Suspensions Lifted for Firefighters Who Transported Toddler

March 8, 2016

Capt. James Kelley of the Falmouth Volunteer Fire Department in Virginia has been taken off suspension after he and a firetruck driver were put on administrative leave for transporting a toddler to the hospital instead of waiting for an ambulance to arrive. This violated a policy that states only ambulances can transport people to hospitals.

The toddler’s father, Brian Nunamaker, hailed the actions of Kelley and Sgt. Virgil Bloom as heroic and said they saved his daughter’s life after she began seizing. Kelley said he has also gotten messages of support from across the country and from the U.K. since the suspensions were first reported over the weekend, said ABC News.

Kelley and Bloom responded on Feb. 27 to a 911 call from Nunamaker, who said his 18-month-old daughter was having a seizure in his car. They arrived within three minutes, and Nunamaker handed the child to Kelley. Kelley checked on the whereabouts of the ambulance and received information that was somewhat unclear; he was told the ambulance might be 10 or 15 minutes away, ABC News reported.

Kelley said he knew that using a firetruck to transport someone was against the rules, but decided this emergency warranted an exception. The group arrived at the hospital 13 minutes later.

Kelley¬†said the young girl is doing well, and he has no regrets about breaking the rules to save a life.¬†“Ten out of 10 times, I’d do it again,” Kelley said.