An Orlando firefighter was fired Tuesday over allegations he violated a patient's rights during a medical call.
Joshua Granada admitted he used his cell phone to record a medical call involving Commissioner Regina Hill. Only audio was captured in the recording.
A fire union representative told Investigative Reporter Daralene Jones that Granada has hired a private attorney to file a wrongful termination grievance. The union will work with the union attorney on the matter. They have 10 days to file.
But it wasn't enough to save his nine-year career with the Orlando Fire Department.
His crew was responding to a medical call involving Hill at the Double Tree Hotel on Kirkman Road.
Granada told his supervisors and the Union president in the email that he recorded audio for his protection because he saw, “a scene deteriorating and a patient becoming belligerent toward the crew."
Granada also cited an Orange County paramedic being accused of lewd acts by his inebriated female patient in the past.
Hill wouldn't discuss details about that night, but said, “If someone is called out to service (for) one of our residents, (it’s important) that they are protected, their rights are protected by the HIPAA law. I don't think no one (sic) confidentiality should be broken,” Hill said.
Fire administrators determined Granada violated two department policies, noting official business shall be treated as confidential, and firefighters are prohibited from, "committing an act recognized by state law as a crime.”
Firefighters are also paramedics, so they are required to follow the federal HIPAA law. The medical privacy law demands medical personnel protect a patient's privacy.
Orlando Firefighters IAFF Local 1365 released a statement calling the firing of its member unprecedented.
The statement said, “We are currently working with our attorneys to gather all the facts surrounding this unprecedented decision. Due to the delicate circumstances surrounding this investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time. Our immediate concerns will focus on the mental well-being of our member over this Holiday weekend. It is our intent to review the circumstances surrounding this termination and hold a formal press conference early next week.”
Fire administration only learned about the incident because Granada admitted in his apology that the recording was deleted after he allowed those who weren't at the scene to hear it during dinner at the firehouse.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Orlando Fire said: “Public trust is paramount to the service that we provide to the citizens and visitors of Orlando and the Orlando Fire Department will not tolerate violations of patient privacy."
Cox Media Group