Paramedic gets punched out then fired after posting photos of fatal crash online

Paramedic took cell phone pictures of crash that killed teenager, posted one online and drew the wrath of teen's family and his employer
|Canadian Employment Law Today

A Kentucky paramedic has been fired after he posted photographs of a car crash online which led to a violent confrontation with the victim’s family.

John Snow worked as a paramedic with the Clinton-Hickman County ambulance service for 10 years. He was under investigation by the Kentucky Board of Emergency Management Service for some online postings but continued to work because the service couldn’t afford to suspend him with pay. On May 20, 2007, Snow attended a car accident where a 16-year-old boy was killed. While at the scene, Snow took photos of the crash with his cell phone. He later posted a photo on the website MySpace.com along with a blog about his paramedic work.

When they learned of the posted photo, the teen’s father, aunt and uncle tracked Snow down at the ambulance service’s headquarters and got into a scuffle with him where punches were thrown and verbal insults were made. The family members were charged with felony assault and barred from going within 300 yards of the ambulance service.

The ambulance service held a public meeting May 29, where several members of the public, including those who assaulted him, demanded Snow be fired. After a closed session following the meeting, the service fired him.

The deceased teen’s father said the firing would “do the county good.” The mother agreed.

“I’m not a violent person, but I’m glad my husband got a piece of him,” the mother said. “He had no business using a cell phone to take photos.”

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