Lieutenant Kirby McElhearn Medal
October 21, 1998, 0444 hours
Maurice and 54th Avenues, Queens
EMT-D: Kenneth Newman
EMT-D: Nancy Whitfield
Newman was appointed to EMS on May 22, 1989. Assigned
o EMS Battalion 45. He is a recipient of five
pre-hospital saves and an Excellent Duty Medal.
He attended New York Institute of Technology.
He resides in Patchogue, Long Island, with his
wife, Kelly, and their son, Daniel.
Whitfield was appointed to EMS on August 31, 1987.
Assigned to EMS Battalion 45. She is the recipient
of numerous pre hospital saves and a Medical Director's
Award. She resided in Lindenhurst, Long Island,
with her five daughters.
It was 0444 hours on Wednesday, October
21, 1998, and Paramedics Kenneth Newman and Nancy Whitfield
were bringing their ambulance back to the station for change
of tour. As they turned the corner of Maurice and 54th Avenues,
they spotted a burning car at the intersection. They immediately
called the EMS Queens dispatch to request fire apparatus.
They learned that ambulance 45B1, carrying EMT-Ds Sandra
Franklin and Keith Schroeder, was assigned and en route.
Paramedics Newman and Whitfield further sized up the situation.
They observed an unconscious man trapped inside the vehicle.
It appeared that his head had hit the windshield. Observers
told them that the car had been traveling at a high rate
of speed before going out of control, hitting a tree and
a cement wall. There was fire coming from the engine compartment.
Paramedic Newman immediately reached for his portable dry
chemical fire extinguisher in order to contain the flames
and keep them away from the victim. Simultaneously, Paramedic
Whitfield attempted to enter the vehicle to reach the man.
Finding the vehicle doors locked, Paramedic Whitfield quickly
obtained a tire iron from a civilian on the scene. She proceeded
to break a window, allowing her access to the victim. As
Paramedic Whitfield entered the vehicle, EMT-Ds Franklin
and Schroeder arrived on the scene and assisted her in pulling
the unconscious man to safety. contd on page 23