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Paramedic punished for giving away blanket

Jeff Gaglio said he was trying to keep an old man warm after he was displaced from his burning home

By FireRescue1 Staff

DETROIT — A Detroit paramedic says he was punished for giving a man a blanket while responding to a fire.

Jeff Gaglio said that because he did not have department permission to give away the blanket, he will face "EMS departmental charges," according to FOX 2.

Gaglio said he was on scene at a house fire where an elderly disabled man lived. After escorting him outside in only his underwear, he gave the man a blanket to keep him warm.

"I'm being punished for giving a man a blanket," he said. "Something that any man or woman would do in the City of Detroit, give a freezing man a blanket."

Even though the blankets were donated and not paid for by the department, chief of EMS Jerald James told FOX 2 that "we can't have an employee who feels that they have a right to give away state property, be it donated, be it a blanket… without prior approval."

It is unclear what Gaglio's punishment will be.

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Ray Connell Ray Connell Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:46:29 PM I'm screaming TOTAL BULLSH*T.
April Hayes April Hayes Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:51:18 PM this is really messed up. this man was just doing his job like he is suppose to do. give this wonderful man his job back.
Vern Tunnell Vern Tunnell Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:51:57 PM REALLY! Do they have to get the city's permission to give stuffed animals to the kids? Are they charging him for the water they used on the fire also?
Tracy Mello Smith Tracy Mello Smith Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:52:22 PM what a crock of crap! think upper management needs a dose of humanity! my thumbs up and admiration to Mr Gaglio. "whatsoever has been done unto the least of these, you have also done unto me".
Steven Wiley Steven Wiley Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:52:55 PM that is bullshit
Izak Visser Izak Visser Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:53:07 PM BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Shame on you Detroit FD. Here in Africa, we have less than you in terms of PPE, gear and funding , but we would not get disciplinary action for following our sworn oath to protect our community.
Jody McKibben Jody McKibben Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:53:07 PM What in the he.. is wrong with people, Number one he was a fire victim, and had just lost everything, and frankly I would be proud of your staff for caring enough to make sure that he did not become sick and giving the blanket to him. Not punish him for being human.. Well I for one thought we were supposed to promote such caring behavior.. PS EMS CHIEF THAT IS OUR JOB! Not punish someone for it... I would really like to know how the bottom line became soooo much more important than caring for the public WE ARE SUPPOSED TO SERVE!
Kimberly Jones Dodson Kimberly Jones Dodson Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:57:04 PM Ridiculous! He's being punished for being a "bad" firefighter but a great human being? Fire the chief!
Aimee Forbes Aichholz Aimee Forbes Aichholz Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:07:57 PM he's preventing hypothermia....that would fall under medical treatment. Really let's get our priorities in order you want the rest of the US to get behind you with your youtube videos for pleas of support, you need to get behind your people and support their humanitarian acts of kindness.
Dorothy Moro Dorothy Moro Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:08:20 PM If anyone should be punished is to city employee who should be made to go out in the cold and freeze and see what he would feel like with no blanket the city is crazy
Ollie Alqoutob Ollie Alqoutob Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:22:19 PM Unbelievable....politics are friggin' stupid.
Farrell Clark Farrell Clark Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:22:52 PM you got to be kidding me. so much for serving the community.
Margaret New Memorial Margaret New Memorial Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:24:31 PM they are there to serve the people, no matter what I am proud od the paramedic. he is human!
Nic Stephens Nic Stephens Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:26:01 PM The chief is the one that needs to be spoken to.
Joan Jansen Joan Jansen Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:30:09 PM God Bless this caring paramedic-! I'm willing to "bet" he would do it again-! As a Mother of 3 generations of volunteer fireman--I am proud of you-!
David Slomienski David Slomienski Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:37:19 PM Tell them I will send a replacement blanket from LFD in maine!
Raymond Kassler Raymond Kassler Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:38:37 PM What a load of crap. The medic not only made the right call, he did the right thing.
