EMT illegally removed from job, D.C. court rules

By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 8, 2010

The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that an emergency medical technician who improperly took a city man with a serious head wound to a hospital near her home out of convenience was illegally removed from her job because District officials had missed a 90-day deadline to fire her.

The court ruled that D.C. officials had an obligation to fire Selena Walker in a timely manner after the January 2006 incident involving David E. Rosenbaum, a New York Times reporter who was attacked near his Chevy Chase home.

Rosenbaum was initially assessed as being intoxicated and a low-priority case, and Walker opted to drive him to Howard University Hospital instead of Sibley Memorial Hospital, which was closer. A team member said Walker made the decision because she wanted to take care of personal business afterward.

It was discovered at the hospital that Rosenbaum had a critical head wound and that important time had been lost in caring for him.

He died two days later. Walker's job had been protected in an administrative decision that the city's Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department appealed.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company