Paramedics in Southern California refused to enter a post-acute-care facility to treat a man in cardiac arrest last month because of "some COVID-19 law," according to a Rialto Police Department report.
Body camera footage shows an officer arriving at the Rialto Post Acute Care Center on the evening of Nov. 11 and greeting two paramedics from the Rialto Fire Department, who were standing outside with their masks on.
The first 30 seconds of the footage are muted, which is standard for many police body cameras, but the officer wrote in his report that the paramedics were there for an unrelated patient and said the facility was being "problematic."
"After a few moments, an unknown employee of the location yelled out to fire personnel ‘Please come help, he’s having cardiac arrest,'" the officer wrote.
"Fire personnel responded by insisting the patient had to be brought outside the facility before they could provide any sort of treatment… due to an unspecified COVID-19 law."
After about a minute, the officer went inside himself and was almost immediately greeted by frantic hospital staff.
"They are not going to come in," the officer told the staff as he started to run to the room where the man was in cardiac arrest. "They're saying it's a state law that they cannot come in."
The officer then encountered multiple staff members performing CPR and other life-saving measures on the patient. The bed he was in did not have wheels, so the officer got behind the bed and pushed it.
"You're doing a great job. You're doing a great job. Keep going," the officer told one exhausted staff member as she continued CPR.
As the officer navigated the wheel-less bed through the hallways, they eventually came into view of the paramedics.
"Despite being in their line of sight, fire personnel still insisted on [redacted] being brought to them outside before they began life saving efforts and made no effort to assist me in getting [redacted] outside."
Once they finally got the man outside, several other emergency medical personnel had arrived and started treating the man as one of the original paramedics peppered staff with administrative questions.
The man was transferred to a local hospital and pronounced deceased about 30 minutes later.