Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Home > Topics > EMS Management

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 EMS1 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.
Alex Garmon Alex Garmon Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:51:22 PM Really? Does anybody really need to say anything about this?
Christopher Maloney Christopher Maloney Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:14:12 PM I'm surprised he gave him anything..our fire/medics would have totally ignored him for the fire.
Trevor Hicks Trevor Hicks Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:15:01 PM Punished for giving a freezing cold man a blanket - really? When I went to paramedic and nursing school both, we were taught to treat the patients' needs first. This would be patient care - thermal regualtion and patient comfort. Dude, seriously if this is for real, find another job because they are looking for a reason to punish you. And seriously like they were going to reuse it? I mean for real where the hell is humanity in EMS anymore?
Mike Kink-Ade Mike Kink-Ade Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:15:23 PM Da fuck?!?!?!?!
Suzy Red Suzy Red Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:15:53 PM Respect your patients integrity. Give the man a blanket!
Amy Wahl Brumley Amy Wahl Brumley Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:16:13 PM Part of being a caregiver is - CARING! Good job for giving this man who just lost everything a blanket to keep warm AND to also give him a bit if dignity while in his underwear. Shame on anyone trying to punish someone for doing what any decent person SHOULD do !!
Hope Haithcock Hope Haithcock Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:18:44 PM Hope the higher ups never get cold.
Amy Suravicz Amy Suravicz Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:19:05 PM Wow :( That's sad!
Tom Webb Tom Webb Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:20:15 PM Welcome to the beaureacrats.
Kevin Budig Kevin Budig Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:20:27 PM Only the State may give and it would have to be authorized etc etc..
Kaleb Sanders Kaleb Sanders Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:21:07 PM This is moronic even if he gave the man a blanket the city paid for but is downright ludicrous to punish someone for giving a donated blanket to a man who is freezing regardless the circumstances. I mean surely they don't reuse the blankets and what the hell are they for if not for the people they serve to use anyway. Are these blankets to be looked upon and not touched? Is there a quota for so many blankets on a truck or something? Hello, wake up and smell what you are shovelin there Chief.
Mark Dunkerley Mark Dunkerley Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:23:45 PM Thank god fopr the British NHS system , the management in the retarded so called EMS service in the state of Detroit must be straight out of the school of window lickers, What part of compassion and humanity did this so called manager miss in his education? Any decent human being and any Paramedic / firefighter would back this member of staff to the hilt, as for the manager how would he feel if he was in his underwear suffering for the effects of the fire, DO THE DECENT THING AND DROP THE CASE AND DO DETROIT A BIG FAVOUR AND RESIGN AS A SO CALLED MANAGER YOUR NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE...
Kim Schmidt-Vittetoe Kim Schmidt-Vittetoe Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:23:48 PM They need blankets that bad I'll send them some but don't punish a person doing there job.
Jim Dean Jim Dean Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:24:16 PM Umm...preventing hyopthermia IS providing care, just like it would be if they'd carried the man out and he'd put a c-collar on him. No way this should stand. Never.
Robert Wakeley Robert Wakeley Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:27:01 PM Do they not "give a way state property" bandaids to bleeding people?
Janis Gaikis Janis Gaikis Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:29:57 PM Just goes to show you why the City of Detroit has gone down hill. It will never recover till they can get the morons out of the leadership positions.
Susan Housworth Bolton Susan Housworth Bolton Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:31:54 PM No good deed goes unpunished.
Stephen Cranford Stephen Cranford Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:33:01 PM I hope that chief of EMS Jerald James reads this & realizes that he has created a PR disaster just by saying what he did & it will only gets worse if he actually punishes the Medic for giving it away (which was donated in the first place & not paid for by the department).
Susan Housworth Bolton Susan Housworth Bolton Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:33:47 PM Maybe there is part of the story that we are missing and wasn't reported here......or maybe just no good deed goes unpunished. Well, I was calming down after my agrivations today. Now I'm just pissed off again.
