Medics investigated for possible neglect after patient's death

Image 1 of 2

A mother is grieving her daughter’s death and questioning if first responders are to blame. The four Hillsborough Fire Rescue medics have been suspended for the way they handled the 911 call.

Nicole Black says she got a disturbing call from her granddaughter the evening of July 4.

“My granddaughter called me and said, ‘Grandma, something is wrong with mommy,’” Black told a 911 operator.

Her daughter, 30-year-old Crystle Galloway delivered her newborn baby by C-section just a few days earlier. She was suddenly in excruciating pain.

Her mother thought medics would act quickly. Instead, she says they questioned her ability to pay for an ambulance.

“They all have their versions but at the end of the story, my daughter dies,” Black said. “You took a look at us and you stereotyped us, you told us we couldn’t afford an ambulance.”

County officials have launched an investigation into what happened. They say the medics claim Black said she’d drive her daughter to the hospital herself but officials say even if that were true, Galloway’s condition required professional medical transportation.

“If the fire medics had taken the vitals and done the assessment, they would have concluded -- as our medical director has -- that this woman needed to be transported by EMS to the hospital,” county administrator Mike Merrill told FOX 13 News.

For Black, no investigation will ever heal her broken heart but by speaking out she hopes the team of medics she says failed her daughter come clean.

“If I was to hurt somebody or do something so detrimental that would change their life forever I would want to apologize,” Black said.

A pre-disciplinary hearing for the four medics is scheduled for next Tuesday. The county administrator will decide if the medics will lose their jobs.