- The Washington Times - Monday, March 7, 2016

The two Fredericksburg firefighters who were suspended for violating protocol in efforts to save a non-responsive toddler were reinstated Monday after a public outcry.

Volunteer firefighters James Kelley and Virgil Bloom took 18-month-old Lena Nunamaker, who had suffered a seizure and was turning blue from lack of oxygen, to a hospital themselves using their fire truck. They also gave her oxygen from their equipment.

Their actions broke rules and the men were accordingly suspended, but they said over the weekend that they had no choice because the nearest ambulance was miles away.

On Monday, Stafford County Fire Chief Mark Lockhart reinstated the men, who are volunteers at the Falmouth station his department oversees.

“It is my desire to conclude this matter with the leadership at Falmouth and get them back to doing the good work of Stafford County Fire and Rescue,” Chief Lockhart said.

The decision was backed by Falmouth Fire Chief Christopher Smith, saying that he “would have done the exact same thing.”

“We understand policy, we understand protocol, we understand operating guidelines, but they are just that. They’re guidelines,” Chief Smith said.


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