Fired Collier EMS driver speaks out
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
NAPLES, Fla. - When paramedic Jose Martinez was fired from Collier County EMS in 2010, supervisors said he lacked "basic map reading skills" after it took him 40 minutes to get to a 911 call two miles away.
Martinez, who has two decades experience, is speaking out telling Fox 4 the county's outdated equipment prevented him for arriving on time.
Fox 4 retraced the route he should have taken from Medic Station 21 to Brown Bear Road in Naples. It took us 3:45 after, including the time it took to stop for a red light.
It took Martinez and an EMT driver 40 minutes.
An investigation found Martinez "lacks basic map reading skills" and failed to grasp the severity of the delay after telling investigators: "I do not see where anything went wrong with that call."
The patient survived. Martinez blames the delay on a malfunctioning GPS.
"Unfortunately I got lost," said Martinez.
EMS Chief Walter Kopka says GPS devices have since been replaced by handheld tablets. But Martinez says the paper maps were missing pages.
According to the investigation the map was intact at the time of the delay.
Martinez believes an eight minute response time is unrealistic given the size of the county. He says some medic stations only have one ambulance.
The driver in this case along with Martinez supervisor were both suspended for five days.
Martinez was the only one fired. He believes that is unfair because there have been other delays since that 40 minute response time.