TAMPA, Fla. -- Four paramedics accused of failing to take care of a patient who later died are telling their side of the story--through their union.
“The problem is we're about to fire four fire medics over a lie,” Derrick Ryan, the president of the Hillsborough Firefighters’ Union said.
Ryan said he has questions about Nicole Black's story. She claims four paramedics refused to take her daughte rto the hospital in an ambulance after she passed out.
“They were too busy or too caught up in convincing us that she couldn't afford it,” Black said. “There was reference to, 'didn't you just have a newborn baby? Do you really want to spend $600 to go three blocks?'”
The county's investigation found the paramedics didn't take Crystle Galloway's vitals, didn't get the signature required to refuse an ambulance and falsified their patient care reports.
Ryan was one of the few people allowed into the paramedics' pre-disciplinary hearings. He said Black told the paramedics she just needed help getting her downstairs. Then, she insisted on taking her daughter to the hospital in her own car.
“As soon as we put her in the car and strapped her in, the mother had the door shut and she took off,” he explained.
Ryan said the paramedics couldn't get Galloway's name, let alone her vitals. Because of that, he claims, they had to check the wrong box on the patient care report to close it.
“I don't believe that these guys at this point can really get a fair investigation,” said Ryan.
Still, the county's investigation will continue. It could be the mother's word against the four paramedics' that decides their fate.
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