Firefighters union questions fire commissioner on transporting injured first responders
DETROIT (WJBK) - The Detroit firefighter's union now has some concerns as the investigation continues into Rapid Response, the EMS company that transported a police officer to the hospital after a shooting this week.
In a memo sent out to dispatchers last year, they were instructed that injured firefighters will not be transported by private companies -- only Detroit EMS.
Detroit Fire Fighters Association sent the memo to Executive Fire Commissioner Eric Jones.The letter shares details after a Detroit firefighter was injured on the job in October of last year. There have been allegations that protocol was not followed when the private company EMS company Rapid Response took the firefighter to the hospital.
- Interoffice DFD memo raises more questions about transporting injured first responders
- Fire commissioner responds to questions why DPD officer was taken to farther hospital
- Questions raised why wounded DPD officer was not taken to closest hospital
- Detroit chief 'troubled' injured officer wasn't taken to nearest hospital
- Surgeon: wounded DPD officer's injuries 'devastating'
This lead to an agreement that Detroit EMS would be on standby when crews respond to call in Hamtramck or Highland Park.
But Jones told Fox 2 he reversed that decision. Jones claims the email was in response to an incident which was soon after resolved and the memo was revoked. He did not go into detail on why the contracted company Rapid Response EMTs weren't eliminated.
Upon hearing that from Jones, a letter written by the Union President Michael Nevin is demanding answers.
Fox 2 spoke with Union President Michael Nevin.
He would not go on camera for an interview, but says: "The correspondence was written to the commissioner. It is an internal matter concerning the safety of DFFA members."
We put in another call to Jones on Thursday regarding this letter, but he has chosen at this time, not to speak any further.
This is all coming to light as Rapid Response has recently been under scrutiny for taking an injured Detroit police officer, shot on the job this past weekend, to Beamount Hospital in Dearborn. That's a Level Two trauma center located 7 miles away from where the incident took place, instead of taking the injured officer to Henry Ford, a Level One facility, or Sinai Grace, which would have been a closer drive.
UPDATE (7:50 p.m.): In a statement from Rapid Response, Tommy Widmer, the chief executive officer, said the company has served Detroit for the past 10 years. His statement read, in part:
"It is most unfortunate that certain individuals have taken this tragic event and twisted it to meet their own individual agendas with unfounded, untrue, blasphemous and anonymous accusations.
Our EMTs and paramedics are highly trained to make split second, life and death decisions and are committed to a high level of patient care regardless of ability to pay."