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Orlando firefighter investigated for showing house fire rescue video to colleagues

Watch WKMG-TV report

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The first thing you should know about this investigation is that it’s not a SMACSS case. It’s not Social Media Assisted Career Suicide Syndrome because it doesn’t involve social media. What it does involve is a department’s camera policy and privacy.

The firefighter under investigation showed other firefighters in the Orlando Fire Department video from his GoPro that recorded a recent fire where a man was pulled from the burning home and died. The videos shows firefighters removing the man from the house and efforts to resuscitate him.

This one is likely to get quite complicated for the City of Orlando because of what happened to Joshua Granada last year. Granada made a 30-second audio recording of a patient who didn’t like the way an EMS crew was touching her. Granada shared it with about a half-dozen others in the department before erasing the recording. The woman in the recording is Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill. Granada was fired and is suing to get his job back.

Granada and his attorney make the case to WKMG-TV’s Mike Holfield that the video in the recent case was shared more widely in the department than Granada’s audio recording. Holfield reports the video was viewed by dozens of firefighters and found on multiple city computers. The firefighter had also shot video of previous incidents.

Mike Holfield, WKMG-TV:

“Patients in need of medical care have a right to privacy, under federal and state laws and also the Orlando Fire Department policies,” public information manager Ashley Papagani said in a statement.

An internal investigation regarding the video is underway. Disciplinary action, if any, will be based on the outcome of the investigation, Papagani said.

The firefighter under investigation had used his GoPro to make video recordings of fire calls before, according to people familiar with the situation. It is unclear if the other video clips included medical situations.

Papagani said the firefighter will remain on the job during the investigation, but she stressed that department policy makes no exceptions to the medical privacy standard.

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