A volunteer firefighter was reportedly denied treatment at a local urgent care clinic because he didn’t have his identification on him.
A local firefighter in Dundee, Michigan, was putting out a fire at a mobile home park Jan. 9 when he fell through the floor, according to Dan Motylinski, chief of the Dundee Township Volunteer Fire Department. When the firefighter was taken to Dundee Urgent Care, the only urgent care clinic in the area, to treat his minor injuries, he was refused care.
“He was refused care because he didn’t have any identification or a driver’s license on him,” Dundee Fire Department spokesman Steve Garrett told WTOL. The firefighter was reportedly dressed in street clothes.
Dundee Urgent Care says it is against its policy to treat somebody without a valid ID. Two other firefighters who had valid IDs on them confirmed their co-worker's identity, but that wasn’t good enough for the urgent care employees.
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“You really question what urgent care is for,” Garrett said.
The firefighters left and instead went to St. Joseph Hospital in Ann Arbor, a 30-minute drive. There, the firefighter was treated for bruising on his ribs, side and back.
Motylinski later went back to Dundee Urgent Care to find out why one of his volunteers was refused service and employees repeated that it is against policy to treat patients without a valid ID.
“Are you kidding me?" Chief Motylinski said. “You don’t treat your local firemen that way. I was very upset.”
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Michigan law says that firefighters are not required to carry an ID with them on their way to or from a fire.
Dundee Urgent Care medical director Mohammed Arsiwala responded to WTOL’s request for comment:
“We are very sorry that this incident occurred and that the patient who is a firefighter was not treated. We have been in the community for over a decade serving our police and fire in six counties and take pride in caring for them, as well as the community as a whole.”
The fire department says this is not enough.
“I’ve been on the department almost 20 years and I’ve never heard about something like this ... ever,” Garrett said.