Renee Michael Renee Michael Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:51:59 PM that is wrong and thumbs down... I hope and pray they never need a blanket or any thing like that....
LeAnn Beeler Cabage LeAnn Beeler Cabage Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:59:13 PM Seriously...the upper management needs a smack in the face. I would have done the same thing.
Kimberly Jones Dodson Kimberly Jones Dodson Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:00:14 PM I agree with you. Ridiculous!!
Lisa Nokley Lisa Nokley Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:04:36 PM Thats a bunch of shit what do they want to. Do take away the mans dignity
Jay Rockburn Jay Rockburn Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:14:43 PM BULLSHIT! So "EMS departmental charges" says its ok to let the man freeze to death, so long they can keep a FREE blanket. I think people you run this place, should have there head checked and there funds and donation check for wrongful input/outputs! If this guy has to pay or gets fried, I hope the news Burns this into everyone TV. just going to make the other EMS personal fidget and don't want to help outside what there told to.
James William Sapp James William Sapp Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:20:19 PM I think it's a total croc the only reason why we get into this line of work is to help people we could risk our lives so perfect strangers may live without anyone's permission and they want permission over a stupid blanket that's stupid I'm glad I live in Oklahoma we take care of all no matter what Detroit ou need some act right or at least some morals Keep your head up brother you have a lot of support you did what was right and you will be blessed for it
Bill Belcher Bill Belcher Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:25:13 PM I say let the EMS Chief go sit his butt outside on a cold night in his underwear and then he can hope that someone offers him a blanket.
Mandi Michelle Suddath Mandi Michelle Suddath Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:29:54 PM That is serious BS!!!! How can someone be so crappy! We are in this service to help people!!! I applaud this paramedic and would have done the same thing!!
Rodney Williams Rodney Williams Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:44:34 PM I wish there was a way to get a message out to Jerald James.. Are you freakin serious? I've been in the business for 8 years and that is by far the most juvenile, retarded thing I have ever heard coming from so called management. Why don't you stay with lickin stamps.
Steve Lowe Steve Lowe Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:54:50 PM Jerald James, Is a ( ASS ) ....
Peter Jubie Peter Jubie Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:59:48 PM the chief of ems is an ass.. detroit ems is one of the worst departments to be employed with.. as per the medics and the reporter from the news there.
Jody McKibben Jody McKibben Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:33:23 PM However if he would have left the man get hypothermia from sitting in the cold in his underwear after he lost everything, then management would have his license for neglect... etc.. because then the families lawsuit for wrongful death would definitely put a dent in their bottom line... So EMS Chief James.... I think you got off pretty cheap with giving away a free blanket.. However if you do fire Mr. Gaglio.. I think your bottom line will still suffer from the lawsuit he should win for wrongful termination... So stop and think a little more about your bottom line,... and considering your such an ASS for doing this anyway you should be good at looking at the BOTTOM line.
Helen McReavy Helen McReavy Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:35:50 PM Are you effing kidding me? What the hell is this guy doing being a public servant? He should be put out in the cold in his underwear and have the fire department and everyone else tell him "sorry, I can't give you a blanket...I don't have permission".
Mike McCaustland Mike McCaustland Thursday, October 11, 2012 7:00:00 PM I am glad you didn't back down from doing what is right. Your EMS chief should be ashamed of himself for even considering this. By the time you would have had approval, you would have been transporting him to the hospital for hypothermia, and then you would have had to use a blanket during treatment, as well as fuel, tying up your time as well as your driver's, etc., etc. If you need, I can have my volunteer department (I was Medical Officer there) send you some blankets, mark them as a part of my department with my permission to give them out where you need to? Keep on keeping on brothe.
Sybille Whitehead Sybille Whitehead Thursday, October 11, 2012 7:34:08 PM not even right
