May 22, 2014 / 9:03 PM / 3 years ago

New Mexico police probe fake EMT who treated many, including lawmaker

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., May 22 (Reuters) - New Mexico state police are investigating how a man who was not licensed as an emergency medical technician managed to treat dozens of patients including at least one state lawmaker during a legislative session, a police spokesman said on Thursday.

Police spokesman Sergeant Damyan Brown said the man, identified as David Allen Phillips, posed as an EMT for at least two years in the Santa Fe area, using a forged license.

"He's been doing it since at least September 2012," Brown said in an emailed statement, adding a criminal probe was under way. "Possible charges will be determined once the investigation is complete."

It was not immediately clear how many patients Phillips may have treated, but one state senator said Phillips had worked at a first aid station at the recent state legislative session in Santa Fe where the legislator injured his knee.

"During the session, we've identified approximately 40 times that Mr. Phillips provided some level of EMT services to someone," police Major Ryan Suggs told KOB News.

Albuquerque state Senator Jacob Candelaria told Reuters that Phillips had been manning the first aid station in the State Round House when he hurt his knee during a recent session, adding that he was fortunate the injury wasn't life-threatening.

"Incidents like this raise questions," Candelaria said. "It's a wake-up call for agencies to increase their diligence in identifying instances of fraud such as this."

Representatives for Phillips could not immediately be reached for comment. (Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Walsh)

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