Woman creates Facebook page in support of suspended firefighters

Woman creates Facebook page in support of suspended firefighters

FREDERICKSBURG, VA (WWBT/WTTG) - Someone created a Facebook page in support of the two Stafford County firefighters who were suspended for taking a toddler to the hospital in their fire truck.

The Facebook page called Reinstate Our Heroes Stafford was created for suspended firefighters Captain James Kelley and Sgt. Virgil Bloom. The woman who created the page told WTTG that she didn't know the firefighters, but she is an EMT in Stafford County. She said she started the page after so many people asked how to help the firefighters.

Kelley and Bloom, who both volunteer for the Falmouth Volunteer Fire Department in Fredericksburg, were the first to respond to the scene last Saturday when they were called for a child having a seizure. According to WTTG, Kelley asked where the nearest medic was, but he said he didn't get a response until asking a second time. He said the only information he got was "southbound on Route 1." Kelley also said he asked for mutual aid from Fredericksburg, but he said no one was dispatched.

Instead, the firefighters agreed to take matters into their own hands and take the child to Mary Washington Hospital in their fire engine. On their way to the hospital, Kelley said another ambulance requested to meet up with them at Falmouth Station, but Kelley said he denied the request because they were almost at the hospital.

The little girl's father, Brian Nunamaker, spoke about the incident Saturday. He said they were on their way home from running errands and decided to pull over and call 911 after realizing his daughter was having a seizure. He also said a passerby stopped to help.

Her condition worsened and was eventually transported to VCU Medical Center. "My wife and I are extremely grateful for the assistance provided by the first responders, 911 operator, medical staff at Mary Washington and VCU, and the passerby that stopped by to assist," Nunamaker told WTTG.

Nunamaker released a statement Saturday after learning the two firefighters were suspended for saving his daughter. "My wife and I feel terrible for the fallout that has happened to these two gentlemen."

Kelley said he and Bloom were suspended by the county because Kelley's fire engine is licensed as a "non-transport unit" and did not have the proper restraints that medic units have.

A Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson released a statement to WTTG saying the situation is under review, and therefore, the fire department could not comment.

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