CHAd Marshall CHAd Marshall Thursday, October 11, 2012 8:32:49 PM I am sure they will also send him a bill for the cost of the blanket. In the mean time I say the EMS Chief that came up with this idea shouldn't be allowed to use a blanket or clothes... or anything else the man lost that day. Let him apply to FEMA and request a blanket that will arrive in 6 - 20 months.
Joshua Glenn Davis Joshua Glenn Davis Thursday, October 11, 2012 8:36:54 PM that chief needs to be fired ems is suppose to help people.
Jeff Baker Jeff Baker Thursday, October 11, 2012 8:38:47 PM I gave away one of my teddy bears to a kid in the grocery store who waved and smiled at me. Pretty sure I'm not going to be suspended.
Sharlene Lambert Black Sharlene Lambert Black Thursday, October 11, 2012 8:42:28 PM I'll send a damn blanket!!!!
Jeremy Patalon Jeremy Patalon Thursday, October 11, 2012 11:41:39 PM If one of my guys failed to give that man a blanket I would have him removed!
Kim Neal Kim Neal Friday, October 12, 2012 12:15:07 AM Jeff, we are all standing behind you! The nuts trying to punish you for helping somebody should be the ones punished! In such a situation I am sure your last thought is to call for authorization! Do you need me to send a blanket for further emergencies? I thought the whole reason for ambulances was to help people! It's not like you were just handing them out to the world!
Jane Kernel Kelz Jane Kernel Kelz Friday, October 12, 2012 1:24:55 AM This can't be real! It's called doing his job! He supposed to be taking care of people. If the guy got hypothermia and died with a sous him?
Jane Kernel Kelz Jane Kernel Kelz Friday, October 12, 2012 1:28:58 AM This is got me so damn mad! That's what paramedics do. they take care of people in need! His boss should be fired on the spot.
Kim Neal Kim Neal Friday, October 12, 2012 2:09:55 AM Amen to that! For all the years Mike McCaustland has been in Rescue & the Fire Dept. that is what it was always about! I guess this must be another one trying to act like he rules the world! I am very mad about this! I mean come on, the man had nothing on but his underwear!
Jaime McCleary Jaime McCleary Friday, October 12, 2012 3:25:14 AM Wow Kim! I don't even know where to begin! This guy did what any good citizen would do in this situation! Even if I didn't care for a person, I surely would not let them freeze! I'm sure glad I'm raising my kids to be like this guy!
Tiffany Twitchell Tiffany Twitchell Friday, October 12, 2012 3:50:45 AM im sorry, but i'm pretty sure people donate blankets is so that they can be used for situations just like this. good greif!
Tracy Mello Smith Tracy Mello Smith Friday, October 12, 2012 3:54:59 AM my thanks to your family for its unselfishness
Rhonda Quinn Hendsbee Rhonda Quinn Hendsbee Friday, October 12, 2012 4:53:22 AM i agree with you Helen and make him stay twice as long
Mary Behrens Koshak Mary Behrens Koshak Friday, October 12, 2012 5:12:25 AM What a bunch of A@@es.People can use them for drop cloths in the paint room but don't help a man who is old, disabled and cold. Fire them all and replace them with people with hearts and brains.
Joan Wilson Joan Wilson Friday, October 12, 2012 6:32:44 AM I will send a blanket from delawre.when did this world get to be so unkind.i hate the way things are today.we need to stand together and take care of our people.
Wendy Fisette Hause Wendy Fisette Hause Friday, October 12, 2012 11:09:32 AM The blatent stupidity of this EMS chief James! Kudos to Jeff Gaglio for doing the right thing. I cannot imagine our fire department ever doing such a thing. I'm in for sending a blanket(s) too!
Julie Mallon Julie Mallon Friday, October 12, 2012 11:28:24 AM f***ing ridiculous!
Carla Downer Carla Downer Friday, October 12, 2012 2:44:55 PM omg how stupid!
Aaron Craigie Aaron Craigie Friday, October 12, 2012 3:26:07 PM Those who cant lead manage, those who cant manage micromanage! Sad day for Detroit Fire, I guess they needed the funding for the transport of a hypothermic patient! Ill send a blanket...We serve the people, they are the costumer!
Earl Klinefelter Earl Klinefelter Friday, October 12, 2012 3:30:24 PM Put me down for a blanket to. good lord!
Julie Corbell Snodgrass Julie Corbell Snodgrass Friday, October 12, 2012 3:35:20 PM God bless this EMT for his service! Btw: I would be happy to donate replacement blanket(s)! All I need is the address to send said blanket(s). I would like to ask those reprimanding this hero--'Where is YOUR heart? Did you forget WHY you went into your profession?' Sure looks like it from where I sit.
Jennifer Russell Jennifer Russell Friday, October 12, 2012 3:35:28 PM Thanks for posting this Earl.
Doug Stilwill Doug Stilwill Friday, October 12, 2012 3:53:47 PM Sounds like the chief of EMS needs to be stripped down and thrown out in the cold.
Don Mefferd Don Mefferd Friday, October 12, 2012 4:00:25 PM Are they real. Maybe he could have asked the victim for a credit card.
Gary MacLachlan Gary MacLachlan Friday, October 12, 2012 4:10:33 PM Retired Chief - DeWitt Fire(Syracuse) , NY - I'll send a blanket to Detroit - and ask Dave Bing what he thinks about this!
