Virginia firefighters James Kelly and Virgil Bloom did what they believed was in the best interest of a baby when they rushed her to a hospital instead of waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
Did the decision go against protocol?
Did it make the volunteer firefighters heroes in the eyes of the baby’s father?
On Monday, Stafford County Fire and EMS Chief Mark Lockhart announced that the two firefighters, who had been placed on leave, were reinstated.
“I want to make clear that the reason this situation came under review by our department is because of the way the patient was transported to the hospital, which involved a fire engine instead of an ambulance. This is a highly unusual occurrence for our department, and as we do in situations that appear to veer from our established practice, we initiated a review,” he said.
The firefighters were responding to a medical call on February 27.
The chief said the review found that at the time the fire truck “initiated transport,” a medic unit was more than 4 miles away and a basic life support ambulance was about 2 miles away.
Kelly, one of the firefighters, said he took the unresponsive baby in his hands, and knew what he had to do.
“I looked at the driver of the engine and I said, ‘Turn it around, we’re going to the hospital,'” he said.
The baby was taken to an area hospital and, according to her father, is at home now and doing well.
“We are extremely thankful they made the decisions they did, and that our daughter is back home with us doing well,” Brian Nunamaker said in a statement. “The actions of these men represent a dedication to their mission, and a deep concern of doing what is best for the people they are serving. In our eyes they are heroes.”