Charges against EMS dispatcher in asthma death dropped

June 25, 2013 3:16:54 PM PDT
Melissa Jackson insists she has nothing to apologize for.

"Apologize for what, exactly?" said Melissa Jackson, an EMS dispatcher.

Ms. Jackson is an EMS dispatcher and a trained emergency medical technician.

She was having coffee at Au Bon Pain with her boyfriend in December of 2009. She was on-duty and in-uniform when one of the clerks suffered an asthma attack in a back room.

Eutisha Rennix was six months pregnant and her co-workers were begging for help.

Instead, prosecutors say Ms. Jackson called an ambulance, got her coffee, and left. They say she never even looked at Eutisha who later died, along with her unborn child.

"This wasn't just an asthma attack, this was a cataclysmic episode that ultimately led to Ms. Rennix's death," said Kevin Richardson, Assistant Brooklyn District Attorney.

Melissa Jackson was arrested and charged with official misconduct under the city's rule that medics have a legal duty to intervene.

But the charges were dropped Tuesday after the chief of New York's EMS division told prosecutors the rule does not apply to EMS dispatchers.

Ms. Jackson says it's a vindication.

"I had no type of equipment to render any care because I work in a dispatch center behind a computer," Jackson said.

"So you sleep well at night?" Eyewitness News reporter N.J. Burkett asked.

"Yes, I do, I always have because I did everything that I was able to do," Jackson said.

Cynthia Rennix is Eutisha's mother.

"She has no feelings and no conscience of a human being. She's in the wrong profession to begin with," Rennix said.


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