Police aid firefighters during hostile call for service

10:23 PM, Jul 9, 2012   |    comments
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  • Sacramento Firefighters
  • Katrina Puleo-Coats

SACRAMENTO - Sacramento firefighters responding to a medical call on Sunday night had to call police for back-up after a woman became hostile about the response time.

The call was made after a man was found not breathing inside a home in the 2600 block of Traction Avenue in Del Paso Heights.

"I ran downstairs, had my roommate call 911," said Katrina Puleo-Coats.  "He's on the phone with them and I'm like 'What's taking them so long?' -- after about five minutes of waiting, I don't hear no ambulance, no nothing."

As Puleo-Coats began to worry, she got in her van and drove to the end of the block to wait for the emergency responders. Once she saw them, she returned to her home.

"I had time to get out of the van and run into the gate, you know, hoping they would just run in but they took their time --slowly walking off, you know, into the back and I told them 'What's taking you so long?'"

While firefighters were at the scene, Katrina got mad and yelled at them. Police showed up after firefighters got concerned about the hostility.

As the officers approached the home, Puleo-Coats threw a scooter over the fence then shut and locked the door. The officers tried to kick it open but it didn't work, she said.

"(The officers) climbed the fence and when they climbed the fence they were made at me because I was laughing at them because they couldn't get the door open," said Puleo-Coats.

At that point, Katrina was arrested. She was charged with obstruction of justice and resisting arrest. She was released from jail on Monday on her own recognizance.

"Once you're in the business you know that you're going into some very emotionally-charged incidents," said Sacramento Fire Asst. Chief Niko King. 

King said it's a common issue they deal with but all responders move with a purpose.

"It's all almost choreographed and we work incredibly efficiently and we've learned that if you jump out of an apparatus and you start running you're more likely to trip, fall, forget things and it snow balls the situation."

What felt like forever to Puleo-Coats, during the medical call, all happened within five minutes. The 911 call was made from a cell phone at 9:42 p.m. and responders were dispatched at 9:44 p.m., according to King.

King said paramedics arrived within three minutes of the dispatch -- at 2:42 to be exact -- and an engine arrived within four minutes.

The response time met the department's goal and national standards, said King.

"We understand though, it's human nature, minutes can literally feel like 15 minutes when you're waiting, seeing someone that needs assistance," said King.

"They didn't treat us right. In different neighborhoods they get a faster response but because of this area we get treated like we're bad people," said Puleo-Coats.

King, however, disagreed and said the department uses a scientific management approach when responding to calls

The man inside the home, who was unresponsive, was taken to the hospital by ambulance and is doing fine.



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