“Selfie War” Paramedics Sentenced to Six Months
Whenever someone has to use an ambulance, they expect to trust the operators inside with their life. As emergency service personnel we expect the paramedics within to act with the utmost professionalism. However, the unfortunate fact is that these paramedics are human just like anyone else and are prone to mistakes and irresponsible behavior. Two EMS responders, in particular, participated in what they called a “selfie war” where they took pictures of themselves with heavily injured patients during the ambulance ride to send to each other. The investigation into the two responders began back in May of 2017 after receiving complaints about unprofessional and compromising selfies taken of their patients.
On September 23rd EMS paramedic Chris Wimmer was delivered a sentence of six months jail time and three years probation. The accomplice in the crime and fellow paramedic Kayla Dubois was given two years of probation. According to the WFLA local news, Investigators found that they had photographed or video recorded 41 patients in total. Only 3 of these patients had given explicit consent to be photographed in the two’s sick game. This amassed to a total of 101 photos and 64 videos between the two phones. Apparently, the two had exchanged texts urging each other to try to take more challenging photos to really out do the other. The age of the patients that were involved ranges from 24 to 86 and were all at different stages of sickness and distress. Dubois is charged with a third-degree felony involving the disclosure of oral communications and two counts of interception. Wimmer faces a count of misdemeanor battery. This charge is because for one particular photo he had held open the sedated eyelid of a patient. He also posed with an incapacitated elderly woman with an exposed breast. The State Attorney’s Office wanted to saddle even more jail time on these two, citing the insensitivity that the paramedics showed in regards to their patients. Since this incident, the County Administrator has banned the use of cellphones in the back of ambulances and is looking to further reform the policy regarding technology use in ambulances.
Someone operating the back of an ambulance should never behave in this way. Patients trust their lives to these ambulances and the people who operate them. However, both responders involved exerted great remorse for what they had done, and even though he plead for no jail time, Wimmer was saddled with six months. Jail time should only be utilized when time is needed for those acquitted to experience remorse and reconciliation. The Flaherty Defense Firm criminal defense attorneys believe that everyone deserves fair judgment for their actions.
In today’s day and age, and especially with a smartphone, pranks and hijinks can occur anywhere even at work. Whenever that work includes the life or death of those you serve, then any kind of unprofessional behavior will be found out immediately and harshly punished.