MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Memphis Fire Department fired three personnel on Monday after an investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols revealed they “failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment on the victim,” according to the fire chief. The announcement comes after the Memphis Police Department terminated five officers on Jan. 18 and suspended a sixth on Monday. All five police personnel who were fired face several criminal charges, including second-degree murder.
Memphis authorities released four videos of the incident on the night of Jan. 7, when police tracked down Nichols, 29, following a traffic stop and battered him, according to footage of the encounter. He died three days later.
The Fire Department was dispatched to the scene at about 8:30 p.m. regarding a person who was pepper sprayed. EMT Robert Long and JaMicheal Sandridge arrived at the location where Nichols was seen handcuffed on the ground and leaning against a police officer. Lieutenant Michelle Whitaker, who drove the fire engine to the scene, remained in the vehicle, Fox News reported.
— Memphis Fire Department (@MEM_Fire) January 30, 2023
“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,” Fire Chief Gina Sweat said in a statement. “After their initial interaction with Mr. Nichols, they requested an ambulance to respond.”
The ambulance arrived about 15 minutes after it was summoned. The emergency personnel initiated patient care and transported Nichols to St. Francis Hospital, according to Sweat.
The fire chief said the investigation found Long, Sandridge and Whitaker violated numerous department policies and protocols. Hence, they were terminated, Fox reported.
“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.