Punished for giving a cold man a blanket [View all]
Detroit paramedic: I'm being punished for giving a cold man a blanket
By Charlie LeDuff
FOX 2 News Reporter
DETROIT -- A Detroit paramedic says he is in trouble for breaking the rules. His offense? Giving a cold man a blanket.
Top brass tell us employees must have permission to hand out "department property", but that blanket was one of many donated to the department to help people in need.
Ladies and gentlemen, this might be the most ridiculous and bone-headed Detroit ambulance story yet. It started two weeks ago when a house caught on fire. An old cripple man lived inside. They brought him outside. He was in his underwear. It was cold. He was shivering. You give him a blanket, right? Right. Then guess what happened?
"I'm being punished for giving a man a blanket," said paramedic Jeff Gaglio.
He called in sick Wednesday, sick to his stomach after being punished for giving away city-owned property.
"Yesterday I got notified that I'll be brought up on EMS departmental charges," Gaglio said.
What's that mean?
"I'm being punished. 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."
Who's punishing him?
"The chief of EMS Jerald James."
You know what makes this story even more outrageous? The city didn't even pay for the blankets. Matt Cahillane, president of Firefighter Support Services, donated them.
"Anybody who's been displaced by a fire, that's what they're for," he said.