Loose Lips

Interim Fire Chief Wants Harsher Punishments for Firefighters Charged in Medric Mills’ Death

The secretive trial-board panels convened to hand out punishments to firefighters after the death of 77-year-old Medric Mills have delivered their punishments, but interim fire chief Eugene A. Jones isn't satisfied. Jones is so unhappy with what he calls the light punishment that he says he'll only accept them "begrudgingly."

Mills' death near a Rhode Island Avenue NE fire station last January became a symbol of dysfunction in D.C. Fire and EMS, with firefighters accused of ignoring pleas to help him and instead staying in their firehouse. While the lieutenant in the case retired before she could be punished, three other firefighters involved in the case received closed trial board reviews in June.

According to a D.C. Fire and EMS press release, one firefighter will receive a reprimand, one was suspended, and one was exonerated. DCFEMS spokesman Timothy J. Wilson declined to name the firefighters, and didn't know whether the judgments will be released publicly.

In a statement, Jones—who replaced embattled fire chief Kenneth Ellerbe in July—fumes that the firefighters got off easy.

“The disciplinary actions recommended are not severe enough," Jones says in the press release. "It’s completely unacceptable for these firefighters to not respond to a request for emergency medical services."

Wilson tells LL that the chief is "unhappy" about the "disappointing" rulings. Unluckily for him, though, there's no new discipline he can hand out now that the case has been ruled on by a trial board.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Tight Lips

    I applaud the interim Fire Chief for wanting harsher penalties for the departments neglect to a citizen in need of help.

    Just like our celebrities and political figures, fire fighters and police officers should be held to a higher standard for setting an example for our communities and offering that helping hand that we are programmed to believe that they provide.

    It's crazy how Fire Fighters & Police are looked upon as far more superior than the average citizen, but when in the wrong they somehow channel these "human down to earth, just like everybody else" feelings.

  • Buzy Bee

    It's a dayum shame and a disgrace. So the District residents just gonna die. It was their call of duty to save that man's life. If a dr. is at a restaurant and somebody chokes on a bone and he does nothing he can lose his license. I thought that was just standard practice. It was also trifling to allow Kellene Davis to retire and reap her full benefits. What kind of shiz-ny-e is that!!! Karma is a bitch and she will have his blood on her hands for the rest of her life. Enuff said.....

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