An Iowa paramedic was fired this summer for refusing to immediately respond to an ambulance call from the city of Marion, telling a dispatcher “I don’t give a f— about Marion.”
State records indicate Stefany Glassmeyer worked as a paramedic for Area Ambulance Authority on July 7, 2023, when she was contacted by a dispatcher by phone.
The dispatcher informed Glassmeyer of a 911 call requesting an ambulance and also indicated that a body bag needed to be dropped off at a local hospital. The dispatcher reportedly prioritized the body-bag errand, telling Glassmeyer to drop off the bag first and then respond to the 911 call.
Glassmeyer, who reportedly had unspecified issues with the Marion Fire Department, allegedly told the dispatcher, “I don’t give a f— about Marion,” to which the dispatcher responded, “I don’t either. I told them it was going to be about 25 minutes.”
Glassmeyer then dropped off the body bag at the hospital and, while there, engaged in a three- to five-minute conversation with her husband. The City of Marion, which contracts with Area Ambulance Authority for emergency services, later expressed frustration with the response time surrounding the July 7 incident.
When the company looked into the matter, it discovered the recording of the phone call between Glassmeyer and the dispatcher. Glassmeyer was immediately placed on suspension and was fired on Aug. 2, 2023.
According to state records, Glassmeyer had received a warning and suspension from her employer on May 18, 2023. She had been asked to complete an ambulance run that would have caused her to work past the scheduled end of her shift. She allegedly complained to both the dispatcher and the supervisor in an aggressive manner, which caused her employer to question her professionalism and issue a warning for harassment.
At a recent hearing on her application for unemployment benefits, Glassmeyer asserted her termination was in retaliation for her complaining of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. She reportedly acknowledged her actions were inappropriate, but stated that termination should only occur for such actions if they were repeat offenses that occurred on a regular basis.
Administrative Law Judge Blair Bennett found otherwise and ruled Glassmeyer was ineligible for unemployment benefits due to workplace misconduct.
Bennett decided Glassmeyer’s “lack of concern about timely responses is the antithesis of what she is to do as an EMT. (She) is to arrive where a 911 call comes from as soon as possible. Seconds may mean the difference between life and death. Being upset with another department is no reason to potentially punish a person calling in to 911.”
The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Emergency and Trauma Services indicates that Glassmeyer’s paramedic license is in good standing with the state, with no public record of any discipline.