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Firefighter gives first-hand account of 'patient dragging' incident

The firefighters were trying to stop a man, possibly suffering from a drug overdose, from driving into traffic

By FireRescue1 Staff

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee fire lieutenant said it was a "horrible" experience when he tried to stop a belligerent patient he was trying to help.

Lt. Spencer Ramsdell gave his first-hand account when he was dragged by a driver as he and two other firefighters tried to assist and medic in helping the man.

He told WTMJ that his goal was to just get the keys away from the driver.

"It was a busy day, there was a lot of cars out there. I didn't want him to hit somebody else."

Lt. Ramsdell said it the man was "altered" and may have been suffering a drug overdose.

While two firefighters reached at the driver from the back passenger doors and he tried to reach over to grab the keys, the driver started the engine.

The firefighters had to hang on to the vehicle as half their bodies were inside.

"I see them bail out. I see them roll out and it's just a sinking feeling. It's horrible," said Lt. Ramsdell.

The man ended up dragging the firefighters about 40 feet before one of them got control of the wheel and put the car in park.

All of the firefighters suffered knee injuries but are expected to make a full recovery.

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