SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City detective accused of unfairly arresting a University of Utah Hospital nurse has been fired from his part-time job as a paramedic with Gold Cross Ambulance.
"The determination we made was best for everyone concerned, that we separate our ways and let Jeff go," said Mike Moffitt, president of Gold Cross Ambulance.
Moffitt said Gold Cross placed Payne on administrative leave on Friday because of comments he made in body camera footage from the July arrest of nurse Alex Wubbels. The footage was released on Thursday.
"I wonder how this will affect my Gold Cross job?" Payne says in the body cam footage. Another officer asks "Do you work up here?"
"I bring patients here," Payne replies.
"Yeah, they're not going to be very happy," the officer then says.
"I'll bring them all the transients and take good patients elsewhere," Payne is heard saying in the video.
Moffitt said Gold Cross took the weekend to gather information around the incident, view the videos, come together to discuss the situation, and lastly-- speak with Payne himself.
During that time, he said Gold Cross received a number of angry and threatening calls to their dispatch center, from people around the country.
"We're going to cause violence, we're going to beat you up, we're going to blow you up," he said, recounting what callers told them.
The calls became such a concern, he said the facility was placed on lock down and it impacted their phones.
"When people are calling in that don`t need an ambulance, it ties up our lines," Moffitt said.
He said there's only so many phone lines that come in to their center, and those lines are used for dispatching ambulances on life-saving calls.
Moffitt ended up taking calls personally on his cell phone to try to relieve the pressure. By Tuesday, he said the calls had died down.
While Gold Cross focuses on returning to the normal work flow, Moffitt said it's unfortunate what happened. He said Payne started with Gold Cross as a full-time EMT in 1983, before working his way up to a paramedic. He said Payne was part-time, working a couple shifts a month.
In Payne's 30-plus years, Moffitt said there were no complaints or issues. He said Payne was a good paramedic dedicated not only to his work with Gold Cross, but to his job as a police officer as well.
Here is the full statement from Gold Cross Ambulance below:
"Gold Cross Ambulance in Salt Lake City, Utah has terminated Jeff Payne as a part-time Paramedic effective immediately. Although Jeff was not working for Gold Cross Ambulance at the time of the incident, we take his inappropriate remarks regarding patient transports seriously.
We acknowledge those concerned individuals who have contacted us regarding this incident and affirm our commitment to serving all members of the community with kindness and respect. We will continue to maintain our values of outstanding patient focused care, safety, and the complete trust of the communities we serve."