MELBOURNE, Fla. - A Brevard County commissioner is calling for more training in the fire department after two incidents involving race happened just weeks apart.
County commissioners say this latest incident happened inside an ambulance while a shooting victim was being treated.
It all started at a gas station in Merritt Island. Deputies say they were called to a robbery and located a suspect at a nearby park. They say that man ignored their commands and came at them with what looked to be a gun so they shot him.
The suspect, Matthew Robertson, 22, was then taken to the hospital.
"What was explained to me was that the patient at that point, in the back of the ambulance with the paramedic, made a comment with respect to location of shooting. The paramedic essentially responded, ‘The reason that you were shot in the ankle as opposed to elsewhere, the torso or the head, is because of your ethnicity,’" Commissioner Bryan Lober told FOX 35 News.
Officials say the patient was white and the paramedic was a minority.
The comment comes just a couple of weeks after a Brevard firefighter was accused of dressing in blackface for Halloween.
During a county meeting Tuesday, Commissioner Lober said the department needs more training.
"I simply want them to understand what appropriate behavior in the workplace is, what’s expected of them, and just as importantly, what not to do," Lober said.
Lober says the department does plan on implementing more training, but what exactly that will be is still in the works.
Both incidents are still under investigation.
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