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article imageTechnician who refused to attend fatal 999 call will keep his job

By Gemma Fox     Jan 4, 2011 in World
Tomintoul - The UK ambulance technician who was at the centre of an investigation at the end of last year after he refused to interrupt his tea break to attend a 999 call has found out that he can keep his job.
The incident which took place on October 16 last year in Tomintoul, Moray, resulted in the death of 33-year old Mandy Mathieson.
The 999 call had been placed at lunch time on October 16 when Ms Mathieson’s partner, Bobby Taylor, suspected that she had suffered a heart attack.
Owen McLaughlin, the technician on duty, was 800 yards away from where Ms Mathieson had collapsed but refused to attend the call as he was on his break. This resulted in a crew being called in who were 15 miles away. Ms Mathieson was declared dead at the scene.
As part of his return to work Mr McLaughlin will have to undergo further training. He was suspended while the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) investigated the incident.
Ms Mathieson’s family have been left disappointed by the decision to allow Mr McLaughlin to return to work with extra training but say they are not surprised.
Charlie Skene, Ms Mathieson’s uncle said, "He was only abiding by their rules but what are they going to teach him?
"Surely they can't teach compassion, so what are they going to give him lessons in?
"That they are employing him shows you a lot about the people at the top. They're happy having that kind of people working for them."
The SAS did make a short statement about the decision through a spokesman, "The ambulance technician involved will undertake further training and pass an evaluation before being allowed to return to operational duties.
"The chairman and chief executive will meet with the community in Tomintoul on 28 January."
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