Firefighter accused of recording Commissioner Regina Hill facing charges

First responder says he recorded audio because he felt threatened

Joshua Granada
Joshua Granada

ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando firefighter who was fired after he was accused of recording Commissioner Regina Hill during a medical call is facing two criminal charges related to the incident, records show.

Documents from the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office show Joshua Granada is facing charges of unlawful interception of wire or oral communication and willful disclosure of an unlawful interception of a wire or oral communication.

In August 2017, the Orlando Fire Department was called to the penthouse of the Double Tree Hotel after a worker found Hill unresponsive.

Granada told News 6 the room looked like the aftermath of a "college rager" with empty liquor bottles strewn about and cigarettes smoldering in the carpet. After first responders revived Hill, Granada said she began making accusations toward the firefighters as she cursed at them.

He said he recorded a 30-second audio clip to prove he and the other first responders weren't doing anything wrong in their response.

“It was cursing, cursing, cursing, 'I hate you, you’re trying to get me in trouble,'“  Granada said.  “'I hate all of you firemen,' and that’s what I heard and I swear to you, I still didn’t know who she was.”

He claimed he didn't know Hill was an Orlando commissioner.

“I have never received disciplinary action prior to this, and my actions were to protect my crew after I felt threatened,” he said in a prepared statement in November 2017.

Records from the Orlando Police Department show that several firefighters were interviewed about  Granada's recording. They said that Hill was combative during the medical response, according to an affidavit.

Witnesses also said that Granada played the audio clip for firefighters while they were at the station's dinner table.

Officials from the Orlando Fire Department said violating a patient's expectation of privacy is never tolerated and the fact that Granada was named Firefighter of the Year in 2017 for his response during the Pulse nightclub shooting doesn't excuse his actions.

"The public’s trust is paramount to the service that we provide to the citizens and visitors of Orlando and the Orlando Fire Department. Due to Granada’s actions, his employment with the Orlando Fire Department was terminated in November 2017," Orlando Fire Department officials said in a statement on Thursday.

About the Author: