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Stafford Fire and Rescue cited for transporting toddler in fire truck

Posted at 11:23 PM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 23:23:06-04

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — The State Department of Health has cited Stafford County Fire and Rescue for several violations stemming for a February incident where two volunteer firefighters transported an 18-month-old girl in a fire truck.

The department cited their decision saying, transporting someone in a non-transport licensed vehicle is against state law.

The four violations were for: nontransport response vehicle specifications, adequate response staffing, attendant-in-charge authorization and nontransport rescue vehicle staffing.

Capt. James Kelley and Sgt. Virgil Bloom were placed on administrative leave after the incident, which the department said was normal protocol while a matter is under review.

The suspensions sparked outrage from some who thought the fireman made the right choice in the situation.

The fire department reinstated the firefighters on March 7.

Kelly said he Bloom decided to rush the infant to the hospital in the fire engine because other first responders would have taken much longer and that delay could have put the child’s life at risk.

Kelley said he stands by his decision.

“I would not hesitate, I would do the exact same thing 100 percent 10 times out of 10,” Kelly told WUSA. “I sleep well at night knowing I provided good care to that young lady.”

The Stafford Fire department said they will improve communication training and certification.

Stafford Fire and Rescue Chief Mark Lockhart released a statement that said in part:

“We want to ensure that we always have trained, certified personnel on the scene who can provide the appropriate medical assistance in any emergency situation.”