SWAT Medics Could Get Pink Slip - NBC 6 South Florida

SWAT Medics Could Get Pink Slip

Union move could have firefighter paramedics removed from SWAT teams

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    A man was injured in a construction accident.

    Special Response Teams go into the most dangerous of situations: BSO deputy Todd Fatta was gunned down when serving an arrest warrant on a man wanted for sex crimes, while Miami-Dade officer Gus Hernandez was honored after he was shot in the face.

    Now, two paramedics who became part of Miami Dade swat -- right on the scene to save lives and members of the team that enters homes -- are caught in an administrative move by the fire union that as early as next Monday could have the swat paramedics taken off the swat units and sent back to the fire department.

    Sources say the intital fire union proposal would move the medics out of swat and back into fire rescue trucks a distance away.

    "In the time it takes to get some one out of there, and not treat them on the scene, can be the difference in life and death," Chief Robert Palestrant, with Miami Dade Fire Rescue said.

    We were told Hernandez was carried a distance before he got assistance -- time that could be critical.

    "This is a program that's long overdue," Greg Terp, Miami-Dade Swat Commander, said, "and these paramedics are right in there to protect the officers, subjects, and citizens."

    Palestrant said that the parties are all talking to keep the paramedics on board, "working out the details on paper prior to continuing with the program."

    Commissioner Barbara Jordon, who was intsturmental in getting the program going back in May, said that she has been "assured by all parties, fire, police and the unions, that they fully support the SWAT Medic Program."

    The commanders who oversee these swat medics said they are confidant this will get worked out in the coming days, and the fire union is on board, but sources said that at the fire union meeting last night, the members were told that for right now they wouldn't be doing any swat medic training.