Former paramedic on trial ‘distraught’ when learning patient died in Hamilton hospital


A former Hamilton paramedic said he was in a “state of shock” on the night of Dec 2, 2017, after learning a patient in his care passed by way of a fatal gunshot wound.

On Friday, Steve Snively returned to testify for a second day, offering up his side of an encounter with 19-year-old Yosif Al-Hasnawi on a Sanford Avenue sidewalk in Central Hamilton.

Snively and partner Christopher Marchant are accused of failing to provide the necessities of life for Al-Hasnawi who arrived at a non-lead trauma hospital with vital signs absent three years ago.

“I was distraught,” Snively said to an online courtroom.

“We had gone in thinking behavioural, there might have been some underlying organic reason for our call, and when I heard that … I was shocked.”

Snively said he learned of Al-Hasnawi’s death from his partner Steve Marchant while cleaning and sterilizing the stretcher they used to bring the victim to St. Joe’s hospital.

“It’s not a good feeling when you’re working with somebody and then the next moment they’re no longer with us,” Snively recalled.

The paramedic began his second day describing an encounter with partner Marchant and Hamilton police officer Sgt. Nesreen Shawihat considering the use of restraints for an allegedly “combative” Al-Hasnawi set for a trip to St. Joe’s.

After putting restraints on Al-Hasnawi, Snively said he and Marchant were undertaking another assessment of the patient’s condition and administering a blood glucose test — which is on the basic care checklist for a patient in an altered mental state.

“All along, we were verbally communicating with the patient,” said Snively.

“We’re trying to coax him to relax, to reassure him that we’re there to help him. Also trying to encourage him to provide us with any information.”

However, Snively said they weren’t getting any kind of verbal response from Al-Hasnawi and observed increased physical activity as they began to attach 12 leads between the patient and a Zoll electrocardiogram monitor to rule out a heart attack.