2 R.I. EMTs file appeals over suspension of licenses after infant's death

Jarrod P. Martin and Shawn P. Hoyle remain employed by Woonsocket Fire Department amid the appeal, but are no longer handling rescue calls


By Leila Merrill

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Two Woonsocket EMTs whose licenses were suspended following the death of a premature infant on Aug. 1 are appealing the suspensions, the Providence Journal reported.

Jarrod P. Martin and Shawn P. Hoyle, Woonsocket Fire Department employees, requested a formal hearing ahead of an administrative hearing on officer-contesting disciplinary action taken by the Department of Health.

Woonsocket EMTs Jarrod P. Martin and Shawn P. Hoyle's licenses were suspended following the death of a premature infant they treated on Aug. 1.
Woonsocket EMTs Jarrod P. Martin and Shawn P. Hoyle's licenses were suspended following the death of a premature infant they treated on Aug. 1. (Photo/Woonsocket Firefighters Union, Local #732)

The two providers are not currently responding to rescue calls, Woonsocket Public Safety Director Eugene Jalette said.

The Health Department determined that Martin and Hoyle failed to comply with Rhode Island Statewide Emergency Medical Services Protocols, including provisions on routine patient care and neonatal resuscitation. 

The department also found that the two EMTs contravened state EMS rules such as the prohibition of gross negligence in providing medical care, unprofessional conduct, and violations of state or federal law. 

A summary of the investigation states that when the EMTs arrived at the home on Aug. 1, the infant was in a toilet, and its umbilical cord was intact. Martin and Hoyle clamped and cut the cord and left the child in the toilet while bringing the woman into another room.

The summary goes on to say that they returned to the bathroom, tapped on the infant’s feet, and determined that it did not have a pulse or limb movement. Martin and Hoyle wrapped the infant in a towel and placed it in a biohazard bag, which they transported along with the woman.

At the hospital, emergency department staff tried to resuscitate the infant without success, and it was pronounced dead.

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