1 min

EMS accused of ignoring Dixie

Gay man last one treated in aftermath of brawl, family says

After being badly beaten, Dixie Landers lay unconscious and bleeding in front of Centretown Pub while paramedics looked after a woman’s superficial injuries, alleges a spokesman for her family.

“[Dixie] was the last to be removed,” Doug Muir complains. Muir is a friend of the prominent drag queen who was asked by her mother to speak with the media.

Dixie has a number of broken bones and has not yet woken up from a coma.

But representatives from the paramedics won’t say if that’s true.

“Certainly, the allegations are pretty serious,” says JP Trottier, an information officer with the Ottawa Paramedic Service.

Trottier declined to comment on the particulars of the case, citing the privacy rights of those concerned with respect to their medical information.

But, as a 20-year vet of the paramedics, he says a number of factors could have been at work, including an insufficient number of early responders or the distraction of those asking for immediate care.

“We can be directed to a patient and there could be a patient in more serious need of attention somewhere else. The normal procedure would be to assess the closest person, which would be natural, and then if the first person can be left under supervision, proceed to other patients,” he said.

“There has to be a very quick assessment. If you’re able to move on because people have told you there is a second person, then normally you’d move on to assess the second, third, fourth — however many people.”

There is a mechanism for dealing with complaints like this, he says, and witnesses should be encouraged to submit statements about what they saw to the paramedics.