EXCLUSIVES
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Impersonation Suspect Lost Paramedic Job, License

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. -- A Huntington Beach, Calif., man accused of impersonating a firefighter at the scenes of national disasters was fired from a job as a paramedic for stealing credit cards from patients being transported in his ambulance, according to court documents.

Jim Campbell, 45, was charged Wednesday with a misdemeanor count of impersonating a firefighter and two felony counts of gun possession by a felon. He pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors allege that he gained access to the scenes of disasters such as the World Trade Center collapse and hurricanes Katrina and Rita by presenting himself as a Los Angeles Fire Department captain/paramedic. He recorded himself in firefighter gear, usually alone, at those scenes, and put the recordings on a DVD that he sent out to potential clients of his firefighting equipment business, according to an affidavit by an investigator for the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

During 1987 and 1988, Campbell stole wallets from three patients being transported by Southwest Ambulance Co. and took their Visa cards, according to court records. He also took a credit card from an ambulance parked next to his. He was sentenced to six months in jail for the crimes.

On July 28, 1989, he had his paramedic's license revoked because of the convictions and his failure to disclose that he had two other felony convictions from his late teenage years, according to the investigators' affidavit. Campbell was convicted of stealing a two-way radio from a police vehicle when he was 17 and was sentenced to 60 days in jail a year later for residential burglary.

In the report, Campbell's former girlfriend, Wendy Flotow, described him as "sweet, funny and a pathological liar."

Campbell's lawyer has defended him as a volunteer firefighter, but an inventory of evidence seized during a search of his apartment tallies dozens of items from the Los Angeles Fire Department.

"Campbell routinely wore a Los Angeles County Fire Department T-shirt when he walked around town and told people that he was a firefighter," the report says.

A Campbell employee named Kelly Corbett, whose father was a firefighter for 35 years, began to ask around when she realized Campbell did not work 24-hour shifts and seemed only to respond to fires after 5 p.m. or on the weekends.

Those calls led to the investigation and criminal charges.

jcassidy@ocregister.com or 714-445-6694

RELATED ARTICLES

Roller Coasters Crash at British Amusement Park

Four seriously injured when cars collide at one of Britain’s biggest amusement parks.

DuPont Protection Technologies Launches SafeSPEC™ Mobile

Mobile App Enables Easy-To-Read Content, Product and Technical Data From Anywhere

Scientists Work on ‘Battlefield MRI’

Los Alamos National Laboratory is designing a lower-tech, portable MRI.

California Woman Dies in Fall from Fair Ride

Patient fell 28 feet at San Bernardino County Fair.

69 Killed in Tanker Explosion in Nigeria

Runaway oil tanker exploded in a crowded bus station.

Cruise Ship Capsizes in China; Hundreds Missing

Over 400 missing after cruise ship capsizes on the Yangtze River.

Features by Topic

Featured Careers

 

JEMS TV

FEATURED VIDEO TOPICS

Learn about new products and innovations featured at EMS Today 2015

 

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts