Nashville paramedic placed on leave over homophobic slurs - WSMV News 4

Nashville paramedic placed on leave over homophobic slurs

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A veteran with the Nashville Fire Department is off the job after what he posted on Facebook.

Paramedic Kevin Kennedy was with the department for 20 years, but last month he was placed under investigation after he allegedly posted several homophobic slurs on his personal Facebook page.

Now, the department is punishing him, but some say that isn't enough.

Kennedy is suspended from work for almost two months without pay for the posts. Chris Sanders with the Tennessee Equality Project says the posts are a shame.

"The things he said are very serious. And we do not want a hostile working environment for Metro government employees, in particular the ones out saving lives," Sanders said.

And now the Nashville Fire Department has released the disciplinary report stating Kennedy has been suspended from work. He will lose sick days and vacation time, and he has to pay to take anger management and diversity training courses.

Fire Chief Kim Lawson says this is the most severe punishment the department could give the veteran paramedic before letting him go.

"Obviously, the department heads think it's very important that the environment is welcome for all employees in place. And we think that we saw that from the disciplinary actions that were handed down," Sanders said.

But not everyone agrees. Tony Smith has been in emergency work for about a decade and is a chief flight nurse for Vanderbilt.

"I can see how people would be reluctant to call 911, because of the fear of being discriminated against or not getting the proper care," Smith said.

Kennedy would not comment about the case to Channel 4. He does have the right to appeal the department's decision.

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