NY politician wants disgraced FDNY EMT to resign

The EMT son of a high-ranking FDNY chief has been arrested three times for impersonating a cop and was found to have blown off 911 calls

By Jillian Jorgensen and Ginger Adams Otis
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — The EMT son of a high-ranking FDNY chief has been arrested three times for impersonating a cop and was found to have blown off 911 calls, but Mayor de Blasio said he needs more information before he can weigh in on whether Robert Gala should still have a job.

Gala, 25, was caught forging his partner's signature on a patient's report and giving false information to a 911 dispatcher in order to dodge a priority medical call, according to a Department of Investigation report revealed by the Daily News earlier this week.

On top of that, he’s been arrested at least three times for impersonating a police officer — but he’s still on the FDNY payroll.

“I want to see what the investigation shows. I’m not familiar with him or the specifics,” de Blasio said Thursday. “Obviously, you know, I care deeply about the rules being followed and everything to be done appropriately, but I need to see what the investigation reveals.”

But Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams — a former cop — said Gala’s been on the taxpayer dime long enough.

“Mr. Gala’s improper behavior, at every instance, has tarnished the proper and paramount work of New York’s Bravest. As egregious as criminal acts like impersonating a police officer are, I see his biggest impersonation attempt to be acting like someone who cares about the safety and welfare of his fellow New Yorkers,” said Adams, who has previously criticized the FDNY for its kid-glove treatment of another troubled son of a high-ranking officer.

“I strongly encourage Mr. Gala to resign, out of respect to the hard-working men and women who serve our city honorably as EMTs and paramedics,” Adams added.

Gala is the son of Michael Gala, a deputy assistant chief on the FDNY's firefighting side. The EMT is currently restricted from caring for patients.

DOI began looking into Gala in November 2016, after a report he’d forged his partner’s signature on an electronic medical record in order to avoid taking a medical call when he "wanted to eat his Chinese food in peace.”

In early 2017, DOI got another complaint that Gala lied to a dispatcher while en route to an emergency, deciding to go to a different assignment instead of the priority call he was assigned.

DOI substantiated the reports in a memo to the FDNY nearly a year ago.

Gala was first arrested for impersonating a police officer in 2013, and again on July 21, 2017, when he was nabbed with fake police lights, badges and uniforms in his car, along with zip-tie handcuffs and air pistols.

Three days later, an assailant sources identified as Gala was caught on a surveillance video tape terrorizing a Brooklyn man by flashing a fake police badge and tying him up to rifle through the victim’s pockets.

Sources said he was arrested a few months later for that as well, but in all three cases charges were dropped and records sealed. Gala was never convicted.

Copyright 2018 New York Daily News

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