ORLANDO, Fla. — An Orlando firefighter fired after he recorded audio of Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill during a medical call is fighting to get his job back.
Josh Granada was fired last week for violating federal HIPPA laws.
Granada said during a news conference Wednesday that he has post-traumatic stress disorder after responding to the Pulse mass shooting and transporting 13 patients from the club to the hospital. Granada said he has been asking the fire department for help in coping after the June 12, 2016, shooting, and that his firing is in retaliation.
"I was targeted after Pulse last year for breaking protocol to save lives that began a cascade of harassment that ultimately led to my wrongful termination," Granada said during a Wednesday news conference to Channel 9's Shannon Butler.
The former firefighter wouldn't say how he has been harassed, but said his continued cries for help for PTSD were ignored.
Granada said his recording of Hill in September was because of his mental state involving PTSD. He admitted what he did was wrong but said it didn’t make him deserve to be fired..
"I never thought it was going to lead to this. I've been with the fire department 10 years and this is the first time I've ever had to deal with discipline. But we've had members, in my opinion, deal with a lot more serious circumstances then this, and they're still employed," Granada said.
Granada told his supervisors and the union president in an 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.
Paperwork has been filed to fight Granada's firing.
The fire chief said in a statement, in part, "Unfortunately, Granada's actions the night of the Pulse shooting, however heroic, do not justify the illegal recording of a patient receiving medical care -- violating their right to privacy."
Here is the full statement:
"The last meeting OFD leadership had regarding firefighter Granada's treatment, Local 1365, including President Ron Glass, indicated firefighter Granada was getting the care he needed. It is troubling to learn there may have been ongoing issues that the union was aware of and they failed to notify OFD administration or direct firefighters to the resources available to all public safety personnel.
"While the specific services provided to any particular firefighter would be confidential under privacy laws, no firefighter was denied mental health services nor was any firefighter harassed for seeking treatment.
"Unfortunately, Granada's actions the night of the Pulse shooting, however heroic, do not justify the illegal recording of a patient receiving medical care – violating their right to privacy."
Hill said during a news conference Friday that she plans to sue Granada for violation of privacy laws.
Watch Josh Granada's news conference below:
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