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Firefighter Pulls Woman From Burning Home, Is Suspended

Atlanta fire chief says Daniel Dwyer should have waited for the rest of his team
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2020 12:37 PM CST

(Newser) – Last June, Atlanta firefighter Daniel Dwyer responded to a house fire and was the first member of the search team ready to enter the burning structure—so he did. He pulled out Sally Skrine, alive, though the 95-year-old woman eventually died of her injuries. And in return for what many hailed as an act of heroism, Dwyer is being suspended without pay for four days, Fox 5 Atlanta reports. Authorities say Dwyer should have waited for other members of his team before going in. "You entered the structure without your crew members which is in immediate conflict with no freelancing, accountability and maintaining crew integrity," reads the notice of final adverse action complaint against Dwyer, obtained by 11 Alive.

Atlanta Fire Chief Randall Slaughter explains further in a statement, "the disciplinary process for the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department is designed to encourage safety and order. It also seeks to establish clear expectations in both emergency and non-emergency situations." He says Dwyer's actions, while brave, could have put himself and his fellow firefighters at risk if they couldn't locate him. Dwyer is appealing the decision, but the Washington Post reports that process can take years. Other firefighters are on Dwyer's side, with the local firefighters' union posting on Facebook: "Tragic event when a firefighter upholds his oath to risk his life for a citizen he has never met." Skrine was described as a pillar of the community who ran a food bank out of her basement. A stove burner that was left on is thought to have caused the fire. (Read more Atlanta stories.)

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