Multiple Hillsborough medics suspended after patient dies

Image 1 of 2

Four fire-rescue paramedics in Hillsborough County have been suspended for failing to adequately care for a patient, according to county officials. 

The county says they allowed a young woman to be transported to the hospital by her mother instead of in an ambulance. She later died at the hospital.

Lt. John “Mike” Morris, fire medics Justin Sweeney, Andrew J. Martin, and acting Lt. Cortney Barton are all suspended with pay pending an investigation. 

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill says the medics were responding to a call at the Tampa Commons Apartments on July 4th. On the way, they were informed that a  33-year-old patient was undergoing a medical emergency, and that she had a Caesarian section just a few days prior. 

Merrill says the medics didn't take her vitals and allowed the patient's mother to take her to the hospital.

"Clearly this is unacceptable,” Merrill said.  “My deepest sympathies to the family, and deepest apologies to my fire medics for not properly performing and caring for this patient."

The four suspended employees will have a pre-disciplinary hearing next Tuesday.