Harford deputy stricken with medical emergency while on duty is 'improving,' spokesperson says

Ten-year veteran with sheriff's office remains hospitalized at shock trauma


A Harford County Sheriff's Office deputy, who was rushed to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center Thursday night after experiencing a medical emergency, is "improving," a sheriff's office spokesperson said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the sheriff's office is conducting an internal inquiry into what happened to the deputy and the length of time it took to find him, Sheriff Jesse Bane said.

Bane identified the deputy Tuesday as Sgt. Noel Raufaste of the agency's Police Services Division.

Raufaste, who has been with the agency 10 years, was on duty at the time he became ill, Monica Worrell, spokesperson for the sheriff's office said.

The deputy was still hospitalized at shock trauma in Baltimore Monday, Worrell said Tuesday, adding that "his condition is improving."

Citing medical confidentiality laws, Worrell said she could not discuss specifically what happened or the nature of the illness.

The deputy was stricken in his patrol vehicle and had pulled over in the vicinity of Bynum Road and Cannery Lane in the Rock Spring area north of Bel Air, Worrell said.

He was found by another deputy around 8:45 p.m. and was flown by a Maryland State Police Medevac to shock trauma, where he was initially listed in critical condition, according to Worrell.

"We are conducting an inquiry and are trying to recreate everything that happened," Bane said. "We don't suspect that anything went wrong [with agency procedures]; we just want to find out."

Bane said Raufaste is not able to communicate at this point, so he couldn't say when the inquiry would be completed.

The sheriff also said the agency has "several different" protocols for finding out where its patrol vehicles are, including a GIS locating system for each, as well as protocols for deputies to follow if they are in distress.

Bane also acknowledged there have been "different accounts" about how long it took for dispatchers and commanders to realize the deputy was having a medical problem and the time it took to find him. He called some of what he has heard "conflicting information."

"We want to find everything out we can at this point," Bane said, seconding Worrell's comments that Raufaste's condition is improving. "I really don't want say anything more until we are through."

Check back with http://www.exploreharford.com for updates.

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