Saturday, May 25 2013 7:14 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:14:55 GMT
About 35 runners from the Midwest who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon last month because of the bombings will run about a half mile on the track immediately before the start of the IndianapolisMore >>
About 35 runners from the Midwest who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon last month because of the bombings will run about a half mile on the track immediately before the start of the Indianapolis 500.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:09 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:09:39 GMT
A 22-year-old sprint car driver died has died after a crash at the Bloomington Speedway. Monroe County Coroner Nicole Meyer told The Herald-Times that 22-year-old Joshua Burton of Bloomington died atMore >>
A 22-year-old sprint car driver died has died after a crash at the Bloomington Speedway.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:05:14 GMT
An Indiana man is dead after the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a car near the National Mall in Washington. D.C. police say the collision occurred late Friday night at the intersection of 23rdMore >>
An Indiana man is dead after the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a car near the National Mall in Washington.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:02 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:02:27 GMT
The National Park Service is reminding people who plan to head to the shores of Lake Michigan as the summer season begins that water conditions can change quickly from calm and inviting to rough and dangerousMore >>
National Park Service is reminding people who plan to head to the shores of Lake Michigan as the summer season begins that water conditions can change quickly.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 6:58 PM EDT2013-05-25 22:58:35 GMT
The Evansville police chief is recommending an officer accused of battery against a student while working off-duty at a school be either suspended or fired. The Evansville Courier & Press reports ChiefMore >>
The Evansville police chief is recommending an officer accused of battery against a student while working off-duty at a school be either suspended or fired.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 6:46 PM EDT2013-05-25 22:46:57 GMT
A former central Indiana coroner who pleaded guilty to driving drunk is suing a former prosecutor from an adjoining county, alleging he provided incompetent counsel that kept her from running for re-election. TheMore >>
A former central Indiana coroner who pleaded guilty to driving drunk is suing a former prosecutor from an adjoining county.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 6:41 PM EDT2013-05-25 22:41:11 GMT
The force is with the Indiana State Museum. The Indianapolis Star reports an exhibition called "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" opened at the museum this weekend. The exhibit lets visitorsMore >>
The force is with the Indiana State Museum.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 5:56 PM EDT2013-05-25 21:56:46 GMT
A co-founder of a group that seeks to promote cycling as a safe form of transportation says the death of a 62-year-old man earlier this month highlights the need of cyclists and motorists to share road. AaronMore >>
A co-founder of a group that seeks to promote cycling as a safe form of transportation says the death of a 62-year-old man earlier this month highlights the need of cyclists and motorists to share road.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 4:49 PM EDT2013-05-25 20:49:02 GMT
Picture courtesy of Adam Roach
Police were called to an area in the Coke lot near 30th and Moller Road Saturday afternoon for a suspicious item that was found. Police blew up the device. Metro bomb squad and Speedway police say theMore >>
Police were called to an area in the Coke lot near 30th and Moller Road Saturday afternoon for a suspicious item that was found.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 3:38 PM EDT2013-05-25 19:38:50 GMT
The Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade went off without a hitch Saturday. No problems with the weather or security. Some of that was by design. The 500 Festival Parade kept up with tradition. It was designedMore >>
The goal the entire time was to allow those who want to enjoy an Indianapolis tradition the opportunity to do so safely.More >>
Indianapolis - Help is just a phone call away. When residents dial 911 for ambulance service, crews must respond whether it's the first time to the address or more than a hundred.
But 13 Investigates uncovers a sick problem - abuse of the system. Investigator Sandra Chapman tracks down some of the city's serial callers and shows you why police are on the trail of a menace.
Every day, sirens blare in the distance across the city. Fire and ambulance dispatchers provide critical information as emergency medical technicians and paramedics maneuver through traffic and at times near misses.
"We're out responding on the street in a hurry," said Lt. Monty Hoyt, who works on the Medic 10 rescue squad at the Indianapolis Fire Department.
Their job is to provide a lifeline to anyone who calls 911 for a medical emergency.
"I know when to call to get help and when not to," one recent patient told 13 Investigates.
But a four-month long Eyewitness News investigation found a community of "serial callers" - chronic 911 dialers who want help fast. Why and how much they call is sometimes questionable. In some cases the calls are downright criminal. There are mere specialists in false alarms like the man captured on this 911 call obtained by 13 Investigates.
Caller: "Please hurry; 2902 North Park. The house is on fire. Right now please hurry up."
Police Dispatcher: "Sir?" [The caller hangs up as the call is switched over.]
