Fire chief calls for change after ambulance theft

The chief says strain on responders is a growing problem, mainly caused by young people drinking


GENESEO, N.Y. — Geneseo Fire Department Chief Andrew Chanler said enough is enough after the latest ambulance theft by an intoxicated student.

"This goes beyond a prank and it was definitely an attempt to really cause some havoc," Chanler told WHAM.

A student, Colin Dahlberg, 22, jumped in an ambulance and drove away as medics were rendering aid to an intoxicated student.

The ambulance was spotted by police soon after, about one mile away from campus. Dahlberg was driving the ambulance with more than twice the legal limit for DWI.

"It delayed the transport of the victim," Chanler told WHAM. "Had this truly been a life-threatening call,­ that could have made the difference in the outcome of the patient."

The fire chief said this is becoming a big problem, mainly caused by young people drinking.

"It puts a strain on our first responders," he said, adding that alcohol-fueled incidents take up most of his crew’s time from Thursday through the weekend.

Chanler said in the future he will emphasize the importance of expecting the unexpected and will remind his crew to lock their ambulances, which didn’t happen when the last incident occurred.

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