Orlando firefighter Josh Granada illegally recorded Commissioner Regina Hill during a medical call and was fired on November 21st for violating HIPAA laws.
By Jacob Engels
Shortly before Thanksgiving, news broke that a veteran Orlando firefighter had been terminated for illegally recording Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill during a medical call.
After allegedly reviving Hill, Granada claims she became belligerent and asked the crew to leave. Hill also repeatedly asked them to stop touching her, according to Granada.
That’s when he whipped out his personal cell phone and began recording Ms. Hill, and that is the moment he violated HIPAA laws, Hill’s expectation of privacy in her hotel room, and Orlando Fire Department’s rules and regulations.
This happened over the summer on August 27th and Granada was fired from the Orlando Fire Department for these illegal acts after an internal investigation.
As a 10-year veteran of the OFD, Granada should have known better than to illegally record Hill. That is a clear HIPAA violation, something he learned on day one.
His first explanation as to why he recorded Hill? Granada said he and the other firefighters present felt threatened by Hill, who he claims was acting belligerent and asking them to leave.
Does anyone really believe that the petite Orlando City Commissioner could make several grown men so fearful that they need to whip out their phone and hit record?
Or that illegaly recording Hill would somehow make them feel safer if they really thought they were at risk?
Four months later and out of a job for seriously violating HIPAA laws, Granada is now saying PTSD made him illegally record Hill and later share it with others. Yes… you read that correctly.
Granada claims that he has been suffering from PTSD since the Pulse terrorist attack last summer, where he was one of the first responders. He also blames the Orlando Fire Department for neglecting to get him treatment.
The 2017 “Firefighter of the Year” has retained an attorney and held a press conference on Wednesday. He is pushing for his immediate reinstatement to the department and will move forward with a lawsuit if OFD refuses to rehire him.
Expectedly, he is being backed by the local firefighters union who have reached a dead end in negotiations with the City of Orlando.
Using his status as a hero during the Pulse terrorist attack to excuse actions that occurred over a year later is shameful and disappointing.
If he does suffer from PTSD, I could see how an allegedly stressful encounter with Hill could trigger that. I could see that making him slow to respond or lash out physically. Those are both within the realm of reason, along with dozens of other potential symptoms.
It’s hard to see how that would manifest itself in the form of him illegally recording someone during a call. Or why that would make him gossip about the recording, and subsequently share it with other firefighters during dinner.
This is no different than a doctor or a nurse recording you during a procedure and then sharing it with others later at dinner for a good laugh.
Granada wasn’t targeted by the Orlando Fire Department because he violated protocols in order to transport 13 Pulse victims to the hospital.
It’s not because he took on the higher ups and challenged the status quo. Those are his BS excuses carefully concocted to grab headlines and publically pressure the fire department to rehire him.
Here are the facts…
Mr. Granada was terminated because he blatantly violated HIPAA laws. He was terminated for violating Commissioner Hill’s privacy rights. He was terminated for violating basic rules and regulations within the Orlando Fire Department.
Instead of seeking help for his PTSD, he is letting the firefighters union use him as a weapon against their political opponents within the OFD.
Shame on Mr Granada. Orlando deserves better and you should stop these shenanigans.
Be the hero people remember, not some dude who sued his was back to the department blaming everyone else for your mistakes.
Jacob Engels is an Orlando based journalist whose work has been featured and republished in news outlets around the globe including Politico, InfoWars, MSNBC, Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Daily Mail UK, Associated Press, People Magazine, ABC, and Fox News to name a few. Mr. Engels focuses on stories that other news outlets neglect or willingly hide to curry favor among the political and business special interests in the state of Florida.