MEMPHIS — Two Memphis Fire Department emergency medical workers and a driver have been fired over the events surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols.
Robert Long, EMT-Basic; JaMichael Sandrige, EMT-Advanced; and driver Lt. Michelle Whitaker were terminated after an internal investigation, Memphis fire Chief Gina Sweat announced Monday.
Fire officials said Long and Sandridge failed to conduct an “adequate patient assessment” of Nichols, according to The Associated Press. Whitaker, the driver of a fire engine that went to the scene, was terminated for violating department policy.
“Our investigation has concluded that the two EMTs responded based on the initial nature of the call (person pepper sprayed) and information they were told on the scene and failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment of Mr. Nichols,” Sweat said in a news release. “After their initial interaction with Mr. Nichols, they requested an ambulance to respond. Emergency Unit 28 was dispatched at 8:46 p.m., arrived on the scene at 8:55 p.m., initiated patient care and transported Mr. Nichols to St. Francis Hospital at 9:08 p.m.”
It was determined after an internal investigation that Long, Sandridge and Whitaker had violated multiple department policies and protocols. Sweat said they were fired as a result of that investigation.
“Their actions or inactions on the scene that night do not meet the expectations of the Memphis Fire Department and are not reflective of the outstanding service the men and women of the Memphis Fire Department provide daily in our community,” Sweat said.
Nichols, 29, died on Jan. 10, three days after video released by police showed officers beating him with a baton and punching and kicking him during a traffic stop. Five officers subsequently fired from the police department were charged last week with murder and other crimes in connection with Nichols’ death.
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