The Harford County Division of Emergency Operations and Sheriff’s Office have launched inquiries into the circumstances surrounding a Sheriff’s Office sergeant who suffered a medical emergency last week.
The sergeant was identified by sources as Noel Raufaste, a 10-year veteran of the agency and a member of its police services bureau. Raufaste was on patrol in the Rock Spring area north of Bel Air Thursday when he suffered what Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Monica Worrell described as a non-self-inflicted medical emergency.
Raufaste was transported in critical condition to the R Adams Cowley University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where Sheriff Jesse Bane said he was “doing better” Tuesday night.
But beyond those basic details released by the department, the specifics of what happened and how the county’s emergency services responded is not clear.
“I have a number of accounts of what happened, and right now none of them agree,” Bane said Tuesday.
According to various sources contacted by The Dagger, those stories range from nothing unusual occurring beyond the information initially provided by the Sheriff’s Office, to the possibility that Raufaste did not receive assistance for several hours, despite signaling for help via radio several times.
Bane said he began an “inquiry” early this week to determine the circumstances of the incident.
Meanwhile, Rick Ayers, deputy manager with the county’s Division of Emergency Operations, said that department has begun an “internal investigation” of its own. Ayers did not respond to subsequent questions regarding the nature of the investigation or what specific questions might trigger such investigations.
Bane said he was unable to characterize the actions and efforts of the county’s emergency dispatchers in the incident until the inquiry was complete.