Fri, Jul 05, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Mother wants rules on EMTs changed

By Chen Yen-ting  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) on Wednesday took aim at the Department of Health, criticizing it for not amending laws governing emergency rescue requirements in the past 10 years, saying the inaction has led to frequent accidents at scenic spots or amusement parks.

At a press conference, the lawmaker used the April death of Wu Ya-wen (吳雅雯), a 17-year-old nursing student, as an example of the need for changes.

Wu, from Yilan County, died after riding a roller coaster at Leofoo Water Park in Hsinchu County.

She collapsed after 90 seconds on the “Screaming Corridor,” which she was riding with an 11-year-old cousin.

The cousin alerted park workers after realizing Wu was motionless. The workers called on-site medical personnel and an ambulance. Wu died 30 minutes after arriving at a nearby hospital.

“Everyone hopes to take their children to amusement parks to create happy memories. We went in happily together, but brought back a cold, dead body,” a crying Lin Hsiu-yu (林秀玉), Wu’s mother, told a press conference called by Chen on Wednesday.

Chen said the regulations governing emergency medical technicians (EMT) states that amusement parks are only required to have EMTs with basic skills, not those who can handle serious injuries.

Lin said there were only two EMTs in the park at the time of the accident, both at the security office on the other side of park from the roller coaster, and they could not reach “higher potential risk facilities” within three to five minutes — considered the critical emergency rescue time. Even worse was that the EMTs used incorrect rescue methods, she said.

“My younger brother is a labor safety person at the company he works in. He told them that they were doing it wrong. He had to do the second emergency treatment himself,” Lin said.

“I will not allow my daughter to have died for nothing. We cannot let accidents like this happen again,” Lin said, adding that the government should amend the law to prevent more such tragedies.

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