Audio recording of Regina Hill ends career for 2017 'Firefighter of the Year'

Orlando paramedic says commissioner made volatile accusations

By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - With Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill in medical distress in the Penthouse of the Double Tree Hotel, a hotel  security officer called Orlando Fire Rescue for help.

That call, according to the City of Orlando, would lead to the violation of a person’s expectation of privacy in a hotel room. 

According to the City of Orlando, veteran paramedic Joshua Granada was behind the wheel of Orlando Fire Rescue 10 ready to assist.

According to a Tuesday press release from the City’s Fire Department, the incident occurred on Aug. 27. 

Sources familiar with the events told News 6 that Hill was unresponsive and had to be revived.

When she awoke, Granada told News 6 Hill became belligerent, yelling at the firefighters and making accusations.

Granada told News 6 he used his personal cellphone to record a 30-second audio clip of Hill’s comments.

“I wanted to protect all of us on the scene," he told News 6 Wednesday. “From what I heard and what I saw, I felt the need, I thought it would be prudent.”

Union attorneys have advised Granada not to provide specific details of the scene.

The union has planned a news conference for Wednesday that one source says will see union top 
brass “come out swinging.”

Granada, the 2017 co-Firefighter of the Year, has been suffering from PTSD and sees a connection
between his dismissal and the department’s reluctance to help him.

“I was a great fireman it seems like until the Pulse, ... after the Pulse all of I sudden I’ve been treated differently,” Granada said.

Granada admits he may have had a lapse in judgment making the recording but that Hill’s comments concerned him.

Granada said he had no idea who they were treating until another firefighter found Hill’s identification. 

Hill has declined comment on the incident.

Granada said he would “love to talk to her" because he wants her to know he “meant no malicious intent.”

Veteran attorney Geoff Bichler, an advocate for first responders and their struggle with PTSD, told News 6 once all of the facts come out in this incident, things could change.

“It certainly doesn’t warrant the termination of a decorated hero on the scene of the Pulse at the very first moment," Bichler said.

In a statement issued to the media Tuesday the Orlando Fire Department said in part:

"Public trust is paramount to the service that we provide to the citizens and visitors of Orlando and the Orlando fire department will not tolerate violations of patient policy."
 

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