WAYNE COUNTY — State police said early Sunday morning, the Wayne County Communications Center got a call about an elderly woman with lower back pain.
Investigators said someone, posing as a member of the Waymart Volunteer Ambulance Corp used a radio to tell 911 he was responding to that call.
As it turns out, that person, was not an emergency responder.
More than 40 minutes after the call, state police said 911 dispatchers had to send someone else to help that woman.
“It really jeopardized patient care, and that’s what we’re all about and the fact that it took an hour and 12 minutes from the time she called to get to the hospital. She should have been there in 15 max,” said Anita Thompson of Waymart Emergency Medical Services.
At Waymart Volunteer Ambulance, news of the prank made people angry.
“Just utter disbelief that somebody could actually do that and put someone’s life in jeopardy,” said Tom Derrick, Waymart Fire Chief and member of Waymart Ambulance.
“You have someone actually needing medical attention, and they’re delaying care by 30 or 40 minutes because they want to play a prank? It’s sad that people in the world will do that,” said J.D. Warner of Waymart Ambulance.
State police said if and when the person is arrested, they will be charged with reckless endangerment and impersonating a public servant.
“I really would really like to confront them and ask them why. I don’t even know if an apology is acceptable. I’d like to ask them if this was their family, how they would feel if that ambulance was sent and never arrived. It could have meant someone’s life,” said Thompson.
Waymart Ambulance personnel said because of this prank they will invest in identifiers for their dispatch radios, so they can be identified.