Former Plantation paramedic was treated unfairly, attorney says


 
 

Jennifer Gollan | | Monday, August 27, 2007


PLANTATION -- An attorney representing a former paramedic says the city treated her client unfairly in forcing him to resign and that he should be reinstated.

On Feb. 3, James Williams left before his 24-hour shift was over after his 10-month-old daughter fell ill and was taken to the hospital, said his attorney, Ellen Block.

Williams had been told to remain at his post for several hours until another firefighter could replace him, but he left early when his superior said "his mind was not on his work," Block said.

Williams understood his superior's statement to mean that he had permission to leave, Block said.

"Given Paramedic Williams' knowledge of the emergency treatment of children and medications, he felt the overwhelming compulsion to be with his daughter at this time," Block said.

The child was hospitalized for one night with an upper respiratory illness, high fever and shortness of breath, Block said. Williams' wife had accompanied the child to the hospital.

Williams, 32, of Sunrise, then was called to a city disciplinary hearing in March, where Block says he was asked to resign under threat of being fired.

"I think any parent would have done the same thing," Block said. "When he left, he felt he could leave without being punished."

Williams could not be reached for comment despite two messages left at his home.

Block said the city was punishing Williams for supporting the paramedics' failed effort to unionize earlier this year.

Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Harris initiated an investigation into the matter in late February, said Plantation Battalion Chief Joel Gordon. Gordon declined to comment further, citing confidentiality rules related to personnel issues.

In a letter sent July 27 to Mayor Rae Carole Armstrong and City Council members, Block asked that Williams be reinstated, citing his "unparalleled service to the community."

Williams was hired as a paramedic in October 2002.

Armstrong could not be reached for comment despite two messages left at her home and with her office assistant.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Community Paramedicine Expanding in Maine

Eight departments receive a grant for use towards the new program.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Ambulance, Fire Engine Approved for Illinois Department

Officials approve new purchases for Bloomington.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Alabama Officials Worry over Ambulance Coverage

County officials work to find best solution.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Car Crashes into Texas Ambulance

Ambulance hit while responding to a call.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

San Diego Fire-Rescue Responds to Plane Crash

Small plane crashes in shopping center parking lot.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

California Beach Lightning Strike MCI

More than a dozen injured in Venice Beach lighting strike.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >