NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More reports of FDNY EMS employees’ misuse of social media have surfaced, this time involving unauthorized photos of patients’ gory injuries.
A New York Post report on Sunday said some emergency medical responders have been photographing people who have died or found themselves injured under violent and gruesome circumstances, and placing them on social media pages or “gore books.”
One Facebook user, who identified himself as FDNY EMT Anthony Palmigiano, posted a photo of a man with a gaping neck wound to a paramedic Facebook group, and captioned it a “table saw injury,” the newspaper reported. The victim’s face is visible, in what the newspaper said was likely a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Palmigiano told the newspaper he did not post the photo, and someone had hacked into his account, the newspaper reported.
Other EMS workers said some of their colleagues looked for “trophy shots” of graphic injuries, the newspaper reported. There were also reports of dead bodies arranged into poses.
Another EMT, Mike Vale, was accused in the Post report of posting photos of patients in the back of an ambulance. He was suspended for 30 days after the Post reported him, and Palmigiano was also under investigation, the newspaper reported.
Then latest report follows two other high-profile allegations of the misuse of social media by EMS workers. FDNY EMS Lt. Timothy Dluhos was exposed in the Post for questionable Twitter messages, and the newspaper reported he also posted humiliating pictures of patients.
Days ago, Dluhos tweeted about the controversial police shooting of armed teenager Kimani Gray, saying “He was a perp & died like a perp, Oh, well.”
Another message about Mayor Michael Bloomberg read: “That’s how King Jew sees it. Ban all guns & shootings will go down in NYC. But it’s the criminals w/the guns.”
Dluhos’ Twitter icon featured a picture of Adolf Hitler. He recently tweeted that a gold Nazi-era pin with a German U-boat and a swastika is “my most prized artifact.”
Just a week ago, Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano’s son, Joe, resigned from EMS after sending ugly tweets about the poor, blacks, Jews and women.
The Vulcan Society, a fraternal order of black firefighters, has called for Dluhos’ termination. The society also said the two cases expose a larger problem of institutional racism.
“The department right now is not having a grip on it, and the public right now is viewing things in the department that have not been exposed, especially when you’re talking about race and gender,” said Regina Wilson of the Vulcan Society.
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