Investigation into firefighter’s Facebook message to patient costs $21,000

South King Fire and Rescue - Courtesy South King Fire and Rescue
South King Fire and Rescue
— image credit: Courtesy South King Fire and Rescue

An investigation into a South King Fire and Rescue firefighter who sent an inappropriate Facebook message to a woman he treated, will cost taxpayers nearly $21,000 in legal fees.

The fire department’s attorney Patterson Buchanan Fobes & Leitch, Inc. PS billed the department for more than 80 hours of work, at a cost of $185-$225 per hour, according to the invoices.

SKFR disciplined Brandon Church and charged him with professional misconduct in 2012, after Church treated and transported a patient to St. Francis Hospital while on duty Feb. 22, 2012. Two hours later, Church sent the patient a message on Facebook that was “personal and included sexual innuendo,” according to SKFR investigation documents.

The state Department of Health in January also placed Church’s emergency medical technician credentials on probation, until Jan. 30, 2015.

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