The City of Winnipeg is investigating and emphasizing the professionalism of its first responders after a photo shared on social media Friday night cast an "unbecoming" light on some fire-paramedic staff and police officers.
The photo appears to depict a fire-paramedic service employee posing with a man who looks to be unconscious while other first responders watch. A city spokesperson said the man was resting his head on the shoulder of a Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) employee while WFPS staff gave information to Winnipeg Police Service officers.
"We can assure you that this individual was treated in a respectful and professional manner at all times," the city’s corporate communications staff member wrote in an email to the Free Press.
Fire-paramedic responders spent about 90 minutes caring for the man while they waited for a police transport, the city spokesperson wrote. The city didn’t respond to additional questions, including the type of call responders were dealing with or where and when the incident happened.
The spokesperson said city staff began a review and took statements from everyone involved after the photo, which appeared to be taken by a passerby, was circulated on social media.
It was posted on Facebook Friday evening and has been shared hundreds of times.
In response to a Twitter user who shared the photo Friday night, Mayor Brian Bowman tweeted the photo was being reviewed.
"Thanks for bringing this to my attention. The Police Chief and Fire Paramedic Chief, as well as senior administration, are already aware of the photo. It’s being reviewed. If valid, it’s obviously unbecoming of what’s expected by our emergency responders," his tweet said.
Katie May reports on courts, crime and justice for the Free Press.
Updated on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 4:59 PM CDT: Edits
6:58 PM: Updated to remove incorrect source of photo
11:21 PM: Edited