3 Memphis Fire employees terminated in Tyre Nichols investigation
by: David Royer
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two EMTs and a lieutenant with the Memphis Fire Department have been terminated for violating policy and protocol in their response to Tyre Nichols on Jan. 7.
EMT-Basic Robert Long, EMT-Advanced JaMichael Sandridge and Lt. Michelle Whitaker failed to make an adequate assessment of the patient when they arrived on the scene, the fire department said.
First Responder company Engine 55 was dispatched to a pepper spray call at 8:32 p.m. at Ross Road and Raines. They arrived at 8:36, and were directed by police to Ross and Castlegate, MFD said in a news release Monday.
They made the second scene and found Nichols handcuffed on the ground and leaning against a police vehicle at 8:41. The lieutenant remained inside the truck, while the two EMTs responded based on the information they’d been given about a pepper spray incident.
They requested an ambulance at 8:46, and that ambulance arrived nine minutes later. Nichols was taken to St. Francis Hospital at 9:08, MFD said.
Nichols died in the hospital three days later. Video released last week shows he suffered a severe beating and was stunned and pepper sprayed by officers before they leaned him against a vehicle.
Five police officers were terminated and charged with second-degree murder. A sixth officer and seventh officer have also been relieved of duty and are under investigation, MPD said Monday.
MFD records show Sandridge is a Fire Private II and joined MFD in Sept. 2019. Long was also a Fire Private II and joined March 2020. Whitaker joined in Jan. 1997.