Stephen Cranford Stephen Cranford Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:34:29 PM Your Medics should be reprimanded for ignoring patients then.
Kevin Martensen Kevin Martensen Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:37:10 PM That sounds like a management that is out of touch of what it means to serve the people, the chief is a dumb a s and has no right to be in charge. That's what serving is all abought. Wake up you &^%$#@@.
Brenda Rayel Homrich Brenda Rayel Homrich Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:37:15 PM Utterly ridiculous!
Teresa Vann Huckaby Teresa Vann Huckaby Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:37:21 PM your chief is stupid..wouldn't he wont someone to give one of his family members a blanket..he's a cold hearted (bleep).
Teresa Vann Huckaby Teresa Vann Huckaby Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:38:33 PM agree
Deane Hines Deane Hines Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:39:03 PM Chief Jarald James needs to be put out in his underwear in Detroit and see how fast he changes his mind!!! That is a sad example of humanity . He needs a new job!!!!
John B Brandes John B Brandes Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:44:16 PM Is this the same Detroit EMS Department that was on the news with pictures of its supervisory staff NAPPING WHILE ON THE JOB? The Chief of department, who was dating one of the napping supervisors said it was not clear if the woman with her eyes closed, head in her hands, mouth open and tongue hanging out was actually sleeping. Perhaps the snoring wasn't loud enough?
Kathy Foster Kathy Foster Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:45:09 PM This is beyond ignorant!
Starla Richey Whiddon Starla Richey Whiddon Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:47:29 PM My question is would you really want to work for a department who feels this way! No way I would stay, too much need for good Paramedics in this country!
Jonathan Lewis Jonathan Lewis Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:48:31 PM Sounds to me maybe a director may need to be looking for another job!
Deann Senior Deann Senior Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:53:58 PM This only goes futher to prove that you don't have to be intelligent to move into management. You only have to be willing to do the company's (State's) bidding reguardless of how moronic and/or inhumane the order is.
Michael Swartz Michael Swartz Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:56:18 PM Dumb ass politicians.
Lydia Harwood Lydia Harwood Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:01:03 PM One of the stupidest things I have ever heard. The chief should be put out in his underware in the cold and see how he likes it. Seriously! This kind of nonsense is what is wrong with this country.
Sony Jean-Philippe Sony Jean-Philippe Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:05:05 PM ummmm this shit is beyond said Miss. Amy sad. WAAIIITTTTTTTTT isn't our purpose to help others when they need us..... Jerald James. I hope that's your ass on the streets someday.
Andrew Mihok Andrew Mihok Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:10:29 PM Can't have an employee who feels that they have a right? how about a responsibility? Hell can you imagine if that old man turned around and died from hypothermia or pneumonia later on? What's cheaper Chief moron the blanket or the lawsuit? Freaking penny-wise pound foolish and for what? Ohh yea because the moron legislators pay for their salaries and bribes by cutting services.
Chuck Kauffman Chuck Kauffman Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:13:31 PM What was he to do let the man freeze he escorted the man out of a fire. Ok I'm surprised he did not get into trouble for escorting the man out choice let the man freeze or burn :-/
Duane Dotson Duane Dotson Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:14:13 PM This is rediculas. I would have done the same thing. The paramedic should not be punished.
Mariah Adin Mariah Adin Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:15:59 PM Totally ridiculous. Idiots.
Julia Petro Julia Petro Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:18:03 PM That's ridiculous
Steph Anie Steph Anie Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:20:42 PM What if it was your own family in that position in the freezing cold with no clothes on his back and all that he owns being destroyed in a fire, and this chief is worried about a blanket! This medic did the right thing!!!!
Robert Brodie Robert Brodie Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:35:53 PM Wel said Mark,
Tammye Mann Atkinson Tammye Mann Atkinson Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:36:53 PM That is so crazy to punish this paramedic for helping this man. Our jobs as paramedics not only call us to be skillfull but also to have compassion. Whether the blanket was donated or bought by the city. If he had not have given him a blanket, your whole department would have been criticized for being insensitive to this man, disabled, cold and left outside in his underwear.
Bill Harris Bill Harris Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:37:28 PM Sounds like they need a new Chief that has a little sense...
