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Paramedic barred from patient contact after letter

Friday - 9/6/2013, 3:32am  ET

Letter could cost job

WTOP's Andrew Mollenbeck reports

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BEN NUCKOLS
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - A District of Columbia paramedic has been temporarily barred from contact with patients after he sent a letter to the D.C. Council about staffing shortages that he says are endangering city residents.

The fire department says the city's privacy officer has "very serious concerns" about the letter sent to the council by Jon Botwin. He described his attempt to treat a 5-month-old girl who died of cardiac arrest and said the two paramedics that should have been closer to her home were absent the day she died. Botwin claimed that less than half the city's paramedic positions were staffed on that day, Aug. 29. The district already has fewer paramedics than many similar urban departments.

The department says Botwin's letter is under investigation as a possible violation of patient privacy.

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