Family outraged after ambulance refuses to drive over bridge to - KMOV.com

Family outraged after ambulance refuses to drive over bridge to treat woman with broken leg

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(KMOV.com) – Family members are outraged after an 80-year-old woman with a broken leg waited more than 30 minutes for medical attention after an ambulance refused to drive over a bridge near Pacific.

Shirley Buckman, 80, slipped and broke her ankle in three places while she was taking pictures at the Bend Road Bridge with others who want the 100-year-old bridge preserved. A crew with the Meramec Ambulance District was dispatched to the scene, but stayed on the north side of the bridge while Buckman was in pain on the south side.

“I kept asking them ‘why are they not coming?’ and they said they can’t cross the bridge. I said surely they can cross the bridge,” Buckman said.

The ambulance crew waited until a lighter weight car could arrived to carry Buckman to the ambulance. The bridge’s weight limit is high enough to accommodate the ambulance, but Meramec Ambulance District Chief Chris Clifton said his predecessor told paramedics the vehicle was too heavy for the bridge.

Clifton said the paramedics did not pick up Buckman with a stretcher and carry her to the ambulance because they were concerned the ride would be too long and bumpy, causing more pain.

“We’ve corrected, we’ve corrected the ambulance not being able to go across the bridge. Could they have taken the stretcher across the bridge, certainly,” Clifton said.

Clifton told News 4 he has changed district policy allowing ambulances go across the bridge. Clifton also said he plans to meet with Buckman and her family to apologize in person.

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