WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- An Atlanta firefighter is suspended for breaking protocol by venturing into a burning home alone to save an elderly woman from getting trapped inside.
- Despite risking his life, the 95-year-old woman died of her injuries while the firefighter was suspended for 48 hours without pay.
- According to the Atlanta Fire Chief, the decision to suspend the firefighter was a disciplinary move in a bid to ensure safety and order.
An Atlanta firefighter will not be paid for 48 hours after risking his life to rescue an elderly woman from a burning house.
NBC affiliate WXIA reported that Capt. Daniel Dwyer of the Atlanta Fire Department rushed into the burning home of 95-year-old Sallie Skrine and pulled her out. Despite his efforts, Skrine died at the scene due to her injuries, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
However, Dwyer’s daring act got him suspended for 48 hours without pay because technically, he violated protocol by entering a burning house alone.
“You entered the structure without your crew members which is in immediate conflict with no freelancing, accountability and maintaining crew integrity,” wrote a complaint obtained by WXIA citing a “notice of final adverse action”.
CNN reported that the suspension is effective from Feb. 13-16 following months of investigations.
In a statement, Atlanta Fire Chief Randall B. Slaughter told WXIA that the disciplinary move was done to “encourage safety and order” and set up clear expectations in both emergency and non-emergency situations.
However, Paul Gerdis, head of the Atlanta Firefighters Union denounced the decision and argued that Dwyer’s actions in June should be praised.
“Time is of the essence. Captain Dwyer did exactly what firefighters have sworn oath to do. We are absolutely against the decision to suspend him,” Gerdis told CNN.
Gerdis added that aside from the guilt of not being able to save the homeowner, Dwyer’s family has to deal with financial woes as a result of the unpaid suspension.
Dwyer is reportedly appealing the decision.
Meanwhile, Skrine’s friend Lindsey Jordan Sr. told CNN that Skrine would surely be angered by Dwyer’s suspension.
“If Sallie was alive, and she knew the firefighter who tried to save her was suspended, oh man, they would’ve gotten a piece of her mind.”
The Atlanta Fire Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.