Steve Dahl Steve Dahl Friday, October 12, 2012 4:21:02 PM I wonder if this EMS chief think's he is HITLER or some other idiot like that! at our dept. we give out blankets to victums all the time & the victums usualy clean & return them at a later date.
Keith Witt Keith Witt Friday, October 12, 2012 4:24:08 PM Unbelievable, how did this guy become a Chief with absolutely no common sense! Or need I ask? Idiot.
Dave Markes Dave Markes Friday, October 12, 2012 4:29:44 PM Now think of it this way... if he did not give the man a blanket, there would be even more ridicule and he might have to be treated for other medical problems either there or later on. This paramedic did the right thing and should not get punished... isn't his job to take care of the patient?
Billy Hughes Jr Billy Hughes Jr Friday, October 12, 2012 4:33:10 PM We need more medics like this one who cares. Great job. The man you helped is a tax paying citizen, who pays your commanders salary. Stand your ground, Chief Hughes Texas
Stacy D. Gunnersen Stacy D. Gunnersen Friday, October 12, 2012 4:35:49 PM Wow, seriously? This is crazy! We should all send a blanket.....bombard them with blankets.....!!!
Patrick J Stanton Patrick J Stanton Friday, October 12, 2012 4:39:36 PM Outstanding! This type of rampant humanism should be stomped out in EMS! Caring for people! Trying to keep and elderly victim of a fire from freezing to death in front of his burned home! What was this "so called medic" thinking! This guy is a trouble maker for sure, probably with a long history of trying to help people in spite of stupid managers who can't see past the rules- because after all rules are rules and must be followed blindly and without thinking. Good for Detroit EMS! Crush him before others start to try to help those in need.
Robert James Robert James Friday, October 12, 2012 4:42:57 PM Isn't it protocol to cover a naked patient regardless of how could it is...let the patient keep their dignity
Robert James Robert James Friday, October 12, 2012 4:43:15 PM Cold**
Darren Green Darren Green Friday, October 12, 2012 4:51:17 PM Shame on you Detroit! You would punish an employee for doing his job? Shame!
Micah Strasser Micah Strasser Friday, October 12, 2012 4:54:02 PM Whay a joke!!
John Paschal John Paschal Friday, October 12, 2012 4:55:14 PM This is what happens when you get gold on the collar: They lose there minds and think that they are above the all mighty. This chief is and IDIOT!
Christopher Hyatt Christopher Hyatt Friday, October 12, 2012 4:56:31 PM I bet we could get a drive together and get corporate america to pay for new blankets. We'll send them so many they will have to give them away.
John Borysewicz John Borysewicz Friday, October 12, 2012 4:57:47 PM Another example why Detroit is circling the drain. The city is run by idiots.
Carolyn Panozzo Carolyn Panozzo Friday, October 12, 2012 4:57:51 PM I'll send a couple of blankets.
Jonny Mac Jonny Mac Friday, October 12, 2012 4:57:52 PM So is Detroit allowed to give people band-aids?
Dan Rosecrans Dan Rosecrans Friday, October 12, 2012 4:57:55 PM Sounds like the Detroit FD could use another lay-off, namely the EMS chief. Then again, maybe he is trying to justify his overpaid no work position. Looks like management is trying to get the spotlight off itself being extremely top heavy and overpaid.
Brian L Kent Brian L Kent Friday, October 12, 2012 5:00:33 PM lets see if the hand was on the other foot and it was the chief of ems house burt would it be a differant story. Think the chief should go back to the bus for a while and get his prioritys back in line. and if anyone get the addy let me know I am in for sending blankets and put right on the letter for ems to donate ar give away.
Steve Adams Steve Adams Friday, October 12, 2012 5:03:23 PM Give us a mailing address - I'll send them a couple of blankets.
Laur Alie Laur Alie Friday, October 12, 2012 5:04:14 PM Unbelievable!!!
Joseph Kuesis Joseph Kuesis Friday, October 12, 2012 5:06:56 PM Unbelievable, I just gave away $1,600 today to Alaskan Firefighters from my small company and Detroit is pitching a fit over a blanket! Come on now, I know things are very tight but we are all still brothers and sisters. I think a lesson in morality and kindness should follow. Hey Chief, do you use your official vehicle to pick-up groceries or the kids? Do you think you are taking State funds when you do that? Get a heart Mr.Grinch!
Shawn Frederick Shawn Frederick Friday, October 12, 2012 5:08:33 PM chief of EMS Jerald James should be reminded that EMS/Fire/police take an oath. It includes words like protect, save, and rescue....but I suppose you would need to be human and have compassion first to understand do people like this become a chief..if this response listed in the artilce merits validity fire him. He is not human.. in fact, chief, can you seek life on a different planet...I don't want you to be included in the human race...kudos to the ems worker for doing what is right.. and to all of the other public safety personal who do the right thing each time you suit honor the profession and reflect positively despite the stupidity and bureaucracy of this individual titled chief.
