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Chief: No Discipline For Medics Who Wrongly Declared Teen Dead

October 10, 1991

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ Two medics who mistakenly declared a nearly comatose, drunken teen-ager dead did the best they could and will not be disciplined, the fire chief said.

The medics probably should not have canceled an ambulance with heart- monitoring equipment aboard, Fire Chief Earl Geyer said. But he said they had not been negligent, and there was no reason they should be punished.

Medics sometimes make mistakes, and ″I’m sure it’ll happen again before I’m through,″ Geyer said Wednesday.

Medics Greg Liggins and Jeff Foster declared 17-year-old Troy Smith dead on Sept. 21 and covered him with a blanket after finding no life signs. When he began to stir, they began treating him and recalled an ambulance. He has recovered fully.

Smith said he had drank about 10 glasses of gin before passing out. He had been unconscious for 12 hours before relatives called medics.

One of the medics is being transferred from the emergency medical unit to an engine company, but Geyer said the move was routine. ″He needs a rest,″ Geyer said.

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