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Residents won't soon forget how paramedic failed

Letters to the Editor
Published October 1, 2006

Re: Arbitrator: Clearwater must rehire paramedic , story, Sept. 20:

Hmm, I wonder where federal arbitrator Martin O. Holland lives? Because if he lives in Clearwater, Fla., my hunch is that he would not have been so fast to rule that the city of Clearwater must rehire paramedic Trevor Murray, who was fired last year for not going on a 911 call, and also that the city must help him regain his medical certification in Pinellas County.

All things considered, if Holland lived in Clearwater, he may have given a second thought to his own health and welfare. If Murray is rehired, it is the residents who will be at his mercy should he answer our 911 call, all the while deciding whether it is worthy of a response. Despite Murray's contrition, I still find myself a little leery of his ethics.

If Murray does get reinstated, my hope is that he would be on probation for at least a year. Even so, it will be an uphill battle for Murray to regain the respect and confidence of others after his abuse of authority.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater

Woman's abuse of 911 system more to blame than paramedics

I have read numerous articles about the Clearwater paramedics who failed to respond to a 911 call from a woman who was known to be a chronic abuser of the 911 system, having made many false calls.

I have no doubt that what this person is doing is illegal, yet I have never heard of her being arrested and charged with anything. While paramedics are out answering calls from people like this, someone else may be dying. Perhaps a little jail time would cure her of her problem.

As for the paramedics, I think that firing them was an extreme overreaction. These people have training and experience that is valuable to the community. A one- or two-week suspension without pay would have been more than enough punishment.

Bill Jassmann, Dunedin

If you don't have confidence in emergency service, steer clear

Re: Paramedic shouldn't get job back, letter by David McCormick, Sept. 22.

Mr. McCormick, I have read your opinion and think you have the wrong perspective on this situation. You said, "If there had been a traumatic injury on site, his response would have been so delayed by his blatant disregard for the citizens he is paid to serve that someone with major injuries could have easily died."

Well, common sense would tell you there is no life-threatening traumatic injury from being raped by the president of the United States, as I believe the caller said when calling 911 for the 126th time.

What if there was a life-threatening emergency somewhere else while Clearwater paramedic Trevor Murray was on that call? How would that person feel about waiting for the next closest paramedic unit?

Mr. Murray was protecting the citizens by being available for other calls. I would suggest you read the findings of the arbitrator, and maybe you would be a little more at ease with the situation.

You also said, "Luckily, I don't live in Clearwater, but unfortunately I have to travel through." Well, I'm glad you don't live in Clearwater also, and I can only suggest you take a different route if you are that concerned with the emergency care you may receive while passing through.

Joe McQueen, Clearwater

Reporting on Scientology issues is merely Times writer's job

Re: Scientology's scourge, Sept. 17 story, and Paper's coverage of Scientology perpetuates bigotry, prejudice, letter, Sept. 27.

The story about Shawn Lonsdale, Scientology documentarian, was a human-interest story. No more, no less. It wouldn't have been even that if the cult hadn't made it so.

But for the letter writer to call St. Petersburg Times staff writer Robert Farley a bottom-feeder just for doing his job is wrong.

The cult exploits disasters and takes advantage of people and victims through its questionable programs with no other purpose but to expand and make money.

Scientology's programs are either questionable, unaccredited or just plain worthless, such as their purification rundown and auditing. So who are the bottom-feeders here?

David Rodman, Dunedin


We invite readers to write letters for publication. To send a letter from your computer, go to If you prefer, you may instead fax your letter to us at (727) 445-4119, or mail it to Letter to the Editor, St. Petersburg Times, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756.

Letters should be brief and must include the writer's name, city of residence, mailing address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length. We regret that not all letters can be printed.

[Last modified October 1, 2006, 07:28:16]

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