Bill Harris Bill Harris Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:39:35 PM I can assure you that our hospital ambulance service would never pull a dumb stunt like this for one of us helping a person in need, especially if we responded to the call...
Tony Bruno Tony Bruno Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:40:31 PM My motto "Re-elect No One"
Carlton Utley Carlton Utley Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:44:52 PM I think it's time for this manager to get out of EMS
Teresa Vann Huckaby Teresa Vann Huckaby Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:50:16 PM i think its really bad that you cant give a person a blanket..i worked ems for over 15 years and i always gave blankets to patients on scene even if we didnt transport..and we had to buy our own blankets
Susan Hall Susan Hall Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:52:58 PM This crap happend everywhere because of stupid people . Dont get me wrong - dont want service or equipment used for personal gain but this is clearly not a situation like that.
Michael Lockard Michael Lockard Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:56:24 PM Chief of EMS Jerald James is living proof of the fact that somewhere in the world a village is lonely for their missing idiot.
Briana Farrant Briana Farrant Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:06:25 PM Smh
Hunter Phillips Hunter Phillips Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:06:54 PM you have got to be kidding me.
Chris Splane Chris Splane Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:11:13 PM the EMS chief needs to get his head out of his ass. come on, a blanket. I'm sure the priority would be the welfare of the victim of a house fire. so giving him a blanket is giving him aid since he lost everything. The EMS chief is an ass.
Heather Wendel Heather Wendel Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:14:13 PM There is something fundamentally wrong with society.
Christina Emery Christina Emery Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:16:02 PM OMG, I would not work for that company at all. What if it had been Mr. James's family then what? This is unbelieveable. I don't know what to think about this other than who made Mr James God. He should be fired and not be able to work there at all. This paramedic was just doing his job. He isn't the one who needs to be punished but Mr. James should be out of there.
Steve Robbins Steve Robbins Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:20:53 PM Mr James is a freaking idiot! I would love you to be the EMS chief where my family lives!
Ryan Dutton Ryan Dutton Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:27:45 PM cant believe that..... steve can your people give a blanket away at a call if needed or do they need to ask you first?
Frank Glowatz Frank Glowatz Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:31:17 PM Another reason to stay away from Detroit, EMS is apparently not allowed to help people.
Jeanette Standerwick Jeanette Standerwick Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:32:53 PM OH MY GOODNESS! It's common sense and common decency to do what this paramedic did! He should be commended for doing the right thing! Honestly I am shocked that this was even brought up... What are you thinking people..and this is a person that is there to help people actually making this long would it have taken to get through the paperwork. The elderly disabled fellow who was probably in shock, would have frozen to death!
Steve Robbins Steve Robbins Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:45:12 PM I would fire their asses!!! No I would fire them if they didn't..No wonder Detroit Fire and EMS are in turmoil, staff cuts and assholes!
Kellee Johns Kellee Johns Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:10:29 PM Moron...I hope when Mr James needs a blanket his employees would have learned their lesson and not give him one.... What a jerk
Melissa Vandehey Melissa Vandehey Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:14:05 PM so he gave away a blanket.. what is the big deal? come on, have a heart. I'm sure if it was a child; they wouldn't have complained. but it was an elderly man. either way; I am glad that Jeff gave a blanket to the elderly man so he wouldn't freeze.. :) at least he has a heart..
Jim Japhet Jim Japhet Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:20:38 PM Are you kidding me?This "chief" (and I use the term only so as to be clear who I am speaking of) has clearly lost sight of what we are here for. In 30+ years of EMS I can not ever remember being punished for doing the right thing, for caring about the people we are charged to care for. As a past supervisor I can only hope that my employees would be that compassionate and that respectful of of another human being.
Jenn Chopper-Stanley Jenn Chopper-Stanley Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:22:50 PM Wow this is crazy! Jim you were an awesome supervisor!!!
Benjamin Elliott III Benjamin Elliott III Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:24:39 PM Wow is all I can think of.
