I wish I knew how to link the story I read, (it’s currently on Yahoo News) but I just saw how it has come out that an on-duty medic/firefighter refused to go out to the shooting call in Tuscon when he found out the shooting was at Congresswoman Giffords’ “Meet The Congresswoman” event, saying something like “It’s all political bantering, and I don’t want to be a part of it.”
The internal memo also says his insubordination may have delayed his co-workers response time in getting to the scene?
Most of us can probably agree that the guy sounds like an asshole, but did he commit any crime, or will he just get a repremand of some kind?
Here ya go. Sounds like his supervisors were considering discipline but he circumvented any action by retiring a day or two after the incident. Also looks like he’s changed his story to something that doesn’t sound so offensive.
What a weird story. More here. The linked article says that the firefighter, Mark Ekstrum, cited “underlying issues regarding the call” and said he was refusing to go “for the good of the crew.” Ekstrum also “said he was distraught over the shootings and had no problem with U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords … and even voted for her in the last election.”
I can understand not wanting to go to the scene of a mass shooting out of fear of one’s own safety. That’s part of his job of course (or was), but it’s a reasonable instinct and makes more sense then refusing to go due to politics.
Particularly if he was that close to retirement. I can imagine that for first responders even if the numbers don’t support it, the myth of dying on the job just before retirement is pretty frightening.
Under these facts (dispatched 90 minutes after the incident) I can’t think of any crime that covers it, but I can say it’s probably better for all concerned that he no longer has that job, even granting that his version is true.
Except being afraid for his safety was not the reason for his refusing to respond to the call. His crew was dispatched in a support role nearly two hours after the shootings, after the last patient had been admitted to the hospital, so safety was not a concern at that time. His crew was supposed to deliver tents, medical supplies, water and cots, intended to assist those who were not severely injured.
He claimed (a month later, after the incident), that he felt distraught by the shootings and felt that he would be distracted to such an extent that he could not safely or effectively do his job. I’m not defending him. He would have faced discipline even if he had effectively communicated his reason to his commander. He should have responded with his unit. But fear for his safety was the farthest thing from his unwillingness to respond.
from the article: Ekstrum’s crew had been dispatched at 12:03 p.m., seven minutes after the last patient arrived at the hospital, said Joe Gulotta, an assistant fire chief. The team was responding as a support crew with a large delivery truck with tents, medical supplies, water and cots used to assist those who were not seriously injured.
Was he being a whiny primadonna…yes, should he be disciplined, yes, fired, no.
Illegal…not even close.
Looks to me from my limited insight (having worked in EMS) that he was probably bitching about the huge after the fact dog and pony show after the fact. I am guessing he felt like they were being sent out to “put on a show” as opposed to being needed for any actual emergency situation.
the TV show “Southland” had a little scene about that just recently talking about cops standing guard at a crime scene at the home of a celebrity mainly just to keep the press in check.