This tragic incident involves Ann Marie Thomas, a veteran EMT with the Detroit Fire Department, who refused to respond to a call where an 8-month-old child had stopped breathing. The mother performed CPR while waiting for help, but the baby later died at the hospital. Thomas parked her vehicle on a street corner near the scene and expressed that she didn't want to perform CPR for an extended period while dealing with an emotional family. Despite being ordered by her supervisor to attend to the baby, Thomas continued to refuse. Eventually, an ambulance arrived, but it was too late, and the infant died.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner determined the cause of death to be suffocation, with evidence of multiple rib fractures and bruises on various organs. The child's mother, Janee Wright-Trussell, was charged and pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and first-degree child abuse, receiving a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years. Many believed that Ann Marie Thomas should also be held responsible.
Thomas was found guilty of willful neglect of duty, a misdemeanor crime, and faced up to one year in prison. However, she was only sentenced to three months. During the court proceedings, Thomas maintained her innocence and claimed that she did nothing wrong. She argued that she never received updated information, despite audio evidence contradicting her statement.
Critics argue that Thomas's refusal to do her job based on the difficulties involved demonstrates discrimination and a disregard for human life. They believe that her actions contributed to the little girl's death and that her punishment was insufficient. It is emphasized that individuals in life-or-death professions should not pursue such careers if they are unwilling or unable to fulfill their responsibilities.
Overall, this tragedy highlights the devastating consequences of a first responder's failure to act in a critical situation and raises questions about accountability and the importance of upholding professional obligations.