In defense of MEMS

Pulaski County Coroner Garland Camper released a report yesterday on the circumstances surrounding the March 26th. death of Pamela Harper. According to reports, Harper lay outside clad only in “tank top and underwear” from sometime previous to 6:30 AM, when MEMS originally arrived, until about 10 AM.

In the past year or so, while working on various projects, it has been my practice to listen to police scanner traffic. This is a common practice in broadcast stations. Over this time, I have listened to countless hours of 2-way conversations involving MEMS personnel.

I was not listening to the events in question but I can definitively say that, without exception, the ambulance service employees are professional and concerned for every patient. This includes people who are drunk, combative, and in police custody. I have never at any time heard any MEMS professional treat any situation or individual in a dismissive or unprofessional fashion.

I am not a medical professional, so this is merely personal opinion and observation. Nonetheless, it could be observed that deceased persons sometimes belch and even pass gas. The “breathing” certainly appears to be erratic, at best. Ms. Harper seems to have been lacking a pulse during much of the time in question.

Garland Camper charges that it is “irresponsible” for the ambulance service to allow a student to take part in attempted resuscitation. Since there was proper supervision, this was not a violation of the rules. An internal investigation found that mistakes were made.

Admittedly, we hear that kind of thing a lot in what seems to be a ceaseless parade of excuse making from people in positions of public trust. I would recommend that, if there is to be a witch hunt, it should begin someplace else. The general conduct of MEMS has earned it better treatment.

There is something more here, and it makes one uncomfortable to suggest some kind of political grandstanding. My observation of Garland Camper makes me wonder if we are not witnessing the birth of Arkansas’ newest ambitious politician. Now that the Coroner’s job is appointed, we should expect better, but it’s a free country. Anybody gets to advance his own career.

It could be that Mr. Camper is nothing more than a conscientious public servant. I hope that is true, and if it is, I surely regret any insinuation of misplaced ambition. Either way, the daily professional behavior of MEMS professionals deserves our support. They are doing a great job.

About patlynch
I am a broadcaster in Arkansas, a former freelance writer and political columnist in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Writing Coach. Speaker. Director of the Christian Foundations for Ministry program, and presently enrolled in the Anglican School of Ministry Master of Ministry program.

2 Responses to In defense of MEMS

  1. Constance says:

    I think it’s interesting that you defend MEMS based on radio conversations you’ve overheard, while attempting to defame Garland Camper based on his report.

    An ambitious politician in the making? Look out Mike Beebe and Barack Obama – here comes a man who’s spent 16 years in the coroner’s office. Finally Camper is making his move to higher office on the back of a dead woman – surely a sad figure who died in her underwear in a relative’s yard.

    Did you give any kind of thought to what the coroners go through? Maybe you imagine it’s some glamorous adventure: Midnight calls to see all of the gruesome damages that can be inflicted on the human body? Examining the rotted remains of unfortunates who commit suicide or die alone? That sure sounds like the foundations to build a career. I guess Mr. Camper was just waiting for the right moment to launch his political career. Too bad it’s taken 16 years. That doesn’t seem like good planning.

    Maybe instead of listening to the scanner, you should get out and ride along with a MEMS crew or shadow the coroner’s office.

    I find your insinuations about Mr. Camper disgusting and you should apologize to him.

  2. Jordan says:

    I find your comment oblivious to Mr. Lynch’s final paragraph and you should apologize to him. Geeze.

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