Max Keith Williams Max Keith Williams Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:38:25 PM I hope the SOB manager has to stand out in the cold someday and no one gives him anything to keep him warm. The manager needs to go to church and find his heart, it appears he lost it somewhere along his way in life.
Ashley Lynn Japhet Ashley Lynn Japhet Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:38:31 PM WTF?!?!
Theresa Mota Theresa Mota Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:39:59 PM That is so wrong....Any decent human being would give the blanket to a man, whether it was donated or not. I hope my EMS manager would not punish something like this...Please have a heart!
Theresa Mota Theresa Mota Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:41:51 PM I think the Chief of EMS in Detroit should be fired! and this EMS man given his job. The chief obviously doesn't deserve a job...he needs to be left outside in his underwear and see what it is like!
Tamara Davis Holden Tamara Davis Holden Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:42:01 PM That is ridiculous!
David McLeod David McLeod Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:48:07 PM WOW! I am confused, the homeowner after being rescued/escorted from his home, is brought out in his underwear in the cold weather and a Medic who I can only assume is there for patient care gives him a blanket? Either there is more to the story, or the Chief is really that insensative and has lost all measures of COMMON SENSE? Maybe the Chief is just one BIG reason why the Detroit Fire and EMS service has failed so badly? I would glady send some blankets to Detroit and money to start a campain to get rid of Chief of EMS Jerald James?
Ashley Lynn Japhet Ashley Lynn Japhet Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:48:37 PM This is absolutely ridiculous!!! This man should clearly not be in charge of the people we depend on to take care of us and our children!!! The medic obviously had some compassion, the supervisor NOT so much.
Wendy Evelyn Knight Wendy Evelyn Knight Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:03:19 PM That's completely ridiculous!!!! And criminal on the side of the management!! Do people even remember what compassion stands for anymore???
John Lloyd John Lloyd Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:36:27 PM This is total BS
Kris Davis Kris Davis Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:38:33 PM Total BS
Michael Carter Michael Carter Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:38:46 PM Where, oh where, do I send a check for $50 to replace that one blanket (and buy many more) to the poor, poor City of Detroit EMS, along with a letter to the Mayor insisting EMS Chief James resign with whatever dignity he has left?
John Lloyd John Lloyd Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:39:10 PM Wow, someone really doesn't want any contrary comments. It took 5 attempts to post my last comment
Mike McDonough Mike McDonough Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:40:01 PM A complete lack of common sense. The mission of all emergency services is the protection of life, property and the environment, including minimizing the pain and suffering of victims. Giving a blanket to a freezing victim is not only justified but an act of kindness that overrules any department policy. We should all pray for our brothers and sisters working in Detroit who continue to do their best in a broken system.
Michael Carter Michael Carter Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:44:48 PM Totally agree. Everybody in the fire-rescue business knows stuff "falls off the truck" on a regular basis. That's cost of doing business, folks. But in the face of what happened to that poor fellow who received the blanket, that's the cost of being COMPASSIONATE. I think it's a loss of property we're all willing to accept. Say, Detroit EMS, care to go for a matching second black eye by saying you're not allowing a Paramedic to give a crying and scared little child a donated teddy bear from one of your ambulances, too? Morons.
Michael Carter Michael Carter Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:49:57 PM I like how he said "...state property." As if it were. And even so, I'll bet dollars to donuts the State could've cared less where that blanket went.
Sean McMahon Sean McMahon Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:52:44 PM Tell the city if they are that worried about it, I will send a Walmart gift card to pay for the blanket!
Becki Groves Becki Groves Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:55:54 PM Well we will help them out of there blanket problem. There is an event page for Blanket the D. Donations are being taken as we speak
Mike Leeper Mike Leeper Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:03:58 PM Really! Thats sad.
George Rush George Rush Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:07:32 PM As a Paramedic here in Montreal Quebec Canada, we face similar problems....Paper work before Patients. As a senior paramedic, I treat people first, if the supervisory staff want thhe paperwork done at scene, come on down, I will provide the pen. Congrats to Paramedic Gaglio, I have done the same thing and will continue to do so.Best of luck. Hopefully the dept will see just how stupid their ruling is. Keep it up.
