DFD gets influx of donated blankets after FOX 2 story - FOX 32 News Chicago

DFD gets influx of donated blankets after FOX 2 story

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By Charlie LeDuff
FOX 2 News Reporter


DETROIT -- FOX 2's blanket coverage began last week when we first reported that Detroit paramedic Jeff Gaglio had been charged by fire brass for giving a donated blanket away to a feeble, half naked, shivering old man whose house had just caught fire.

"I'm being punished for giving a man a blanket," Gaglio said in our report on October 10.

"We can't have an employee who feels that they have a right to give away state property, be it donated, be it a blanket, be it a tire off a vehicle," Chief Jerald James also said in that same story.

The internet burned with international outrage.  Friday, hundreds of blankets arrived at fire headquarters from around the globe.

"It was about a blanket to a man that needed a blanket at the time, nothing more, nothing less.  The city is the only one who has made it about more than that," Gaglio said.

Embarrassed, the city tried to pull the wool, calling our story "blatantly false", but Friday, Fire Commissioner Don Austin was singing a different tune.

"The member is not getting charged.  Yes, charge papers were served unbeknownst to me, and so they have been shredded.  That is not the issue," Austin said.  "We will accept the blankets.  We will figure out how we're going to distribute them, whether we put them at fire stations and notify the public that if they want a blanket, they can go to the fire station, or we'll put them on our ambulances and give them out as need be."

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