Investigation of medics' actions to continue after disciplinary hearing

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill said Tuesday further investigation was needed before a decision could be made about possible disciplinary action against two fire rescue paramedics who did not follow procedure on a call where the patient later died.

Last week, Merrill said he intended to make that decision by Tuesday.

The county found on the night of July 4, the paramedics did not check Crystle Galloway's vital signs, which would have been protocol.

Galloway's mother, Nicole Black says deputies who responded to the call for help questioned whether the family could pay for the ambulance service, but they were cleared of wrongdoing. Black ultimately drove her daughter to the hospital, where she later died.

Merrill said in a statement Tuesday, "Based on the statements given by the fire medics at their July 31, 2018 Pre-disciplinary Hearings concerning their emergency response to Crystle Galloway, it is clear to me that further investigation by the County is necessary. Beyond the statement of charges, it has always been important to me to understand the reason behind the decision and the actions taken."

Merrill said it was his goal to determine what led to the fire medics' decision not to check her vital signs, which could have led to Galloway being transported to the hospital.

Black says that immediate medical care could have saved her daughter's life.

Merrill said Black will be invited to speak with the county as part of the ongoing investigation.

This further investigation will continue to be both expeditious and thorough.

Merrill said Lt. John “Mike” Morris, 36, medic Justin Sweeney, 36, medic Andrew J. Martin, 28, and acting Lt. Cortney Barton, 38, will remain on administrative leave with pay.