There are two significant omissions in your Feb. 13, 2009, article regarding my impending layoff. The first omission is that the July 2008 suspension of 10-days was rescinded, with pay, in September 2008. The second omission is the absence of any mention of the expert testimony provided to your reporter. This testimony linked previous disciplinary action with my questioning the unsafe practice of transporting all patients to the hospital using lights and sirens. This is a well-documented safety hazard to patients, EMS crews, and the public.
The expert testimony was a letter from a leading, independent EMS expert outlining his testimony for the successful appeal of my demotion in 2006. Dr. Bryan Bledsoe stated that my care "met or exceeded the national standard of care for a prudent and competent paramedic" and that facts were "being embellished to support a decision to demote (me)." Dr. Bledsoe also stated that the policy in place at that time "potentially places the patient at risk."
I specifically appealed to our medical director, Dr. John Schill, to take action. Dr. Schill failed to do so and as a result, the City of Huron continued to (transport all patients with lights and siren) and continues costly personnel actions that have not held up under scrutiny. Dr. Schill is the Medical Director for all Fire-based EMS systems in Erie County.
Since I first spoke out about this safety concern in 2004, I have received a steady stream of accusations from the very people who were trying to defend this unsafe practice.
As a paramedic, I have always treated every patient as I would want a member of my family to be treated.
As a fire officer, it is my duty to speak out when the public is endangered.