A 48-year-old man collapsed and died during an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) routine training program on Tuesday morning.
The man, whose name has not yet been released, was pushing a hydraulic stretcher with a 185-pound mannequin across a lawn when he reported not feeling well, sat down and shortly thereafter collapsed.
According to the Statesman.com:
“The man sat down, collapsed within a few minutes, and other paramedics worked to resuscitate him. He was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge, where he was later pronounced dead.”
There is no age restrictions for candidates applying to become paramedics; however, they must pass a health screening.
Although the man appeared to be in good physical condition, the cause of death is reported to be a heart attack.
“Sudden cardiac arrest can happen when you are sitting down and without physical exertion,” said EMS medical director Dr. Paul Hinchey. “He had other paramedics working on him when he collapsed, and despite our best efforts, he died at the hospital.”
Already having gone through the orientation process and 12 hours of riding along with EMS, the prospective candidate was on his first day of training when he collapsed at around 9:40 a.m.
“Tuesday was just a practice of our test.” said EMS chief Ernesto Rodriguez.
The Austin-Travis County EMS website reports:
“Of the 417 cardiac arrest patients treated by ATCEMS during FY 2008, 9.58% ultimately left the hospital alive; this performance is 2% above the national average of 7.2%”