OKLAHOMA CITY – One person was arrested after stealing an ambulance and leading police on a chase in southwest Oklahoma City.
At around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Emergency Medical Services Authority medics were taking a patient to the emergency room. According to Heather Yazdanipour, Director of Regional Medical Response System for EMSA, while taking the patient inside, keys were left in the ambulance.
While the vehicle was unattended, someone got into the ambulance and took off.
Police were able to track down the stolen vehicle using its GPS locator and set up stop sticks to prevent the suspect’s escape.
The vehicle will need to be repaired before it returns to service.
“Unfortunately, in this day and age, we do have to worry about people trying to steal our ambulance and use them for alternative uses. So, we do have mechanisms in place that actually allow our vehicle operators to remove the keys out of the vehicle and lock it, but it will still stay running,” Yazdanipour said. “It’s just in this particular case, those procedures were not followed due to the condition of the patient. They completely forgot about the keys, were focused on patient care and getting them into the hospital and left those keys in the vehicle.”
EMSA will conduct an internal investigation and provide additional training on policies and procedures.