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Posted: 1/25/2006 6:08:18 AM EDT
Rookie EMT zaps co-worker with defibrillator, killing her


ew EMT convicted in fatal prank
Though warned, he shocked a co-worker with a defibrillator

BY REX BOWMAN
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER

Jan 24, 2006

RELATED: Police Beat

LEBANON -- Joshua Philip Martin was in his fourth day on the job as a rescue-squad worker in Russell County when, in a playful mood, he decided to reach into the front seat of the ambulance and zap one of his co-workers with the defibrillator paddles. The rookie's mistake was fatal.
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Yesterday, in Russell Circuit Court, a judge convicted Martin, 25, of involuntary manslaughter, warning the burly but pink-faced young man that when he returns to court in March, he likely will be sent to prison. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The target of Martin's prank was Courtney Hilton Rhoton, a 23-year-old mother of two small children who had worked her way through school to become an emergency medical technician. She went into cardiac arrest seconds after Martin placed the paddles on her chest and shoulder. Three days later, on June 4, she died.

After watching bailiffs lead Martin off to jail yesterday, the mothers of Rhoton and Martin stood at opposite ends of a narrow courthouse hallway and wept, one for the loss of her daughter, the other for the fate of her son. All agreed Martin had meant no harm, though none derived comfort from the thought.

"If they just knew Josh!" his mother, Diana White, exclaimed between sobs. "He just made a mistake. Everybody plays on the job, even cops. But with this one, it caught up. He's going to pay for it for the rest of his life."

"He was just playing around," Martin's aunt, Karen Martin, said. "Anybody who knows him knows this was not intentional."

Rhoton's mother, Sandra Davenport, could not summon words to express her grief, except to say: "Everybody loved her."

In the courtroom minutes earlier, Martin had stood with his hands deep in his pants pockets and pleaded no contest to the charge against him, allowing Russell prosecutor Mike Bush to summarize the evidence without calling witnesses. According to Bush, if the case had gone to trial, a witness would have testified that Martin, an EMT, was in the back of a Highlands Ambulance Service ambulance on June 1 when he first picked up the paddles of the manual defibrillator.

Defibrillators are used to restore heartbeats, but they can also stop a heart. Martin, though an EMT, was not yet qualified to use the defibrillator and had been told it is not something to play with, Bush said.

Rhoton was in the front passenger seat of the ambulance, and driver Michael Coleman was heading south on U.S. 19 in Lebanon when Coleman heard Rhoton tell Martin not to touch her "with that," Bush said. Coleman looked back to see Martin putting the paddles away.

But shortly afterward, Bush said, Coleman heard the "sound of a shock" and heard Rhoton yell: "Oh my God, Mike, he shocked me!" Seconds later she stiffened and then went limp. Coleman frantically tried to hold her slumping body up while driving and calling the private ambulance company's office.

Rhoton, who had been an EMT for one year, never regained consciousness. She left behind two children, Christopher and Tamra, now 6 and 4.

Yesterday, the families of the two EMTs passed each other in the hallway as they left the courtroom.

Rhoton's sister, Chanda Lawson, 30, expressed bitterness as she watched the Martin family cry: "They're crying because he's going to jail, but my sister's not coming back."

Karen Martin overheard the comment and blurted out: "Josh is a good kid! A good kid!"

Contact staff writer Rex Bowman at rbowman@timesdispatch.com or (540) 344-3612.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:11:30 AM EDT
what a fucking idiot................that is aweful.

I hope Beavis commits suicide.

Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:14:48 AM EDT
We pulled some pretty nasty pranks on each other when I was a medic, but this is just plain stupid. Two lives ended needlessly.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:15:50 AM EDT
There was one local incident where a firefighter had everyone in a AED class hold hands. He had people on each end of the line hold the paddles and zapped them. 7 dropped right there. Fortunately everyone survived.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:15:52 AM EDT
Wow, Im not even close to the medical field and I know enough that a defibulator is NOT a toy! What an idiot.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:17:26 AM EDT

She left behind two children, Christopher and Tamra, now 6 and 4.


