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AMR has fired an employee after a controversial response to a medical call last November

A frame grab from Rochester Police street surveillance camera video shows a man who collapsed after being ordered off an AMR ambulance. The man was having trouble breathing and had told paramedics it hurt to drink water. A confrontation allegedly occurred inside the ambulance. The man laid facedown on the sidewalk for 2 minutes, 15 seconds before police and paramedics came to his aid.
City of Rochester
A frame grab from Rochester Police street surveillance camera video shows a person, who was having trouble breathing, being asked to leave an an AMR ambulance. The patient who had complained of shortness of breath was placed on a bench and then fell to the ground where the body lied motionless for two minutes before police and EMT's provided assistance.(photo taken from video provided by City of Rochester)

The ambulance company that serves much of the Rochester region has taken some action in the wake of a controversial response to a medical call last November.

The controversy came about because of video released by the city, after a man was ordered out of an ambulance and onto a city street corner while having trouble breathing.

He made his way to a bench, but soon collapsed and laid face down on the sidewalk for more than two minutes before being attended to.

He died in December. On Friday, AMR released a statement about the incident on Seneca Avenue, and said that it has fired one of the employees and started remedial training and corrective action for the other two employees involved. The company said that it took the actions based on the results of its internal investigation. AMR also said it is taking immediate steps to enhance its company policies.

Meanwhile, at Rochester City Hall, officials recently talked about exploring plans to invest in enhanced emergency medical services for city residents. That’s in connection with recommendations from Fitch Solutions.

The city is also continuing its investigation into last November’s incident. AMR said that it contacted the New York State Department of Health Bureau of EMS and Trauma Systems, and requested a formal investigation. That probe is ongoing.

In the statement released by AMR on Friday, the company said that it realizes “our standards for providing compassionate care and upholding human dignity weren’t met on Seneca Avenue on November 30, 2023, and we pledge to do better.”

The city of Rochester said recently that it is in contract discussions with AMR while it continues its investigation into the Seneca Ave. incident. AMR’s current contract with the city expires in November 2024, and contains renewal options that could maintain the relationship through 2026.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.