EMT fired, 3 others suspended for failing to follow protocol in death of new mother

Posted at 11:30 AM, Sep 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-27 12:30:24-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFTS/CNN) - A Florida fire department disciplined three emergency responders and fired one after they were involved in an incident that resulted in the death of a new mother.

The victim's mother said the responders did not administer aid.

Hillsborough County Fire and Rescue claims the woman refused treatment.

“The thing I wanted was an admission of guilt,” said Nicole Black of the paramedics.

Black said her daughter Crystal Galloway was her world.

Black said Galloway was a mother of three who became sick on the morning of July 4.

Galloway was found on the floor of her bathroom days after a Caesarean section. She had shown symptoms of stroke, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Black said when the medics arrived, they refused to take Galloway’s vitals or transport her.

"They had stereotyped us,” she said. “We were minorities. ‘Oh, she probably had to much to drink.’ "

Galloway was eventually flown to Tampa General Hospital, where she went into a coma. She died five days later.

"There was no evidence or substantiation," said Mike Merrill, the Hillsborough County administrator.

Merrill said a two-month-long investigation found no bias of race or refusing transport.

But what it did find was four fire medics that didn't do their jobs, not taking those vitals or making black sign a waiver.

Merrill said Lt. Mike Morris not taking Galloway’s vitals was unacceptable.

He was the only fire medic terminated.

“I guarantee you Mike Morris is going to sue the pants off the county,” said Travis Horn, union representative for the fire department.

He said Black’s story doesn’t add up.

He also said Morris is an Iraq War veteran and would’ve never left someone in need of help.

“They did everything they could. I can’t wrestle you to the ground and make you let me treat you?” Horn said.

Andrew Martin was suspended for 30 days.

Justin Sweeney was demoted to firefighter/EMT and also suspended.

Acting Lt. Cortney Barton was also suspended and demoted for a year.

"We have a little issue with authority as far as trust, we have trust issues now. I'll never call 911," Black said.

Black leaves behind three children, including a three-month-old baby.

Black said she plans to file a lawsuit.

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