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Local firefighter falsifies report to cover mistake of pronouncing man dead

Emergency medical services ambulance rescue paramedic medic

(DELRAY BEACH, FL)– A Delray Beach firefighter has been fired after he reported that an elderly man who was found unresponsive in a home was dead without taking the appropriate actions to see if he was.
The incident occurred after The Veterans Administration Medical Center in West Palm Beach requested a welfare check on the elderly man in June who failed to show up to several meetings.
An officer went to the apartment and found the elderly man unresponsive in a bathtub. They then contacted Delray Fire Rescue.
When Firefighter Brandon Hagans responded to the scene, the officer told Hagans that the 83-year-old man appeared to be dead.
Hagans was said to have gone into the apartment, stared at the victim for six seconds from the bathroom doorway, and contacted his captain to report that the victim was dead.
About an hour and a half later, two body-removal agents arrived at the apartment but “found the person breathing and responsive to touch and verbal stimulus.”
The victim was taken to Delray Medical Center where he died just over two weeks later.
An investigation found that despite Hagans writing in the report that he completed the cardiac test and that he had “touched the patient when he assessed for signs of death, ” he did not even enter the bathroom.
While under sworn testimony Hagans again reported that he touched the body three times.
Hagan then “admitted during his sworn testimony that he did not check for a pulse, did not check for respirations, did not check pupillary response, and did not check for rigor mortis,” after being confronted by video from the scene.
Hagans was placed on leave before being fired.
The Professional Firefighters of Delray Beach, which is a local Firefighter’s Union, is fighting the decision stating that the City overstepped its boundaries by firing Hagans.
Hagans also believes he deserves another chance stating that the incident was a “mistake.”
Delray Beach City Attorney Lynn Gelin reported that she believes the city made the right choice:
“If I can’t think of a better reason to fire somebody, this is it. What (he) did to that family? (He) lied, went back, and falsified reports.”