Weekend medical calls resulting from alcohol or drug use put strain on Amherst ambulance service
AMHERST — Large numbers of intoxicated college-age people requiring medical attention put a strain the town’s ambulances late Friday night, prompting three out-of-town ambulances to respond to Amherst.
Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson said Monday that the fire department handled 27 medical calls from 5 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday, with 22 of them during a six-hour period starting at 10 p.m. The University of Massachusetts campus was the site of 18 of the 27 responses, where a dozen intoxicated individuals and three suffering from the effects of drugs were assisted.
“We used all five ambulances, we used the EFR (emergency first response) paramedic truck and we had three calls for mutual aid,” Nelson said.
Ambulances from Northampton responded twice and an ambulance from Belchertown once. The 13 Amherst firefighter-paramedics on duty were supplemented with members of the call force, who came in shortly after midnight and stayed for about 90 minutes.
Another 22 medical calls were received Saturday night into Sunday morning when activity was diminished by rain, with only two resulting from alcohol use.
Nelson said the numerous calls could have meant delayed responses for other people in Amherst and surrounding communities who needed ambulance service. That is what frustrates him about the use of alcohol and drugs.
“They choose to do these things they know will be harmful to themselves and possibly to others,” Nelson said.
Nelson said the dean of students office at UMass is supportive of efforts to curtail the problem, taking names of individuals and getting them into alcohol education programs.
“They’ve been great about it,” Nelson said of the university. “They do a lot to try to educate these kids about the dangers of these bad activities.”
Meanwhile, Amherst police had what Detective David Foster said was a typical weekend, responding to a number of noise complaints and keeping large-scale disturbances to a minimum.
During the weekend, police arrested, summoned to court or issued tickets for loud parties that could yield $6,300 in fines.
One of the first big parties developed at 12:23 a.m. Saturday at 17 Salem Place, where Enrico A. Aloi, 21, of Trumbull, Conn., Kyle A. Crist, 21, of Marblehead, and John L. Tremblay, 21, of Lynnfield, were arrested on charges of violating both the town’s noise and nuisance house bylaws, Foster said.
Another major party took place nearly 24 hours later, at 11:58 p.m. Saturday, at 1008 North Pleasant St., where five people were arrested on charges of violating the town’s noise bylaw after about 150 people were found in the backyard, Foster said. Those arrested are Arian C. Hashemi-Pour, 22, of 5 Eames Place; Sana Jameel and Patricia L. Martin, both 21 and from Attleboro; Nicole Scepkowski, 21, of Sparta, N.J.; and Adriana N. Sobel, 21, of New City, N.Y.
At 12:13 a.m. Sunday, Christina Kingdara, 20, of Lowell, and Allison N. Wolf, 19, of Lebanon, N.J., were arrested at 35 Northampton Road on charges of violating the town’s noise and nuisance bylaws, Foster said. The home drew police attention because of the loud noise as well as debris, including beer cans, thrown into the road by the 75 guests.
Police issued three noise tickets at 11:49 p.m. Friday at 2 Shays St., where officers spent 30 minutes clearing out 150 partyers, Foster said. Additional police responses came at 12:36 a.m. Sunday at 314 North Pleasant St., where one noise ticket was issued, and at 2:40 a.m. Sunday, where one noise ticket was given to a 49 South Prospect St. tenant.
And police dealt with an out-of-control pedestrian early Saturday.
Mary L. Quinn, 21, of Westfield, was arrested at 12:16 a.m. Saturday on a North Pleasant Street sidewalk just north of the UMass campus on a charge of disorderly conduct after she refused to cooperate with police checking on her well-being and intentionally obstructed pedestrians in the area, Foster said.
Officers also issued eight warnings to homes where loud noise was being made and arrested or summoned to court 17 people for various violations, including being minors in possession of alcohol, possessing open containers of alcohol and procuring alcohol for minors, Foster said.