Fire and Ambulance Dispatcher: "Fire and Ambulance. What is your emergency?"
Police Dispatcher: "Fire this is police across the hall. I'm sorry."
Fire and Ambulance Dispatcher: "What's up?"
Police Dispatcher: "We're getting another bogus call. That stupid idiot is starting his stuff again."
Metro Police Lt. Scott Robinette understands the frustration. "There are a number of people who are doing this kind of crime. I'm talking about the people who are maliciously, intentionally harassing government first responders," he confirmed.
Callers who aren't sick
Another troubling issue: callers who aren't really sick.
Chuck Ford is Wishard's Emergency Preparedness Director.
"It would be nice if people only called for true emergencies," he said.
It's a well known and risky problem for EMTs on the city's front line response at Wishard and the fire department. And it's costing taxpayers millions.
Dr. Mike Olinger is the Medical Director for both Wishard and IFD's ambulance service describes one of the ploys of bogus callers.
"They want to get up by St. Vincent [Hospital]. So they call the ambulance for horrible belly pain. 'My doctor's at St. Vincent's.' They get taken up there. They sign out of the emergency room, walk out and go visit somebody up near St. Vincent's," he said likening the act to a free taxi-cab ride.
"That's truly abuse of the system," he added.
So who are the serial callers on the other end of the phone?
Emergency Director Ford said, "As far as individuals go, we don't keep those records. Anecdoctally we know because we hear the ambulances dispatched to the same locations," he conceded.
Medical privacy laws prevent the city and county from naming names, so 13 Investigates decided to crunch Wishard's 2008 dispatch numbers for Medics 5, 10, 11 and 20. The four medics handled thousands of calls.
We wanted to find city addresses with the highest medical runs in those areas.
"We call them B.S. Runs, for basic service," explained Dr. Olinger.
Hundreds of calls went to apartment buildings, nursing homes and other residential housing units including 41 visits to a North Illinois Street address. It's a boarding house for Midtown Mental Health clients.
According to Dr. Olinger, "We see people who have psychiatric illnesses, that believe they are sick," he said.
13 Investigates broke it down more to single family homes and found three of the city's top chronic callers, starting at an Olney Street address on the east side.
Behind the door of the home, a 70-year-old resident confirmed all 45 calls last year to this residence were for her.
Just over two miles away in a small apartment on 21st Street we found Timothy, a regular for Medic 20.
"They know me by my name," he proudly told 13 Investigates. "It's kind of exciting in a way to get help on the way," he said.
Based on our numbers, Timothy Rabbit had a very exciting year. We asked him how many times he thought he called an ambulance in 2008.
"Oh, wow, I'd say at least 20-times," he responded. He called for chest pains, diabetic issues, and for just being plain old sick.
"You had 40 runs here last year," we informed him.
"Are you serious?," he asked shaking his head in disbelief. "That's a lot," he admitted.
A lot for a man who's suffered five heart attacks and who's daily survival rests in 14 bottles of pills.
According to Wishard, each ambulance transport cost between $400 and $1,000.
In 2008, Wishard Health Services billed $30 million in ambulance runs. But it's only collected $6 million. Whatever they don't collect is simply written off.
At another location, Eyewitness News showed another chronic caller a history of runs to her address. Marcia Hendrix isn't surprised we showed up at her door. She had 30 ambulance runs in 2008. She suffers from Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease known as COPD and emphysema.
"How often do you call them?" Chapman asked.
"Sometimes three times a week, sometimes once a week," said Hendrix unapologetically. "Whenever I need them I have to call them. I need it too much to abuse them," she said.
But the city's number one caller is not even a patient.
Investigators say he's a menace who calls fire and ambulance for the thrill. IMPD is trying find who's behind the voice captured on numerous 911 calls.
On January 6th of this year, he made this call:
"Send a fire truck to 2902 North Park, my mother and father, sister and brother are trapped in the house and the house is on fire," he says before abruptly hanging up.
"It's urgent and also he's calling in an entrapment," explained Robinett who says such a call would cause a ramped up response.
"Anytime you have all those apparatus going lights and sirens through the city you put people at risk," added Dr. Olinger.
"I will catch you," promised Robinett, speaking of the bogus caller.
Robinett, an arson investigator was successful in tracking down Rickey Jones, another serial caller who spent years taunting emergency responders.
Jones is now serving a three-year prison sentence for false reporting. It's estimated he cost the city a million dollars for runs to nowhere.
"The silent majority are paying for it," said Robinett, referring to the portion of the Marion County tax bill that pay for the city's emergency response systems.
