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It’s only a ‘minor cardiac arrest’

Maryland roads spokesman defends road closing for ribbon cutting

Annapolis Fire Department Rerouted During Cardiac Arrest Call

Annapolis Fire Department personnel were responding to a call when they were stopped, not allowed to cross Weems Creek Bridge and rerouted this morning. The call was for an individual who had a "minor cardiac arrest" at the Weems Creek Medical Center. The Weems Creek Bridge was closed for around 30 minutes for a ribbon cutting event to mark the opening of the fourth eastbound lane on the Severn River Bridge.Edit / Add (5:00 pm) – We contacted Susan O'Brien, the spokesperson for the City of Annapolis, right after this incident this morning. At that time, she was going to check with the Annapolis Fire Department and get back to us. A short time later, she let us know that John Schofield from the State Highway Administration would be contacting us and he did, as indicated in the story above. At 4:46 pm today, Susan emailed us the following -"The Annapolis Fire Department crew came up to the bridge closure and apparently, SHA maintenance crews offered to clear the bridge. The AFD team decided it would be best to reroute via Rowe/Bestgate."

Posted by 1430 WNAV on Monday, April 30, 2018

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When I first saw the words “minor cardiac arrest” in the 1430 WNAV Facebook page post shared by my friend Mike Ward, I thought the reporter misheard something. Not until I clicked on the video did I hear those three words coming out of the mouth of John Schofield, the deputy director of communications for the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA). The three words that immediately came out of my mouth are commonly written using the letters W-T-F. Those three letters save me from writing a four letter word. .

You have to wonder why the response to questions about this incident involving an ambulance and fire engine from the Annapolis Fire Department is coming from SHA and not AFD (it’s a three letter kind of day). The answer was found in a comment from 1430 WNAV:

We contacted Susan O’Brien, the spokesperson for the City of Annapolis, right after this incident this morning. At that time, she was going to check with the Annapolis Fire Department and get back to us. A short time later, she let us know that John Schofield from the State Highway Administration would be contacting us and he did, as indicated in the story above. At 4:46 pm today, Susan emailed us the following -“The Annapolis Fire Department crew came up to the bridge closure and apparently, SHA maintenance crews offered to clear the bridge. The AFD team decided it would be best to reroute via Rowe/Bestgate.”

This is what happens when an agency doesn’t tell its own story and puts their message in the hands of those operating outside their expertise. I’ve heard PIOs refer to this as “staying in your own lane.” (Get it? State Highway Administration. Lane. Sorry.)

I leave you with a message for all non fire and EMS PIOs, everywhere: Unless the victim is under 18, there are no “minor” cardiac arrests. HTH.

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