5 Lexington Firefighters sue state over EMT license suspensions

The five Lexington firefighters are suing state Commissioner of Public Health John Auerbach along with Abdullah Rehayem, director of the health department’s office of emergency medical services and Richard Heidlage, acting chief administrative magistrate for the state Division of Administrative Law Appeals.

The firefighters have filed suit in Federal Court alleging that they were falsely accused and never given the opportunity to air their side before having their license suspended. They are seeking to have their names cleared and for the court to declare that their license suspensions were unfounded.

According to the firefighters, they were given credit for EMT training that they did not participate in without their knowledge or acceptance. Upon becoming aware that they had been given credit they attempted to make up or made up the training.

State officials have said Lexington re-certification coordinator Mark Culleton, a 24-year veteran of the fire department admitted he fraudulently gave credit to EMTs without ever holding refresher courses. The state has revoked his license as an EMT instructor and has pulled his paramedic certification.

As a result of their suspensions, the firefighters said they lost income and were “vilified in the local press,” according to the Boston Globe.

They appealed their suspensions to the state Division of Administrative Appeals, however, after the emergency care licenses of four firefighters had been suspended for 50 days, the Department of Public Health changed its allegations against them and reduced their suspensions from 9 months to 45 days, the suit said. Allegations against one firefighter were dropped. After the suspensions were reduced, DALA dropped the appeal filed by the firefighters.

See story in Boston.com

About Attorney John J. MacLaughlan

John MacLaughlan is Massachusetts licensed attorney as well as a Boston police officer. John is currently assigned to the Youth Violence Strike Force (Gang Unit). He is a graduate of the Massachusetts School of Law with a concentration in Labor Law. He holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell as well as a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. John has taught Defensive Tactics, Firearms, Use of Force, Applied Patrol Procedures, and Police Response to Active Shooters to sworn police officers and police academy recruits. Prior to becoming a Boston Police Officer, John served for 9 years as a police officer in Lowell, where he was a member of the Police Dive Team and Patrol Rifle Team.
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