasons we discussed, which had nothing to do with you stopping for a more critical patient, but you have not yet returned to work even though you were asked to do so."
The email also says Reid failed to complete an incident report and patient care report on Echavarria. Reid was supposed to meet with representatives from Assist Ambulance on Friday afternoon to resolve the issue, but he says they canceled the meeting.
News 12 has contacted Assist Ambulance several times without success.
Echavarria, who was declared brain dead, died Friday night according to her family. Her family claims that school staff didn’t adequately help her as she choked.
The Department of Education says, based on information it received, the faculty responded swiftly and appropriately to the emergency.