EMS Ghouls Competed In "Selfie War"
Cops: Paramedics took pix with patients
JULY 22--Two EMS workers were charged yesterday with engaging in a “selfie war” during which they competed to see who could take the best photos with patients that were intubated, unconscious, sedated, or drunk, according to Florida investigators.
The paramedics took dozens of “unprofessional and compromising” photos inside ambulances for “entertainment and amusement purposes,” and even showed the images to fellow workers, several of whom subsequently cooperated with law enforcement authorities.
Christopher Wimmer, 33, and Kayla Dubois, 24, are facing felony charges related to their alleged illegal interception and disclosure of oral communications. Wimmer was also hit with a misdemeanor battery count for allegedly holding open the eyelids of a sedated patient with whom he posed for a “selfie.”
Wimmer and Dubois, seen above, took the “selfie” images over the past year while working for Okaloosa County’s EMS division. Patients victimized by the paramedics were in “varying degrees of distress,” a probable cause affidavit charges.
The criminal probe of Wimmer and Dubois identified 41 patients who were photographed or videotaped by the paramedics. One image showed Wimmer “posing in a ‘selfie’ showing an elderly woman with her breast exposed.” A video recorded by Dubois showed a patient “flailing her arms and legs” while the paramedic was “smiling and commenting into the camera.”
A police search of Wimmer’s phone uncovered incriminating text messages exchanged between the two EMS workers. As detailed in court filings, the texts challenged “each other to produce more ‘selfies’ and to ‘step up’ their game.”
None of the photos and videos taken by the pair had “any training/teaching value, and any reasonable person would conclude that they were produced for amusement and entertainment purposes,” investigators allege. (2 pages)