November 26, 2014


LifeCare ambulance stolen, then abandoned minutes later

LORAIN – A LifeCare ambulance, which was stolen while on a routine call, was abandoned in the middle of the street in Lorain only minutes after the theft Friday.

The incident began around 1 a.m. on Friday when two LifeCare paramedics went to the 1100 block of West 21st Street to respond to a woman going into labor. They left the ambulance in the driveway and went to talk to the woman inside.

While they were in the house, they heard the ambulance pulling out of the drive, they told police, and they ran out to see it heading eastbound along West 21st Street.

They called for another ambulance to take the woman to the hospital, LifeCare Vice President Herb de la Porte said.

Through LifeCare dispatch, officers were able to track the ambulance as it moved down West 21st, eventually stopping at West 22nd Street between Lexington Avenue and Reid Avenue.

When police responded to West 22nd Street, they found the ambulance abandoned in the middle of the street. LifeCare personnel said nothing was stolen or missing.

De la Porte said this is the first time in his 27 years of working with LifeCare that an ambulance has been stolen.

“(Stealing an ambulance) is an act of ultimate, irresponsible stupidity,” de la Porte said, adding that if the suspect or suspects stole the vehicle to get medication, they were “sorely mistaken” because ambulances don’t carry the kind of medication that an addict would be looking for.

Police have no suspects yet but are hopeful that since the ambulance went through construction on Washington Avenue, they may be able to check the camera system at the site to possibly identify a suspect.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or


  • Joe Smith

    Real smart leaving the ambulance in a position that it could get stolen, that could cause someone their life. Quite the dirtbag to take an ambulance also.

    • Sue

      They leave the ambulance on to reduce the time required to leave in event of an emergency….

      • Joe Smith

        I understand, but how much time does it reduce when it is stolen and you have to wait on a second ambulance to replace it?
        They have devices like on the remote car starters that will leave the vehicle running, but it will shut off if someone tries to take it out of parking gear without the key. That would be the smart way to go about it.

        • Sue

          1. This has only ever happened once in the past 27 years, so I’d bet if you divided out the time it took to call in a second ambulance over 27 years worth of calls – it saves much less time in the long run.
          2. Costs money to install that system.
          3. That system is another thing that could malfunction and cause more delay in event of an emergency.
          4. Sometimes during an emergency where both paramedics are needed in the back, a firefighter, police officer, or another paramedic from another squad is able to drive the ambulance to the nearest hospital – without searching for keys.

          • Joe Smith

            You don’t have any idea how many times an emergency vehicle has been stolen over the last 27 years
            The remote starter thing is installed in parallel with the normal starting system not in series so if it failed there would be no effect on the vehicle
            So if the delay of it being stolen cost your family member their life or the life of a child, you would be ok with it?
            I paid for the cost of a seat belt and never had an accident in over 35 years of driving, would it not be worth to not put one in to save some money since a accident has not happened in 35 years?

  • givemeabreak1234

    unfortunately Joe you have no idea what you are talking about so do everyone a favor and shut up. What I really wish to know is what punishment did your paramedic’s received Herb because we were informed NOTHING. Is that how you run your business based on lying to the public?

    • Pete

      Lifecare is a private company and does not need to inform you of the punishment. How the deal with the situation is business.

    • JCW

      Did he not say that they were disciplined? I can’t think of any responsible private company that would publish internal actions publicly. Look instead to reactions … it was stated clearly that discipline had been taken, and no one said a word.

      Kinda sounds like folks were satisfied? Surely, the Brinda crusade would have latched onto a meaty bone of controversy if one were existent. Could we be seeing prudence from the imprudent? ;)

      And go easy on the lying part … given that the fact he even humored the press in addressing what he planned to do when he didn’t have to, I think he’s being as transparent as an employer can be while promoting a fair process to both employee and aggrieved.

    • rlm_Lorain

      Why on earth should they be punished for doing their jobs according to established protocol? Besides that, LifeCare is a privately owned and operated company; how they handle the situation internally is no business of ours. Perhaps if the scum sucking slug that stole the ambulance had been disciplined somewhere along the line, they wouldn’t be out STEALING AMBULANCES in the first place!

    • Joe Smith

      Explain it to me then genius.

      1. was it smart to leave the ambulance running unattended or with the door locked and having a spare key? ( Don’t bother, the fact it was stolen and could have put someone life in danger is answer enough)

      2. Would not using the same device that auto car starters use that would allow it to keep running yet eliminate the situation that it was stolen from happening? Don’t bother again, common sense answers that question too.

      As a former deputy, i know why they are left running and the main reason is in case the car fails to restart, NOT to save time, if you could comprehend my post you would note that I said ” leaving the ambulance in a position that it could get stolen” you don’t leave it running unless it is either attended by a person, or the door is locked which is why you have a spare key. I also came up with a solution that would eliminate that issue, but I guess sarcastic useless comments like yours comes in a close second to that…..sigh

      • Sue

        You’d rather lives depend on a spare key that could fall out of one’s pocket when lifting a patient, because of one incident in 27 years? Come on man. I’m glad you’re here to solve all of the world’s problems, but sometimes sh** just happens. It’s okay.

        • Joe Smith

          Most emergency response personnel have the key on a chain, it is common for a police officer to put the extra key on their whistle chain and put it in their pocket for just this reason. Unsure what EMS does but bet it would be similar

          At least i am offering possible solutions, why don’t you be the one who explains to someone that their child died due to an ambulance being stolen because “sh** just happens”

          • Sue

            Did that happen? Did a child die? What did I miss?

            There’s an average response time in Lorain of 6.5 minutes. That’s how long it takes paramedics to arrive in an ambulance. There were already 2 paramedics on scene who could have been continuing to work on this imaginary child patient while waiting for the next ambulance to arrive. I don’t believe an isolated incident is enough reason to reconfigure every ambulance in the fleet. The reaction doesn’t match the action.

          • Joe Smith

            You are right Sue, lets wait until a child or somebody dies first, much better than finding a solution before it happens and a ambulance can’t do everything a hospital can to save a life and the other ambulances could be on other calls at that time and unavailable but I am sure you have stats on how many times multiple ambulances are called out at once.
            If you are incapable of understanding thats fine, no sense wasting any more time on you.

  • givemeabreak1234

    Clearly I need to explain what disapline I’m talking about, it is not about leaving the ambulance running because that is a need. It is about the two paramedic’s that left late to a call (the stabbing) and everyone was told by Herb that the two paramedics were disaplined and that is a lie. that’s it end of story.

    • Pete

      Hey give, how do you know that they were not punished? I doubt the owner is going to release information that is none of your business. Why are you so worried about this? Is it your friend that got stabbed or the one that did the stabbing?

      • givemeabreak1234

        neither thanks for the concern.

  • jane smith

    joe smith your a total douche bag