Former EMT sues over termination from ambulance squad

By Jon Campisi | Aug 26, 2011

A Bensalem, Pa. man who was fired from his job as an emergency medical technician at a Montgomery County ambulance squad is suing his former employer, alleging his termination was related to his disability.

The federal discrimination lawsuit was filed Aug. 24 by attorneys Timothy M. Kolman, Wayne A. Ely, Eman Abouelseoud and Lalena J. Turchi, of the firm Kolman Ely, P.C., on behalf of Cyril Pyle.

The defendant in the case is the Second Alarmer’s Association and Recue Squad based in Willow Grove, Pa.

The lawsuit claims that Pyle was fired from his job of three years as an ambulance operator in late May 2010 for reasons related to his health, although the company had maintained that his termination was tied to the plaintiff’s alleged “badmouthing” of the defendant to another ambulance squad where Pyle worked part time.

The complaint states that in addition to his job with Second Alarmer’s, Pyle also worked at the Tri-Hampton Rescue Squad. On May 25, 2010, Pyle was late for his shift at Tri-Hampton because, the suit states, the person who was supposed to relieve him from his job at Second Alarmer’s was late for his shift.

The very next day, the suit claims, Pyle was approached by his superiors who told him he was being suspended for three days because of a calendar mistake plaintiff had made the previous month.

Three hours after that notification, the defendant informed Pyle by phone that he was being fired from his position with Second Alarmer’s because he spoke ill of the defendant to Tri-Hampton.

Meanwhile, Pyle claims that his firing had something to do with the fact that he had recently been diagnosed with “extremely severe obstructive sleep apnea.”

The disease required Pyle to wear a special device called a continuous positive airway pressure mask. He first wore the mask to Second Alarmer’s during his May 17, 2010 shift.

“The CPAP caused absolutely no impairment to Plaintiff’s job duties whatsoever,” the lawsuit states.

However, the following day, Pyle overheard his captain telling another Second Alarmer’s employee that Pyle was going to be a “liability,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint accuses the defendant of violating both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Through his lawsuit, Pyle prays for relief as follows: he seeks to have Second Alarmer’s permanently enjoined from further discriminating against himself or any other employee; he aims to be compensated for back pay, front pay, benefits, bonuses, promotion, and pension; he wants to be awarded punitive damages; he seeks other equitable and legal relief; and he seeks to be reimbursed for court costs.

Pyle has demanded a jury trial.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-05359-TJS.

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