For two Newark, New Jersey EMTs, mozzarella sticks were more of an emergency than a passed-out patient last Thursday. The fried cheese-loving medical technicians—James Hovan and an unnamed partner—work for University Hospital and were livestreaming their adventures at a White Castle drive-thru via Periscope when an emergency call came in.
Busy stuffing their faces, the EMTs didn’t take the call seriously at first. When a Periscope viewer asked whether they were going to respond to the emergency, the men called it a “taxi ride," implying that the patient was faking an injury in order to get a free lift to the hospital. A second call then came in, reporting an unconscious woman struggling to breathe, but the EMTs still refused to leave the restaurant until they had gotten their White Castle fix.
"I ordered my food before the [expletive] call came in,” Hovan said. “What do you think, I just throw it up in the air and run off? No!”
On Tuesday, University Hospital announced that the two EMTs had resigned as a result of their conduct.
"The individuals involved in this matter have resigned their employment with University Hospital as a result of their inappropriate conduct, which violated numerous Hospital policies, including our clear guidance on emergency response protocols, the use of social media, and our code of conduct," Stacie Newton, a spokesperson for the hospital, said in a statement to NJ.com. "The Hospital has been in contact with the New Jersey Department of Health since this incident, and will evaluate additional referrals to appropriate authorities at the conclusion of our investigation."
It sound like the pair will have a lot of extra time for late-night munchies runs now.