Emergency serviceman fired after helping a driver having a medical episode

Emergency serviceman fired after helping a driver having a medical episode. 3/16/17 (Christy Wilcox | KSNV)

For five years Anthony Garcia has been a Freeway Service Patrol driver. A program supported by the Nevada Department of Transportation. Garcia said the job requires quick thinking because they have to keep traffic flowing and help stranded drivers.

"I absolutely love it," said Garcia.

On a Friday night, Garcia said he was just down the road when he caught wind a driver taking the Spring Mountain ramp was having an emergency. Garcia said when he got there he realized the driver was having a medical episode.

"He's slouched over the passenger seat, he's kind of flopping around a little and drooling really bad," said Garcia.

Garcia tried to open the car but hesitated to break the window until he got permission. He ran back to his truck to grab a wheel block when suddenly the car and driver started moving again. Garcia watched it swerve as it headed east toward Fashion Show Mall.

"I got on the radio and said I have to use my truck to stop him or he's going to keep going," he told us.

NHP said a Trooper pulled up behind the two just as the car started rolling away. NHP is calling it a traffic incident. They confirmed the man was taken to UMC for his medical episode.

But now, Garcia claims his employer -- Quality Towing – has fired him for his actions. The reason for termination: Failing to meet work standards.

"I'm not sure what standards they are talking about because I am pretty sure I did what I am supposed to do is help people," said Garcia.

NHP said there are no criminal charges filed against the driver at this time. NDOT leaders said it's still an open investigation for the Freeway Service Patrol. As for the Garcia, he believes he did what's right.

"Letting him go into a stopped car or oncoming traffic, or even a pedestrian could have killed him or somebody else," he said.

Quality Towing has not responded to calls for comment at this time.

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