Firefighter Suspended 48 Hours Without Pay for Attempting to Rescue Woman from House Fire
"If Sallie was alive, and she knew the firefighter who tried to save her was suspended, oh man, she would be wound up," said a friend of the late Sallie Skrine
An Atlanta firefighter who rushed into a burning house to try and save the life of an elderly woman has been suspended without pay.
Capt. Daniel Dwyer of the Atlanta Fire Department didn’t hesitate when he ran into Sallie Skrine’s home as it went up in flames in June, NBC affiliate WXIA reported.
Though Dwyer was able to pull the 95-year-old woman out of the house, she died at the scene of her injuries, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Despite risking his life to save Skrine, Dwyer has since been suspended for 48 hours without pay for his efforts, as he technically broke protocol by entering the burning home alone, WXIA reported.
“You entered the structure without your crew members which is in immediate conflict with no freelancing, accountability and maintaining crew integrity,” according to a “notice of final adverse action” complaint obtained by the outlet.
The suspension came following a months-long investigation, and is effective from Feb. 13-16, as firefighters typically work 24-hour shifts, CNN reported.
Atlanta Fire Chief Randall B. Slaughter told WXIA in a statement that the disciplinary process is in place to “encourage safety and order,” and also makes clear the expectations of firefighters in emergency and non-emergency situations.
Still, Atlanta Firefighters Union President Paul Gerdis told CNN that Dwyer had to move quickly, and that he was ready to go into the home before the rest of his team had even finished getting on their gear and tools.
“Time is of the essence. Captain Dwyer did exactly what firefighters are sworn oath to do. We are absolutely against the decision to suspend him,” Gerdis said. “Not only does he have to live with the guilt of not being able to save the homeowner, but now he and his family have to deal with the financial repercussions of not getting paid for 48 hours just for trying to save someone’s life.”
Dwyer is reportedly appealing the suspension.
Meanwhile, Skrine’s friend Lindsey Jordan Sr. told CNN that she was the kind of woman who would have been angered by Dwyer’s suspension.
“If Sallie was alive, and she knew the firefighter who tried to save her was suspended, oh man, she would be wound up,” he said. “They would’ve gotten a piece of her mind. She would’ve come knocking on my door and taken me with her to the fire department complaining.”
A spokesperson for the Atlanta Fire Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.