Doug Anderson Doug Anderson Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:19:23 PM If the blanket was on the ambulance Jeff already had dept. permission to use this article as needed in the aid of a patient.....James is a true idiot and is obviously a bean counter that does not know anything about EMS and how it operates. He needs to be terminated from his position immediately....
Randy Malay Randy Malay Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:30:58 PM Even if the city quote unquote paid for it doesnt it come out of taxpayers pockets just saying.
Tammara Pickle-Sanchez Tammara Pickle-Sanchez Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:32:19 PM The supervisor needs to be removed!!! My son is a firefighter and what this firefighter did is the human thing to do!!!!
Tammara Pickle-Sanchez Tammara Pickle-Sanchez Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:33:14 PM He needs to be removed of his supervisory duties!!!!
Dave Hargroves Dave Hargroves Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:34:27 PM U got to be kidding!
Katrina Armanda Nadeau Katrina Armanda Nadeau Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:34:31 PM ya I'm sure the tax payers are upset they are giving a blanket.... I think they need to jail this paramedic and make him pay 100,000 for a try him for thieft.. and remove his EMS license.... and give him life in jail without parrol..... what a sick country were living in now....... I would of not expected less than giving him a blanket, hell for all I would care as the department head would be not to give away the ambulance, but the stuff in it fair game....... tax payers gave away 500 million to a failed solar pannel company,,, but a man burned out of his home..we can't give a blanket. lets punish the paramedic... detroit ems your asses..
Susan Coffel Susan Coffel Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:44:45 PM There would be a lot of us that would be punished then. I am glad to see that you did the right thing. Thanks for your service.
Ashley Bryan Ashley Bryan Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:47:29 PM Shame on the department. My tax dollars pay them. Shame shame shame shame.
Tammy N Bob Lowe Tammy N Bob Lowe Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:51:48 PM This is crazy!
Cj Ewell Cj Ewell Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:52:04 PM Better to need to provide treatment for hypothermia?
Dominick Walenczak Dominick Walenczak Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:55:36 PM Idea: Donate a thousand blankets to DEMS for the purpose of giving out to homeless people. Give all street crews Chief Jerry James's home and cell phone numbers. Send them out into the streets and have they call him at all hours of the night to redistribute this new "city property" to the homeless people.
Jeanette Branco Searby Jeanette Branco Searby Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:59:12 PM Sad :(
Steve R Wireback Steve R Wireback Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:59:57 PM Really...let's behead the paramedic for doing something so right for GOD sake please please send me a bill for the blanket I will get a new one for the EMS chief go find more important things to work on instead of going after a medic doing his job to make you look good GOD knows you need it.
Jolene Lantz Jolene Lantz Thursday, October 11, 2012 7:03:14 PM Ok this really PISSES me off Let's see how they would feel if this was their elderly disabled father out there with only his underwear on freezing. I can't beleive Detroit ems has the balls to punish him. This is downright and totally insain. I really hope people open up their eyes and see what this country is turning into. A BUNCH OF SELFISH IMACHORE BABIES!!!!!!!!! And that's being NICE. As am EMT and a former firefighter I would have done the same thing!!!!!! Good luck to you and GOD BLESS!!!!!!!!
Chez Clare Valenta Chez Clare Valenta Thursday, October 11, 2012 7:03:44 PM Read this this morning, utterly ridiculous.
Lori Jean Lynk Lori Jean Lynk Thursday, October 11, 2012 7:05:12 PM So, how did the EMS chief know that 1 of his Paramedics gave away a blanket? Was he there? Did someones little brother run to mommy and cry? How did this guy know. Now, in my day (now I'm making myself older), no one cared if you gave a patient a blanket. One more thing, when those blankets were donated, couldn't the point have been to use them on cold people?
Joli Alton Joli Alton Thursday, October 11, 2012 7:07:44 PM Wow, that's ridiculous!
Pete Blair Pete Blair Thursday, October 11, 2012 7:29:50 PM Let no good deed go unpunished. Some folks have common sense and compassion - others have, or hide behind, rule books.

EMS1 Offers

Sponsored by

We Recommend...

Connect with EMS1

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google+

Get the #1 EMS eNewsletter

Fire Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips, columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
Enter Email
See Sample

Online Campus Both

EMS Management Videos