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State Dismisses Complaints Against Alameda Paramedics

The California Emergency Medical Services Authority has dismissed four complaints against Alameda paramedics pursuant to their involvement in the death of Raymond Zack at an Alameda beach earlier this year.

A letter from the agency, sent to Alameda Acting City Attorney on November 10th, and released by the City of Alameda this week, found no merit in each of the four complaints against four different paramedics.

The complaints alleged that paramedics Robert Petersen and Donald Pemberton took Zack to an inappropriate facility (Alameda Hospital) for the situation, and that equipment failures prevented them from resuscitating Zack.

Also, the complaints alleged that paramedic Justin Hearn prepared an incident report to cover for a paramedic, Adam Sisemore, working in violation of his probation on the day of the Zack death.

The California Emergency Medical Services Authority website reports that Mr. Sisemore was on probation from August 10th, 2008 to August 10, 2011, for “Addiction to the excessive use of, or the misuse of, alcoholic beverages, narcotics, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances.”

A spokesperson for the state agency told Action Alameda News that employees of the agency directly investigate complaints, and that the investigators “speak to everyone involved, including the paramedics and the person who filed the complaint.” She also stressed that the agency’s “jurisdiction is in the paramedic’s performance providing patient care, which is limited to actions taken after the patient was removed from the water.”

The letter from California EMSA to the City of Alameda is reproduced below.

EMSA 11 10 11 Letter

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