One of the stories that helped spark my quasi-crusade for EMS Agencies developing Social Media Policies and properly educating their responders was that of Mark Musarella that I originally wrote about here when he was terminated for posting a photo of a crime scene and its victim, Caroline Wimmer. After some legal wrangling he was also charged with Official Misconduct.
Unlike FDNY EMT Melissa Jackson who is playing the blame game, Musarella has now plead guilty to the charge and admitted he posted the photo inappropriately on Facebook. He will be doing 200 hours of community service, will surrender his EMT card, and will never be eligible to be certified as an EMT again.
This has not satisfied the victim’s family who are on a crusade of their own to make it a felony for First Responders to take photos of victims and publish it on the internet. TOTWTYTR has his own take on the matter, feeling that the punishment should fit the crime. While I agree that the prison system is over crowded and that making it a felony doesn’t solve the actual problem (lack of education, lack of empathy), I’m not against making it a harsher penalty. Too often we become jaded by the demands of the job and forget that we are dealing with people and the very essence of their lives… even in the wake of their deaths.
Of course, I also think that those senators who filibustered the 9/11 Healthcare Bill should be arrested and charged with the same crime Musarella was charged with because it is that type of action that deals with our lives that helps make us as jaded as we are.