Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Man indicted in EMT fraud case



By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEBANON - A Miamisburg man made 15 to 17 emergency runs last year as an EMT with the Clearcreek Fire District before his bosses discovered that he was a fraud, prosecutors said Monday.

A Warren County grand jury indicted Nicholas R. Thompson, 23, on a single felony charge of forgery and a minor misdemeanor for allegedly performing the job of an emergency medical technician without the proper certification. He faces up to a year in prison if convicted.

Forgery alleged

Thompson is accused of forging his license and working as an EMT for about a week in late March and early April 2002 until the fraud was discovered.

"He had a certain amount of time in which he had to get his EMT license after he was hired," County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel said.

"He couldn't pass the EMT training apparently, and that's how he was caught."

Hutzel said Thompson went back to classes in an attempt to be certified and someone there recognized him.

Makes no sense

Fire Chief Bernie Becker said he was confused why Thompson would fake his EMT status, because he had a year to complete certification before he could be terminated for not having it. He also was not entitled to a raise until he completed probation, Becker said.

Hired in December 2001, Thompson was terminated on May 2, 2002, after a fellow Clearcreek firefighter saw him at Sinclair College attending EMT training.

Becker said patient care was not jeopardized because of Thompson's involvement.

"No one was in any danger at any time," Becker said. "He was always with someone who was certified, such as a paramedic, on every run. The level of care was always there."

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E-mail smclaughlin@enquirer.com




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