Brevard fire medic under investigation for allegedly insensitive remark to shooting victim

Racially insensitive remark discussed at Tuesday’s Brevard County Commission meeting

Brevard County offers Thanksgiving week day camp. (WKMG)

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A member of the Brevard County Fire Rescue staff is under investigation after he allegedly made a racially insensitive remark to a shooting victim while the person was being transported by ambulance to the hospital for treatment, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.

This is the second incident in a month involving alleged racial insensitivity by a BCFR employee. In the previous incident, an off-duty Brevard County Fire Rescue firefighter seen in a photo on social media wearing blackface at a beachside Halloween party.

[TRENDING: Teacher resignations on rise in Central Fla. | Woman says she was shot in the head while driving | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

The latest incident — which occurred last week — came to light Tuesday, when County Commissioner Bryan Lober referenced it during a commission meeting. Lober said annual training for BCFR personnel in workplace culture may be warranted as a way to help prevent future such incidents from occurring.

Commissioners were notified of the latest incident on Monday, during separate phone calls with County Manager Frank Abbate, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

According to accounts from Lober and Commissioner John Tobia of their conversations with Abbate, the shooting victim was shot in the leg by a Brevard County sheriff’s deputy during a confrontation. While being transported to the hospital, a BCFR fire medic treating the shooting victim implied to the person, who is white, that the injuries might have been more severe if the person was Black.

The names of the BCFR employee and the shooting victim were not disclosed.

Brevard County Public Safety Director Matthew Wallace declined to comment Tuesday, beyond what was discussed during Tuesday’s meeting,

Brevard County Communications Director Don Walker said the BCFR employee has been assigned to “light duty,” in which he doesn’t interact with the public while the investigation continues.

Abbate said the county trains all employees when they are hired on issues related to bias, and has anti-discrimination policies in place. He said county officials also are looking into whether additional training is needed.

Commissioners decided to let Abbate decide on the staff training issue, rather than taking any action on the matter.

BCFR Chief Mark Schollmeyer told commissioners these are the first two incidents of alleged racial insensitivity he was aware of in the department. Schollmeyer has been in the department for 33 years, including 15 years in a leadership role.

There are about 450 first responders on the BCFR staff.

This story will be updated.