What a waste

Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:17:43 AM EDT
damn, where was their medic at?
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:18:32 AM EDT
Damn. What a stupid stunt.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:18:52 AM EDT
What an idiot! How does one get to be an EMT without knowing that?
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:19:10 AM EDT
The guy is an idiot.

Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:21:15 AM EDT
What a fucking moran.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:23:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:23:53 AM EDT
That fucker's family ought to be paying child support till those kids are grown. What a colossal dickhead.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:24:24 AM EDT
He may be a nice guy, but he deserves what he gets out of this.

What kind of idiot doesn't know that that is dangerous? Nevermind the warnings that are on difibrillators.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:25:21 AM EDT
How is the shock from the paddles different from that of a Taser?
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:25:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CookieCrisp:
Wow, Im not even close to the medical field and I know enough that a defibulator is NOT a toy! What an idiot.



But they always play around with them and shock living people in comedy movies...perhaps that is something they should leave out now.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:27:25 AM EDT
Jesus!!! Where in the HELL did this retard get his certification? What kind of idiot thinks that a cardioversion device is a friggin toy? This idiot needs SEVERE jail time and a really SEVERE beating. Once a day. What an asshole....
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:27:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2006 6:28:29 AM EDT by LEO916]
Where the hell did he get his education, and who signed him off to work. What a complete idiot. Someone should take care of him now.

Prayers sent to her family
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:28:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:29:35 AM EDT
I wonder if he tried to shock her again to get it restarted.

What a fucking dumbass. He deserves the jail time.

Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:33:44 AM EDT
Maybe he'll grow up in jail.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:36:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mcantu:
How is the shock from the paddles different from that of a Taser?



Amperage is high with defibs, tazers high high voltage very low amps, amps is what kill.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:38:30 AM EDT
stupidity kills, too bad it had a victim instead of being self inflicted.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:39:21 AM EDT
If only he'd pressed the "sync" button, she'd still be alive today.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:40:10 AM EDT
How could she not be brought back... for THREE days? I'm not EMT or doctor or anything, but hy couldn't the just give her another jolt to jump start her back up or something?

Either way, that asshat gets everything he deserves... like the "Sorry warden, I was just playing a prank on EMT boy when my gigantic mule rammed into his ass in the shower repeatedly. It won't happen again... today." Fucking moron.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:41:15 AM EDT
There goes his cert. ....to say the least. Dang stupid..
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:44:14 AM EDT
Now they want to push personal emergency defibrillators into homes...
I've seen a number of commercials for the Sunbeam model lately.

How do you think the number of accidental deaths will compare with legally owned handguns?

They banned lawn darts, but want people to have defibs laying around
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:44:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
If only he'd pressed the "sync" button, she'd still be alive today.



It would still shock on R. Agreed she probably would live.

Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:48:01 AM EDT
Dumbass
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:48:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
If only he'd pressed the "sync" button, she'd still be alive today.



If only his head wasn't firmly up his dumb ass, she'd still be alive.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:51:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mcantu:
How is the shock from the paddles different from that of a Taser?

A Taser won't stop, or start, a heart.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:53:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
in a playful mood, he decided to reach into the front seat of the ambulance and zap one of his co-workers with the defibrillator paddles.



The FIRST day of EMT training is "Don't f*ck with the defibrilator paddles".



The rookie's mistake was fatal.



If he was working EMS he ought to have had the f*cking sense to know what a damn defibrilator does, and that zapping someone with a normal heart beat will friggin STOP that normal heart beat!! You only use it when someone is in VFIB!!!



Yesterday, in Russell Circuit Court, a judge convicted Martin, 25, of involuntary manslaughter, warning the burly but pink-faced young man that when he returns to court in March, he likely will be sent to prison. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The target of Martin's prank was Courtney Hilton Rhoton, a 23-year-old mother of two small children who had worked her way through school to become an emergency medical technician. She went into cardiac arrest seconds after Martin placed the paddles on her chest and shoulder. Three days later, on June 4, she died.

After watching bailiffs lead Martin off to jail yesterday, the mothers of Rhoton and Martin stood at opposite ends of a narrow courthouse hallway and wept, one for the loss of her daughter, the other for the fate of her son. All agreed Martin had meant no harm, though none derived comfort from the thought.



He may have "meant" no harm, but the dumb f*cker killed somebody by doing a damnably stupid thing. Hell, people who have NEVER been around such equipment know not to be messing with it when it delivers a shock because it can KILL a healthy person!



"If they just knew Josh!" his mother, Diana White, exclaimed between sobs. "He just made a mistake. Everybody plays on the job, even cops. But with this one, it caught up. He's going to pay for it for the rest of his life."

"He was just playing around," Martin's aunt, Karen Martin, said. "Anybody who knows him knows this was not intentional."



If a cop decides to shoot a fellow officer as a "prank" then that officer ought to be locked up too!

You "play" by joking around and calling each other names.

NOT by injecting them with drugs or hitting them with shock paddles!!!

This is quite possibly THE most senseless death I have ever seen.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:53:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Now they want to push personal emergency defibrillators into homes...
I've seen a number of commercials for the Sunbeam model lately.

How do you think the number of accidental deaths will compare with legally owned handguns?

They banned lawn darts, but want people to have defibs laying around




Automated Defib units WILL NOT shock someone who doesn't need it.


The inboard computer analyzes their heart rythms.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:54:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
There was one local incident where a firefighter had everyone in a AED class hold hands. He had people on each end of the line hold the paddles and zapped them. 7 dropped right there. Fortunately everyone survived.



Then they should have beaten the living f*ck out of him.

No way in HELL I would EVER allow somoeon to pull that stuff on me.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:54:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Now they want to push personal emergency defibrillators into homes...



The defib they were using in the ambulance was a manual device.

The models you're talking about are AEDs and they won't shock unless you are in fibrillation. It's a safety feature to keep exactly what this article is about from happening.

Criminy, but even in AED training, they taught us that it could leave some serious burns on someone after defib. For someone to use a manual unit on someone else, I can't even imagine.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:55:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Now they want to push personal emergency defibrillators into homes...
I've seen a number of commercials for the Sunbeam model lately.

How do you think the number of accidental deaths will compare with legally owned handguns?

They banned lawn darts, but want people to have defibs laying around




Automated Defib units WILL NOT shock someone who doesn't need it.


The inboard computer analyzes their heart rythms.




How much do those things cost? They sound interesting and like good insurance.

Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:55:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mcantu:
How is the shock from the paddles different from that of a Taser?



The taser delivers a different type of shock.

The defibrilator delivers one hell of a shock that is designed to stop a heart that is in VFIB and let it restart itself with a normal beat.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:56:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
How could she not be brought back... for THREE days? I'm not EMT or doctor or anything, but hy couldn't the just give her another jolt to jump start her back up or something?




another quick shock would not work, would take awhile to explain.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:58:25 AM EDT
EMT-B's in PA are allowed to use AED's, not manual defibs. (Medics are qualified)

No idea what the standards are in Virginia (where this took place), but evidently their training & certification system is lacking.

What a moron.


Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:00:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
How could she not be brought back... for THREE days? I'm not EMT or doctor or anything, but hy couldn't the just give her another jolt to jump start her back up or something?



That's not how a defibrilator works.

Ventricular Fibrilation is when the heart stops beating normally and starts "shivering" for lack of a better term. The heart sits there quivering because the electrical impulses are all messed up and the rythym of the heart is gone.

Delivering the right kind of shock to the heart is almost like pressing the reset button. It causes the electrical impulses to stop momentarily so that hopefully your body's timing mechanism can restart the heart with a normal rythym.

If such a shock is delivered to a NORMAL heart, severe damage to the heart can be done. Those things can put out HUGE ammounts of current (most are adjustable). If damage was done to the nerves that control heart function by the shock, then there is not much that the best surgeons in the world could have done about it.

Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:00:33 AM EDT
Idiocy. He may be "a good kid" but he did a baaad thing. Esp after being told not to f*** around with 'lectricity. There are at least 5 warning labels or notices on the defib sitting next to me. How do you not know it's dangerous?

