Politics
Nurse defends Calgary Flames H1N1 queue-jumping

Witness Michelle Bosch leaves the Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry in Calgary, Alberta, on January 14, 2013.

Credits: Mike Drew/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency

BILL KAUFMANN | QMI AGENCY

CALGARY - One of two staffers fired after providing private vaccinations for the Calgary Flames said she didn't think she'd done anything wrong.

Nursing manager Debbie Hyman told a queue-jumping inquiry Monday that vaccinating the Flames among a chaotic, angry crowd enduring long lineups at a mall clinic was unthinkable.

"That didn't even enter my mind as a possibility," said Hyman, adding she felt unsafe enough due to a frustrated crowd's hostility. "I was threatened, trying to do crowd control, there were fights ... I was just bombarded."

The day after about 150 people - Flames players, Flames staff and their families - received the H1N1 vaccine at their team doctor's office, a vaccine shortage was announced and public clinics temporarily closed.

Hyman was fired, along with a superior who she said had tacitly approved the injections.

"I really believed I was doing my job. It really seemed the most efficient way," she said. "We were vaccinating everybody and everybody was the Flames."

Nurse Michelle Bosch, who helped inoculate the Flames party, also defended the decision made by her superiors.

"When I saw the media reports, I was shocked by the response - we had full permission to do this," Bosch told the inquiry, adding she came up with the idea. "If the Flames would have showed up, the lines would have been slower."

The two women's then-boss, Lori Anderson, said upper management was unaware of the private injections until afterwards.

She said having the Flames attend a public clinic would have improved the morale of others.

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