Fire Chief Suspends Captain For Running In Burning Building To Save 95 Year Old
Atlanta, GA – An Atlanta firefighter was suspended for breaking fire department policy when he ran into a burning home to retrieve a 95-year-old woman.
The incident occurred in June of 2019 on Collier Drive in northwest Atlanta, Statter911 reported.
Atlanta Fire Captain Daniel Thomas Dwyer went into a burning home to rescue 95-year-old Sallie Skrine even though department policy dictated that he wait until more firefighters arrived at the blaze before he attempted a rescue, WAGA reported.
Atlanta Professional Firefighters Association President Paul Gerdis said Capt. Dwyer made a “split-second” decision to try to affect the rescue on his own because he believed the fire was so intense that every second counted to try and save the elderly woman’s life.
Gerdis said that Capt. Dwyer had to crawl across the home’s front porch and through the fire to get into the house, where he used a piece of equipment to locate Skrine’s body lying on the dining room floor, WAGA reported.
The fire captain pulled the elderly woman to safety but paramedics were unable to revive her.
WAGA news footage of the incident showed the heroic firefighter coming out of the blaze carrying Skrine and a group of firefighters meeting him on the steps of the home to assist with the rescue.
But Atlanta Fire Rescue Chief Randall Slaughter didn’t see Capt. Dwyer’s actions that night as heroic.
Instead, Chief Slaughter said the fire supervisor had done his job in an “unsafe manner” and docked his pay for 48 hours, WAGA reported.
The fire chief refused to comment on the suspension and released a statement that said he couldn’t discuss individual disciplinary cases.
“And now captain Dwyer is facing a 48-hour suspension without pay for doing the actions that is stereotypical of firefighters – running into burning buildings and saving the public,” Gerdis complained to WAGE. “It sends the wrong message.”
He pointed out to WAGA that while it was sad that Skrine did not live, the elderly woman wouldn’t have even had a chance of surviving if Capt. Dwyer hadn’t bravely headed into the blaze to find her when he did.