And now it appears the city is on the hook for more.
The caller whose voice is captured on tape is targeting a neighborhood near 29th and Park. In January he dialed 911 for bogus fire and ambulance runs 39 times in a single day. He created more than a hundred false runs in November and December.
"I know that he called 121 times in those 2-months," said Robinett with disgust. "Each time when the little boy calls, cries wolf, we have to go."
"It's a nuisance," said patient Timothy Rabbitt, who says he wouldn't know what to do if the ambulance service wasn't available for him.
"I think it's wrong," added Marcia Hendrix, who says she has no other way to get to the hospital for increased oxygen.
With their lives and others on the line, they can only hope a prank or bogus caller isn't tying up help when it's needed most.
To report a bogus caller, call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS. You could earn a cash reward of $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest.
By the numbers:
Ambulance runs by IFD 2008 - (Former Warren and Washington Township areas)
Patients with over five fire rescue responses
Patients who accounted for 182 runs. One of those patients had 37 runs
Runs from January through March 2009
Patients with four runs or more
Patients account for 21 of the runs (An average of seven runs in a 3-month period)
IFD Ambulance Billing 2008
Data provided by: Division Chief of EMS, Indianapolis Fire Department (Numbers represent areas of transport from the former Warren and Washington Township EMS District)
Friday, May 24 2013 11:19 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:19:14 GMT
Police are seeking criminal charges against two missing campers who were found on the Indiana National Guard's Camp Atterbury. Bartholomew County sheriff's Maj. Todd Noblitt says the two men, ages 19More >>
Bartholomew County sheriff's Maj. Todd Noblitt says the two men, ages 19 and 20, were found Wednesday after a ground and air search for several hours by police officers and soldiers of the Atterbury grounds near Edinburgh.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 5:53 AM EDT2013-05-25 09:53:25 GMT
An Elwood High School baseball coach is under investigation for touching one of his players. The Anderson Herald Bulletin reports that Elwood Police Chief Sam Hanna confirmed that Charles "Chuck" Everson,More >>
An Elwood High School baseball coach is under investigation for touching one of his players. More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 11:10 AM EDT2013-05-25 15:10:36 GMT
The new state budget that increases funding for schools the next two years won't benefit every Indiana school district. Terry Spradlin of Indiana University's Center for Evaluation and Education PolicyMore >>
The new state budget that increases funding for schools the next two years won't benefit every Indiana school district.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:04 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:04:40 GMT
Two people are in custody after an incident where an IMPD officer fired his duty weapon. Police say officers were investigating an incident in the 3200 block of Boulevard Place when a suspect failed toMore >>
Two people are in custody after an incident where an IMPD officer fired his duty weapon.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:55 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:55:55 GMT
A Greenfield police officer is fighting to keep his vanity license plate. Rodney Vawter has owned the personalized Fraternal Order of Police license plate "0INK" for the past three years. A class actionMore >>
A Greenfield police officer is fighting to keep his vanity license plate after it was revoked by the BMV.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:56 AM EDT2013-05-25 04:56:19 GMT
A female pedestrian is in the hospital after being struck by a vehicle on the northeast side of Indianapolis. The woman was hit on E. 34th Street, between Gladstone and Colorado, around 9:45 p.m. Friday.More >>
A female pedestrian is in the hospital after being struck by a vehicle on the northeast side of Indianapolis.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 1:44 PM EDT2013-05-25 17:44:05 GMT
An anthropologist at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is drawing interest from media worldwide for his expedition in July to Australia to study how some 1,000-year-old coins ended up onMore >>
An anthropologist at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is drawing interest from media worldwide for his expedition in July to Australia to study how some 1,000-year-old coins ended up on a remote beach there.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:45 PM EDT2013-05-25 16:45:20 GMT
Floats and bands are beginning to line the streets Saturday morning for the 2013 IPL 500 Festival Parade. Eight of the 12 floats scheduled to appear in the parade were judged Thursday evening. The 2013More >>
More than 300,000 spectators are expected to line the two-mile parade route to see the 33 starting drivers of the 2013 Indianapolis 500®, more than 80 specialty units, floats, marching bands and giant inflatable balloons.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:42 PM EDT2013-05-25 18:42:48 GMT
Authorities say three men from eastern Indiana were killed in a head-on crash along a northern Indiana highway. The LaGrange County Sheriff's Department says 21-year-old Dwayne Davis of Parker City, 19-year-oldMore >>
Authorities say three men from eastern Indiana were killed in a head-on crash along a northern Indiana highway.More >>