Jeff Gaglio (pictured), a Detroit paramedic, says he is being punished for giving a cold man blanket, Fox 2 News reports.
As ridiculous as it sounds, the department is bringing him up on charges of giving away department-owned property without permission–even though the blankets were donated to the EMS!
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The incredible story began two weeks ago when an old man with a physical disability was burned out of his home. The man was in his underwear when Gaglio brought him out of the house. The poor guy was obviously cold and shaking.
Doing the right thing, Gaglio gave the man the donated blanket. But, on Tuesday, he said he received a notification letter saying he is being brought up on EMS-departmental charges.
“I’m being punished,” Gaglio said. “I’m being punished for giving a man a blanket, something that would seem like a common, every day courtesy. Something that any man or woman would do in the City of Detroit, give a freezing man a blanket. I’m being punished for it.”
When the president of the group who donated the blankets to the EMS heard of Gaglio’s case, he seemed dumbfounded. Matt Cahillane, president of Firefighter Support Services, doesn’t mind that the people for whom they were intended actually get to keep them.
“I think that’s what they’re for,” Cahillane said.
When Fox 2 reached the chief of EMS, Jerald James, he had this to say: “We can’t have an employee who feels that they have a right to give away state property, be it donated, be it a blanket, be it a tire off a vehicle, without getting prior approval from somebody or notifying the proper authority. This is what he did.”
Though Gaglio finds the chief’s explanation pointless.
“These are the important issues. Donated blankets are the important issue, not the broken-down ambulances, not the bad response time, not the people dying that can’t get an ambulance, not the closing of EMS units in the city, blankets,” Gaglio told Fox 2.