Willoughby Hills, OH, Firefighter Prevents Ambulance Theft

June 17, 2024
Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Paladino jumped through the open driver's side window and subdued the thief.

Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Paladino is being credited with stopping a suspect from stealing one of the department's ambulances. 

According to the Willoughby Hills Fire Department, the ambulance arrived at the emergency ambulance entrance of University Hospitals Lake West Medical Center to exchange a used drug box that was used for the treatment of a previous patient who was not transported.

WKYC Channel 3 reports that a male suspect was seen getting into the passenger seat of the ambulance and then sliding to the driver's seat, starting to drive away.

That's when Paladino literally jumped into action.

He noticed the open window on the driver side door of the stolen ambulance and jumped through it and quickly subdued the thief and muscled the steering wheel out of his hands.

The ambulance jumped a curb, crashing into the helicopter landing pad at the hospital. 

Officials say that Paladino suffered a minor ankle and arm injury.

The ambulance had moderate damage. 

“Anytime, someone makes the extremely poor decision to steal a public safety vehicle is putting themselves and everyone around them at risk. Thankfully, the quick heroic actions of Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Paladino averted a potentially more disastrous scenario," said Willoughby Hills Fire Chief Robert Gandee. 

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