What a tragedy for those now motherless children.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:01:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Now they want to push personal emergency defibrillators into homes...
I've seen a number of commercials for the Sunbeam model lately.

How do you think the number of accidental deaths will compare with legally owned handguns?

They banned lawn darts, but want people to have defibs laying around




Automated Defib units WILL NOT shock someone who doesn't need it.


The inboard computer analyzes their heart rythms.




How much do those things cost? They sound interesting and like good insurance.




AED's run between $1K to $1.5K (Amazon has a few models)

I suspect by the end of the year they will be below $1K.

Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:01:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
There was one local incident where a firefighter had everyone in a AED class hold hands. He had people on each end of the line hold the paddles and zapped them. 7 dropped right there. Fortunately everyone survived.



Sorry, can't happen, not with an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator). I have worked EXTENSIVELY with those as an EMT and as an AED trainer for my university a couple years ago before I entered the service. Those things will NOT shock unless it will help and cannot shock with a normal heart beat. I dont doubt the stand in a circle story but not the shock did not come from an AED
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:01:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Now they want to push personal emergency defibrillators into homes...
I've seen a number of commercials for the Sunbeam model lately.

How do you think the number of accidental deaths will compare with legally owned handguns?

They banned lawn darts, but want people to have defibs laying around



There won't be many.

Home defibrilators are a hell of a lot smarter than most of the people who operate the defibrilators in the back of ambulances.

They will only deliver a shock under specific circumstances and they literally talk you through using them. Even a 10 year old can use one safely.

You shouldn't be worried about home defibrilators.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:03:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kk7sm:
For someone to use a manual unit on someone else, I can't even imagine.



And I have to wonder what it was set on. If the thing was set on its highest setting....
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:08:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By joker581:
He may be a nice guy, but he deserves what he gets out of this.

What kind of idiot doesn't know that that is dangerous? Nevermind the warnings that are on difibrillators.



I don't see how jail helps the situation any. Paying restitution to the family of the woman he killed makes more sense to me. Garnish 60% of his wagest for the next 30 years or soemthing like that...
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:09:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By kk7sm:
For someone to use a manual unit on someone else, I can't even imagine.



And I have to wonder what it was set on. If the thing was set on its highest setting....



the newer manual defibs, like lifepak 12 and the newer Zolls, are automaticaly set at 200J when turned on.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:09:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
How could she not be brought back... for THREE days? I'm not EMT or doctor or anything, but hy couldn't the just give her another jolt to jump start her back up or something?



That's not how a defibrilator works.

Ventricular Fibrilation is when the heart stops beating normally and starts "shivering" for lack of a better term. The heart sits there quivering because the electrical impulses are all messed up and the rythym of the heart is gone.

Delivering the right kind of shock to the heart is almost like pressing the reset button. It causes the electrical impulses to stop momentarily so that hopefully your body's timing mechanism can restart the heart with a normal rythym.

If such a shock is delivered to a NORMAL heart, severe damage to the heart can be done. Those things can put out HUGE ammounts of current (most are adjustable). If damage was done to the nerves that control heart function by the shock, then there is not much that the best surgeons in the world could have done about it.




Thanks... that explanation seems to make enough sense... even coming from a silly looking pirate.

Maybe the prison he goes to will let him double as the prison doctor... then the population issues might get solves. Who needs an electric chair when you have a shithead like that.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:10:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Merrell:
EMT-B's in PA are allowed to use AED's, not manual defibs. (Medics are qualified)

No idea what the standards are in Virginia (where this took place), but evidently their training & certification system is lacking.

What a moron.





Remember what the article said:

This was the guy's 4th day on the job. He was NOT certified to be using the defibrilator. He was not certified as an EMT either.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:13:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By N_Viejo:

Originally Posted By joker581:
He may be a nice guy, but he deserves what he gets out of this.

What kind of idiot doesn't know that that is dangerous? Nevermind the warnings that are on difibrillators.



I don't see how jail helps the situation any. Paying restitution to the family of the woman he killed makes more sense to me. Garnish 60% of his wagest for the next 30 years or soemthing like that...



You are going to put him BACK in a ambulance?
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:13:30 AM EDT
SAD Sad sad
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