• Jacksonville man says first responders treated him horribly during call for help

    By: Russell Colburn , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    Action News Jax spoke with a man who says he was treated horribly by the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.

    The video Action News Jax first showed you Wednesday launched an internal investigation, which is still underway.

    The man who called 911 and shot the video, Rafael De Armas, said he was initially denied ambulance service.

    De Armas told us Friday that he doesn’t want to see this happen to anyone else.

    “I don't believe any human being should be treated like that, regardless of the facts,” De Armas said. “When you call on people and you're in a very vulnerable state, they're supposed to come and help you, not treat you in that manner.”

    Action News Jax showed the video to Jacksonville Association of Firefighters President Randy Wyse. He said interactions like this one are common as paramedics assess patients prior to transporting them.

    In the video, a firefighter can be heard telling De Armas to “Get in the (expletive) truck!”

    Wyse said the firefighter took things too far with his use of profanity.

    “We took him to a hospital, he was trying to assess the patient, we ended up taking him to the hospital of his choice, but absolutely we'd admit that obviously you shouldn't use language like that with a citizen that we’re there to serve,” Wyse said.

    Here’s the full statement JFRD released Wednesday:

    First and foremost, I want to extend our sincerest apologies to the patient who was impacted on the video. We have over 1,200 firefighters on this job and this is not indicative of our normal service given to the citizens of Jacksonville. We are grateful to have discovered this behavior in order to immediately implement action. We have launched our internal investigation and the results of that investigation will determine the next course of action."

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