2 Va. volunteer firefighters use fire engine to save baby girl after seizure — Then their bosses suspended them for it

Two Virginia volunteer firefighters who rushed a baby girl to a hospital — likely saving her life as she suffered from a seizure — have been suspended for one week and counting for using their fire engine for the heroic act.

“It’s taken a toll on me,” Captain James Kelley, one of the suspended saviors, told the Daily News on Sunday. He and Sgt. Virgil Bloom, who serve the Falmouth Volunteer Fire Department in Fredericksburg, have been suspended for eight days, with no idea how long it will continue.

“It hurts. It’s not only hurting us, it’s hurting the citizens as well, because we’re not staffed enough all the time. It’s taken a toll on a lot of things.”

The punishment came from Stafford County Fire & Rescue, which said the fire engine is licensed as a “non-transport unit” and can’t be turned into an an ad hoc ambulance, Fox 5 DC reported.

But the department never formally charged the unpaid firefighters with any wrongdoing, or gave them any idea how or when their suspensions could end, according to Fire Chief Christopher Smith.

“I absolutely object to it,” Smith told the Daily News about the suspensions.

Capt. James Kelley and a colleague were suspended from their volunteer positions after saving a baby girl's life.WTTG

Capt. James Kelley and a colleague were suspended from their volunteer positions after saving a baby girl’s life.

“They haven’t done anything and they’re in this limbo status.”

The department was not immediately available for comment.

Kelley and Bloom were the first ones of the scene after a call about an 18-month-old girl having a seizure near a McDonald’s last Saturday. Kelley said he thought it might be at least 10 minutes before anyone else arrived, so he chose to take the girl to the hospital himself.

While driving there, Kelley said he asked for the location of the nearest ambulance twice, but never got a straight answer.

The girl was put on oxygen in the fire and arrived at a hospital 13 minutes after the call came in, Kelley said. She survived the ordeal and is expected to fully recover, according to Fox 5 DC.

But it seems that wasn’t enough to excuse the license lapse.

The firefighters were suspended from the Falmouth Volunteer Fire Department in Fredericksburg, Va. (above) for using a fire engine for life-saving duties it is not licensed for.GOOGLE MAPS

The firefighters were suspended from the Falmouth Volunteer Fire Department in Fredericksburg, Va. (above) for using a fire engine for life-saving duties it is not licensed for.

The girl’s father said in a statement he and his wife “feel terrible for the fallout that has happened to these two gentlemen.”

“They simply had the best interests for our daughter’s care in mind,” Brian Nunamaker said.

“We are extremely thankful they made the decisions they did.”

When reached Sunday, Kelley — who said he is a fourth-generation firefighter — was in the firehouse. He said he was still allowed to do “paperwork and administrative stuff,” but is banned for now from doing anything else.

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0 thoughts on “2 Va. volunteer firefighters use fire engine to save baby girl after seizure — Then their bosses suspended them for it

  1. My late husband was a volunteer firefighter for 30 years. he put up with a lot of crap from the paid men and the higher up people. The volunteers were the fist to enter a burning building while the paid just stood around. It is not fair that these guys should be suspended. They did what they thought was right. If it would have been a paid driver nothing would have been said about this.
    Hurray for the volunteers who really cared and did a brave thing.

  2. reinstate the firefighterx, Engines, Trucks answer Squads have been used as transport vehicles in man departments when needed and appropriate. Our primary purpose today is EMS and when seconds mean the difference between life and death you use what’s at hand to save a life. The engine may not have been licensed, it may not have been the right vehicle but it may have been the appropriate vehicle with which to save the child’s life.

    Suppression vehicles have been used a number of times in my department by both the paid and volunteer crews when needed. A life was saved that’s the job. Give those two a medal and reinstate them.

  3. this is sad he did save the childs life they should not be suspended maybe a slap on the hand i do know laws are in place for all emergencies even as a civilian but why punish them severe just a slap on hand say dont use fire truck as ambulance

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