UPDATE: EMS volunteer let go after tweeting about suicide - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

UPDATE: EMS volunteer let go after tweeting about suicide

UPDATE: EMS volunteer let go after tweeting about suicide

Posted: Updated:
GREENVILLE, N.C. -
An EMS worker is no longer allowed to volunteer at Eastern Pines EMS following an internal investigation into her questionable tweets about suicide.
 
EMS Chief Gene Powell told 9 On Your Side Lindsey Merritt is "no longer affiliated with Eastern Pines EMS, however, as this is an internal personnel matter we will be unable to provide further comment regarding her status."
 
Powell also released the following statement: 

"We at Eastern Pines EMS hold ourselves to a very high standard of professionalism, and we strive every day to provide the highest quality of care and service to the citizens of our community. The comments made by Mrs. Merritt are in no way reflective of this department's views nor opinions, and we find these comments very disappointing. We want the public to know that we remain ready to provide the highest level of care 24/7 to the citizens of Pitt County."

Original Story -

"If you call 911 suicidal I'm not sure what you're trying to gain. I'm not going to talk u out of it. I'm prob going to tell u how to do it right."

It's a post that spurred outrage on Twitter because of its content and because of the person who apparently tweeted it – an Eastern Pines EMS volunteer named Lindsey Merritt.

Another tweet reads:

"Just another day and another sacrifice busting *** to save someone's unappreciative, pathetic excuse for a life. #bitter #ill."

The account is now de-activated. But people who saw the tweets called them "disturbing" and questioned whether Merritt should be allowed to work in the medical field.

9 On Your Side talked with Merritt twice on the phone Monday.

She first told us her Twitter account was private and the tweets in question had been obtained by someone who did not have her permission. She also tried to explain the context of the tweets by saying she was upset about a close friend committing suicide.

During our second conversation, she back-tracked and denied the account was hers. Yet she felt compelled to issue an apology.

"I'm there to treat the patient and I am very sorry for any misunderstandings on anyone's part about my feelings towards people with any psychological issues," she said. "That I have family and friends that battle psychological issues. That my issue is the people who put a negative connotation with it by faking it and doing it for attention."

Eastern Pines EMS Chief Gene Powell told 9 On Your Side he is aware of the situation and has put Merritt on administrative suspension pending a meeting with their Board of Directors.

He added, "Even though she is a volunteer, she is still held to the same standards as any paid employee. This is not typical of our organization and we hold ourselves to a higher standard than this."

9 On Your Side confirmed with Merritt's employers she still works as a Wellness Specialist at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, where she helps with health screenings. She also works part-time as an account manager at CareConnect Health Staffing in Ayden.

Chief Powell says the Board of Directors will meet later this week to determine Merritt's future with their EMS crew.

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