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TV news investigation of ‘EMS Dark Humor’ Facebook pages leads to paramedic’s firing

Reporter focuses on Facebook pages sharing information & videos about EMS calls

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In the video above, a reporter with Atlanta’s WXIA-TV’s “The Reveal” attempts to interview Amanda Courtright a former paramedic with Grady Hospital. The topic is Courtright’s connection to a series of Facebook pages that focus on dark humor related to EMS. The interview was interrupted and halted by Courtright’s husband who tried to force the videographer to shut down his camera..

The closed Facebook groups have titles like “EMS Dark Humor”, “EMS Sick Sense of Humor”, “Fire and EMS Uncensored” and “Not Your Mom’s EMS”. WXIA-TV reports that before this story aired Courtright had been fired by the hospital for posting “confidential patient health information.”

The report, by Faith Abubey and Lindsey Basye, says that these sites traffic in more than humor and have posted many graphic pictures and videos, some apparently from EMS responses. It seems that this may be the EMS version of the MCI SMACSS (Social Media Assisted Career Suicide Syndrome) that a large number of police departments recently handled. There was a mass firing of 13 Philadelphia Police Department officers over posts and comments by the officers.

The reporters were given access to the sites by an anonymous medic who became their guide. Here’s an excerpt from the lengthy article. I encourage you to read the entire story:

He gave The Reveal access to the closed group to see its content for ourselves. Many of the posts in the group are too vulgar, misogynistic, racist, and violent to show you, uncensored.

“Videos of people committing suicide, you could see bodies dropping from buildings, literally slamming into the ground, Like no censors or anything. Nothing blurred out,” the paramedic described. “And then, you know, as you read on to the comments, you see people with memes of people holding up 10s, things like that. I guess, judging the quality of the fall. And then, lots of people liking and laughing at the post.”

“Videos of people in wheelchairs being hit by cars with a wheel across the road. And just really graphic material,” the EMS professional added.

Some of the content posted in the group include information that identify their source and location. One video shows the scene of a suicide with a New York police cruiser responding.

Read entire story

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