Investigation Opened Against Dallas Fire-Rescue


Photo by Nathan Hunsinger

An investigation has been opened against the Dallas Fire-Rescue service due to claims of mistreatment towards patients and the Tony Timpa killing on August 10, 2016. Cases presented against not only the officers but also against the paramedics have gained traction. Bodycam footage from the officers shows what many deem as an “inappropriate and disgusting” treatment for a member of the public. Only now have charges been filed against the paramedic unit as well.   

Some may still recall the killing of a man named Tony Timpa, a 32-year-old resident of Rockwell. Tony Timpa first contacted emergency services to report that he was having a psychotic episode due to not taking his medications. When police and paramedics from the “Crisis Intervention” unit arrived, they tied Timpa up using handcuffs on his legs and arms. The officers laid themselves by one knee on Timpa, and he was dead via suffocation after 14 minutes.   

The officers involved faced a lawsuit from Timpa’s family but were dismissed by a federal judge citing civil immunity due to the officer’s line of profession.   

Recently, however, the paramedics on the scene have begun facing charges, this time from the Texas Department of Health. In fact, the entirety of the Dallas Fire-Rescue service received complaints of patient mistreatment and unsuitable care dating back to 2016 and prior. An ongoing investigation has already put four medical staff on probation. All the paramedics put on probation are still allowed to keep their EMT licenses.   

The body camera footage from the officers shows the paramedics not responding as usual to Timpa’s sudden loss of consciousness. Instead, the medics waited almost 4 minutes to begin CPR on Timpa. Formal charges against the paramedics include failure to intervene, misuse of sedatives, and forming a false report on the care they gave to the patient.   

The state of Texas argues that the paramedics “…failed to intervene on behalf of the patient in accordance with (their) medical director’s protocol.”  

Further events in January 2020 also bring to light possible health violations on behalf of the Dallas Fire-Rescue service. The investigation is ongoing.   

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