EMT cleared in Atlas Fraley death

May 31, 2009 9:00:00 PM PDT
Officials will take no action against the paramedic involved in the controversial death of a teenager.In a report issued Monday, the Office of Emergency Medical Services laid out the investigation of what happened the day 17-year-old Atlas Fraley died.

Paramedic James Griffin responded to a 911 call when Fraley began having cramps last August. The Chapel Hill High School student called for help after returning home from a football scrimmage.

Griffin supposedly checked him over, and then left him home alone. He even had Fraley sign papers showing he was checked out that day and left at home.

Fraley was later found dead shortly after. An autopsy report shows the 17-year-old dead from "undetermined natural causes."

Griffin resigned after the incident.

On Monday the Office of Emergency Medical Services cleared Griffin, and said it planned no action against his paramedic credentials.

Read the letter sent to Griffin and the findings of the Office of EMS' investigation of his performance.

In March, Orange County City Manager Laura Blackmon says the paramedic did not violate policy by leaving Fraley alone that day even though other counties mandate a minor has to be taken to the hospital if no guardian can be reached.

Read the statement issued by the Orange County.

Earlier this year, Fraley's family attorney released the EMS report detailing what Griffin did that day.

In the report, Griffin noted Fraley was in minor discomfort but appeared stable and had several empty water bottles nearby. He told him about staying hydrated and advised him to see a doctor within 24 hours. Griffin notes he tried to call both of Fraley's parents but got no answer so he had Fraley sign discharge papers, and then left.

During the investigation, the Fraley family released a statement through their attorneys:

Two of the critical issues in this case are:

  1. Should 17 year old Atlas Fraley have been transported to the hospital by EMS, rather than being left at home alone, after EMS responded to this young man's 911 plea for help; and
  2. If Atlas had been transported to the hospital, rather than left at home alone, would he more likely than not, have survived?

The family has not yet released a statement commenting on the Office of EMS' conclusion.


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