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EMS lieutenant demoted for delayed response

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Posted at 12:50 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 21:26:05-05

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — A Charlotte County Fire & EMS lieutenant has been demoted for waiting to answer a call.

Thomas Macchia was stripped of his rank after a Jan. 18 incident at a Cheney Brothers food distribution warehouse.

An incident report reveals Macchia waited at the scene for three minutes for another rescue unit to arrive before assisting the victim of an apparent fracture.

Documents released by the department show a review found Macchia delivered "substandard performance." Violations included:

  • not wearing personal protective equipment,
  • unsafe apparatus practices,
  • poor customer service,
  • lack of integrity,
  • failure to follow standards of care

In a statement of response to his employers, Macchia says he "made the decision to wait" for the additional unit.

"It did not appear to take 3 minutes for [the unit] to arrive," Macchia wrote. "A few employees advised the injury was not life-threatening. The patient was treated with the utmost respect during the entire incident."

Charlotte County Director of Public Safety, Jason Fair, released the following statement:

Charlotte County Fire & EMS responds to over 30,000 medical calls annually. We take complaints about our service and patient care seriously. We thoroughly investigate allegations and act accordingly were warranted to ensure such performance does not happen again.

We take pride in the level of care we provide our patients and the professionalism by which we provide it. This remains evident in the daily performance of the nearly 300 men and women of Charlotte County Fire & EMS who wear the uniform and ensure the safety of our community.