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EMT/white supremacist Alex McNabb fired from Virginia rescue squad

Unanimous decision by JEB Stuart Rescue Squad board

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The board of directors for JEB Stuart Rescue Squad in Patrick County, Virginia has spoken. The decision Sunday to fire EMT Alex McNabb sends a clear message that the way the public views the rescue squad is important. They decided its reputation takes priority over keeping someone employed who spends his off-duty time presenting an image of an EMT that goes against basic values any EMS organization should hold dear. McNabb was co-host of a white supremacist podcast whose views on race were well publicized through his social media platforms.

For those who will, upon hearing this news, begin playing the “What about?” game and claim this is a double standard, let me remind you that this is JEB Stuart Rescue Squad’s standard. For it to be a double standard, the two situations you are comparing would first have to be governed by the same set of standards. There’s no national standard that guides who rescue squads employ. Same with every other public safety agency in the country. Each department or agency and each jurisdiction sets its own standards.

For those who will, upon hearing this news, begin crying that our freedom of speech is gone and that the First Amendment is being violated, take a deep breath and read what 1A actually says. Let me know if there’s anything in there that guarantees you employment no matter what you say. I’ve yet to find it. Let me know when you were growing up, whatever time period that was, if your parents could broadcast messages that were directly opposite of the values of their employer and still expect to keep their jobs. Also, let me know what previous era allowed a person to do absolutely say or do anything they wanted in their off-duty time and, no matter what that was, still keep their job. I look forward to hearing those details. Just trying to get ahead of the social media comments.

Tommy Lopez, WSLS-TV:

A local EMT accused of making racist comments on a white supremacist podcast has been fired.

The JEB Stuart Volunteer Rescue Squad voted unanimously Sunday to terminate Alex McNabb. Board members said they did not want people in the community to doubt the intentions of those tasked with saving the lives of others, according to Wren Williams, the squad’s attorney.

Williams said the squad wants to separate itself from McNabb and his views.

“It’s our job to look out for the members of our community and we never wanted a member of our community to think that they might be mistreated or discriminated against,” he said.

Williams added that board members wouldn’t want anyone to decide not to call the rescue squad in the event of an emergency out of a fear that someone may show up who would mistreat them.

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Paul Collins, The Roanoke Times:

“The board had already scheduled a meeting for March 10 to discuss its budget audit, so we added this item to the agenda for discussion in executive session,” Williams wrote in an email. “In executive session, the board members discussed their views on the situation, pros and cons, and discussed the legal opinion obtained from outside counsel.

“Outside of executive session, the board voted unanimously to terminate Mr. McNabb’s employment.”

Williams said McNabb was notified via text message and will be sent a formal letter later this week.

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