Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
On a sunny Friday morning, with the Orange County Courthouse as a backdrop, Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill stepped in front of reporters to announce she will press charges against recently terminated firefighter and paramedic Joshua Granada.
The press conference was Hill's first time to publicly comment on the Aug. 27 incident at the DoubleTree Hotel, where Granada was a first responder on the scene after Hill placed a medical emergency call. From there, as Hill was transported to the hospital, officials say Granada recorded a 30-second audio clip of Hill.
Recordings of such a nature – which Granada claims to have made for safety's sake for both him and his fellow responders, reportedly calling Hill's behavior at the time "belligerent" – are considered by law a violation of patients' privacy rights.
The incident led to Granada's firing on Nov. 21.
Though Granada has claimed he did not recognize Hill upon arriving on the scene, and allegedly was not aware of the fact that she's an elected official, Hill claims the incident was politically motivated.
"It was political," Hill told those in attendance at the Friday press conference. "There was a big vote coming up that Monday."
The Aug. 27 incident at the DoubleTree Hotel occurred on a Sunday afternoon. For highlights of all that was on City Council's agenda during that Monday, Aug. 28, meeting, visit here
"Sadly, at this point my privacy has been destroyed," Hill told reporters. "But I have decided to talk about this and respond, because we must ensure that the community feels comfortable and safe when calling 9-1-1 for medical emergencies. No one should fear that they might be recorded without their knowledge. ... The public trust is paramount to what we provide here in the city of Orlando, but especially our public safety personnel like firefighters."
Granada earned national and statewide recognition for his heroism as a first responder during the Pulse massacre on June 12, 2016 – what was then the most lethal mass shooting in American history. Because of his bravery, Granada was awarded the title of "2017 Florida Firefighter of the Year."