Tampa medics pulled off job, accused of telling woman's mom ambulance was too expensive for her

Four Florida emergency medical workers have been put on paid leave after the mother of a dead woman said medics told her an ambulance trip to the hospital was too expensive for her, reports The New York Times.

Here are five things to know about the situation:

1. Nicole Black learned via phone early July 4 that her daughter Crystle Galloway had fallen in the bathroom at her home in Tampa, Fla., and hit her head. Ms. Black went over to her daughter's home, saw Ms. Galloway's condition and that she had collapsed, and called 911, according to the report. Ms. Galloway went into a coma later July 4 and died five days later.

2. Now, Ms. Galloway's mother is raising concerns about how emergency medical workers responded to her daughter. She alleges medics told her the $600 ambulance ride to transport Ms. Galloway to the hospital was unaffordable for her, according to the report. Ms. Black also alleges workers directed her to drive her daughter to the hospital herself, and said she believes race played a role in how medics treated her daughter, who is black and had recently given birth via cesarean section.

3. Officials in Hillsborough County, where the emergency medical response took place, challenged Ms. Black's claims, said race was not a factor in the situation, and said Ms. Black told medics she wanted to transport her daughter to the hospital, reports the NYT. Derrik Ryan, president of Hillsborough County Firefighters Local 2294, told the publication medical workers also did not discuss details of the cost of the ambulance trip with Ms. Black.

4. However, officials acknowledged mistakes were made on the call, including failing to take Ms. Galloway's vitals at the scene; not getting Ms. Black's signed confirmation that Ms. Galloway would not be going to the hospital in an ambulance; and a medical worker reporting by mistake they didn't reach Ms. Galloway, according to the report.

5. Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill put four medical workers on paid leave in connection with the call. According to the report, a disciplinary hearing is also scheduled for July 31.

Read the full NYT report here.


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