The brother of a Winslow man who died from a recent snowmobile crash in Canada says he will continue pressing for change after “gross negligence” of local paramedics who reportedly refused to go onto the trail, citing their policies.

Glenn A. Dumont, 69, of Winslow, died March 2 in Quebec, several hours after a crash knocked him unconscious and he stopped breathing. His brother Lewis Pelletier, 73, of Winslow, said in an interview Wednesday that he’s focused on bringing attention to the paramedics’ response to the crash.

“This is not over, in my book,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “It’s so frustrating to have someone as close as he was to me and so frustrating … to get no help.”

Dumont was well known in central Maine, particularly in sports circles. A 1965 graduate of Winslow High School, he received a full four-year football scholarship to American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts, and went on to be a 14th-round draft pick for the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, according to his obituary. Later he was an assistant football coach and helped guide Winslow to state titles in 1973 and 1976, and he officiated at football games and championships.

Dumont was also among the Maine Sports Hall of Fame’s nine inductees last year.

Pelletier said from his Winslow home Wednesday that he’s committed to raising awareness about the circumstances of his brother’s death, and he wants Canadian paramedics to be “aware of their shortcoming and failure” in responding to the crash.

Details of the paramedics’ response to the crash were first reported Tuesday by CBC News in Canada, which reported that “Quebec government regulations dictate that ambulance technicians or paramedics can refuse to intervene if they believe taking action might put them in danger.” In addition, the regulations say paramedics may go to the scene of a snowmobile crash but only if they have safety equipment and are accompanied by a police officer or other responder, the broadcasting network reported.

The CBC also quoted Quebec Health Minister Gaetan Barrette as saying a coroner would investigate Dumont’s death and that “light has to be shed on this event to see if things went according to protocol.”

A health ministry spokeswoman in Quebec City said Wednesday that her agency would not comment further until after completion of the investigation by Coroner Catherine Rodrigue and a doctor.

“There is a protocol. It’s a question of interpreting the protocol,” said the spokeswoman, Julie White, referring to emergency responders’ action near the accident scene.

For Pelletier, what happened is pretty clear: Paramedics abdicated their responsibility.

“Needless to say, I was extremely aggravated and insulted and everything else, because of their shortcomings. They didn’t try,” he said.

Pelletier said he and his brother had been going to Canada for decades. Their family ancestry is French-Canadian, and Lewis went to annually to Quebec for summer motorcycling, the winter carnival and snowmobiling.

Pelletier and Dumont always had an annual weeklong snowmobile trip, which they sometimes did in Maine. But this year, with poor trail conditions and a lack of snow in the state, they decided to head north.

They traveled up Tuesday, March 1, first to the city of St.-Raymond in Quebec, then left from there on snowmobiles, heading north on a 200-mile trip to Lac St.-Jean. The party of six snowmobilers, including Dumont’s son, was about halfway there, near the town of l’Etape, just before they were preparing to stop for lunch, when another snowmobiler coming south down the 30-foot-wide trail became distracted — apparently while attempting to pass someone else — and swerved.

Dumont was leading the party, and he was hit head-on.

“My brother was, without a doubt, I don’t think there’s anybody I know that was a better snowmobiler than my brother, Glenn,” Pelletier said. “He was a professional at it. That’s why he was the leader of our group.”

Pelletier said he didn’t witness the crash directly from his position in the snowmobiling line, but he heard it — a “terrible collision” — because they were all wearing helmet radios.

Both men were knocked unconscious, though the other snowmobiler woke up about 20 minutes later and, though injured, was able to walk and leave on another snowmobile.

Meanwhile, Dumont was breathing but still unconscious. Pelletier called 911 and managed to use his passable French to relay what had happened. A Canadian snowmobiler, Matthew Gardner, arrived on the scene and took over speaking in French with emergency response on the phone.

A member of Pelletier’s group, Lee Spalding, went to meet paramedics — the nearest road was about 3 minutes, or 1 1/2 miles, away from the trail — and the ambulance was there, according to Pelletier. Lee came back to the crash scene reporting that paramedics refused to come up the trail, citing government regulations. Spalding went back to the ambulance, pleading with them again, and they still refused, though he came back with blankets, Pelletier said.

“All I know is they refused to come to the scene and we couldn’t transport him. We had nothing to transport him with,” Pelletier said. “After 45 minutes he stopped breathing, and I told the boys we got to do CPR. Matthew Gardner, he commenced CPR.”

After about 45 minutes of CPR, a police officer arrived and relieved Gardner of resuscitation efforts. By then, about 90 minutes had passed since the accident. They again went to the ambulance and pleaded, and they just said, “We don’t go down the trail,” Pelletier said.

“I was extremely appalled. I felt they really neglected their duty,” he said.

Spalding was able to find an emergency sled at a nearby ambulance garage, and he chained it to his snowmobile and took it to the crash scene. Pelletier said he and his party loaded Dumont onto it and took him down the trail on their own. More than two hours had passed since the crash by then.

Dumont was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Quebec City, about 62 miles away, and after another two hours there a doctor informed them that Dumont had died.

Dumont’s funeral was held March 9 in Sidney. Survivors included his wife, Carla Dumont, and three grown children and grandchildren.

Pelletier said he had a two-hour interview with police the day after the crash and he also spoke with an official at the U.S. Embassy. Gardner, the Canadian snowmobiler who came to their aid, contacted Pelletier afterward, and “he’s the one that started the ball rolling” in speaking out about how the paramedics responded.

“The police that interviewed me did not know (about paramedics’ protocol), but agreed it was terrible and should not happen,” Pelletier said. “Who the hell is in charge of EMTs and ambulance service? I can understand if we were 50 to 60 miles away, but we were three minutes away. I couldn’t believe how close it was. That doesn’t make any sense.”


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