OKC Woman In Custody After Stealing Ambulance
OKLAHOMA CITY – Police say a woman stole an ambulance from a hospital early Sunday and took it for a joyride through southern Oklahoma City.
EMSA says it began a little before 2 a.m. outside Integris.
“We had a crew that was delivering a patient to a local emergency room,” EMSA Director of Regional Medical Response System Heather Yazdanipour said.
Yazdanipour says paramedics were so busy taking a patient into the hospital that they forgot to take the ambulance keys with them into the emergency room.
That’s when police say suspect Erica Toledo jumped into the ambulance and took off, driving through the city’s south side.
EMSA and police were quickly able to track her every move.
“We do have automatic vehicle locators or AVL, and that gives us distinct GPS locations,” Yazdanipour said.
EMSA says police put out stop sticks and caught the vehicle at Southwest 25th and Broadway.
No one was hurt, but thanks to the stop strips the front tires of the vehicle were damaged.
Now the ambulance is in the shop and Toledo is behind bars
EMSA is investigating on their own and reminding employees to take their keys with them per policy.
“We'll do some retraining with all of our staff, just to make sure that we're following those procedures and removing those keys and locking those vehicles,” Yazdanipour said.
Yazdanipour says with the company’s busy schedule, losing an ambulance temporarily is detrimental.
“We're working an extremely busy ems system here. So, when you take a vehicle out of commission for us and a crew out of commission, then what that does is it puts a strain on our system,” Yazdanipour said.
EMSA officials confirm there are several safeguards in their vehicles for such situations.