Ed St Romain Ed St Romain Friday, October 12, 2012 5:10:36 PM Mr. Gaglio did just as he should have. He gave a blanket to a man standing in the street in his underwear. Chief James should be ashamed of himself. He should rethink what he is doing for a living.
Harriett W. Williams Harriett W. Williams Friday, October 12, 2012 5:12:07 PM So......what does the chief thinks the blankets ARE supposed to be used for?
Michael Seneco Michael Seneco Friday, October 12, 2012 5:15:10 PM Everyone should mail that moron of an EMS Chief a blanket. What a tool.
Andrew Bickerstaff Andrew Bickerstaff Friday, October 12, 2012 5:19:49 PM One of stupidest things I've ever heard of. That's what tax dollars are for, to protect the citizens. God forbid someone was hurt. The medics would have to call and get permission to use IV fluids, Morphine, burn dressing or whatever else. The citizens are our "customers", they deserve the best service for their money.
Mel Maguire Mel Maguire Friday, October 12, 2012 5:27:33 PM Detroit Fire heads should be ashamed of themselves. Would they rather lose the blanket or have to pay a massive settlement when the man sues the dept for not providing adequate medical care?
Don Stabler Don Stabler Friday, October 12, 2012 5:33:43 PM You have got to be friggin kidding me! Get me an address for that EMS Chief....when I get through sending blankets, he won't be able to get into his office!
Richard Corso Richard Corso Friday, October 12, 2012 5:43:32 PM Its not the blanket it's the deadwood management of the Fire/EMSdepartment in the City of Detroit. Don't Paramedics in the City of Detroit have any authority of their own - is the command structure so set in stone that Paramedics are not allowed to use commonsense or take the initiative? What the Fire/EMS staff need to do is to take unilateral action and walk off the job until the senior deadwood management is replaced and commonsense protocols put in place. In other countries like the UK they call these stupid managers - "jobs worths" and they hold back the firefighters and AMS staff from doing their job. Imagine if this elderly person took out legal proceedings for the lack of care he received if he had not been given a blanket - it would cost a lot more than a donated (free) blanket.
Joe Pyrlik Joe Pyrlik Friday, October 12, 2012 5:47:39 PM This can't be real. Fire his ass and give that medic his job!
Michael OConnell Michael OConnell Friday, October 12, 2012 5:49:43 PM Pride and ownership :)
Matthew Johnson Matthew Johnson Friday, October 12, 2012 5:53:03 PM What a complete idiot, where is your compassion as a first responder and a human being. I am a Fire Chief in a small Alaskan town and we will do almost anything to help anyone.
Robert O'Connor Robert O'Connor Friday, October 12, 2012 5:57:57 PM Tell them it it was donated to the citizens not the State! The State owns nothing it is all citizens property to start with! chief of EMS Jerald James is obviously in wrong business, EMS is about helping folks... idiot!
Jacqueline Kramer Jacqueline Kramer Friday, October 12, 2012 6:00:19 PM I read this today, disgraceful!
Cody Kahan Cody Kahan Friday, October 12, 2012 6:03:36 PM Wow this is ridiculous.
Edward Bonollo Edward Bonollo Friday, October 12, 2012 6:03:56 PM What is the cost? What happened to customer service?
Joseph Lewis Joseph Lewis Friday, October 12, 2012 6:10:11 PM Insane, the man lost his possesions and they expect the pm to go and ask for the blanket back.
John Davenport John Davenport Friday, October 12, 2012 6:12:55 PM Ed i agree! After all what good are blankets in the first place if your not allowed to give them to the people that really need them. In my opinion the chief should be punished for even saying anything.
Ivan Patry Ivan Patry Friday, October 12, 2012 6:29:03 PM Detroit Fire Department. 250 W. Larned Detroit, MI 48226. General Number: (313) 596-2900. General Fax Number: (313) 596-2915.
Les Thomas Les Thomas Friday, October 12, 2012 6:32:34 PM Once again the top officials can't see over their own noses and think with their assholes. Give me an address and I ask all brothers to send one blanket. Somewhere there is a still caring person who is being disappointed for being the right thing.
Wanda Davidson Wanda Davidson Friday, October 12, 2012 6:41:03 PM See this man in picture with dog. That's my husband and he is disabled and amputee. Would you do this to someone like this. Come on Mr. James do you have a heart? First thing anyone would do and I am an EMT-1st responders would do this. That is the reason for the blankets and free anyway.
Carol Bonollo Muehleisen Carol Bonollo Muehleisen Friday, October 12, 2012 6:48:35 PM What has happened to compassion for another human being.
Gary Mayes Gary Mayes Friday, October 12, 2012 7:04:52 PM The Chief of the EMS should resign his position. He has no business in Emergency Services at all. If the blankets were donated, what is the problem. Tell that idiot chief to go **** himself.

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