EMT with Hemophobia sues department over wrongful termination

Former EMT Bud Dearborne was terminated after fainting for the third time in his first month on the job. Dearborne claims he has a medical condition called Hemophobia, and his employer refused to make accommodations so he could work with this illness.

bloody ambulance

A Bloody Ambulance

Hemophobia is a psychological condition where people fear blood. The sight of blood triggers an extreme anxiety attack that lowers blood pressure to the point of fainting.

Dearborne claims he did not know about his condition until after his second time fainting. He says after that episode a doctor diagnosed his illness.

“I have always felt queasy around blood. But before this job I only ever saw my own blood. I thought that my past queasiness was just… you know… because I was hurt.”

Wayne Brothers EMS management told Dearborne if he fainted a third time they would fire him. But Bud asked them to make a work place accommodation for his illness.

“I asked if I could be taken out of the nightshift and put onto days. I also asked for posting on one of the special crews we have that only do facility-to-facility transport runs. You know what they told me? They said facility transport units are special cake-walk assignments that are reserved for older EMTs who earn it.”

Off the record Wayne Brothers told CallTheCops that even transport units see blood. One example they gave was dialysis patients who have issues with catheters as a regular call for facility-to-facility runs.

Lawyers for Dearborne claim his termination was wrongful. They think Wayne Brothers EMS should have explored various options to allow their client to stay employed.

Attorneys for Wayne Brothers counter by saying treating patients are a mandatory function of the position. Someone who faints seeing blood can’t treat a patient, they actually become a second patient for the crew.

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