We have covered some pretty bizarre cases here at Fire Law Blog – but certainly none come close to being as disturbing as this one. An Alabama fire chief has been accused of improperly disposing of two premature (approximately 20 week) still born fetuses at an emergency scene.
During the early morning hours of July 23, 2010, Odenville Fire Chief David Davis along with another paramedic responded to a 911 call where a young woman who was 20 weeks pregnant was in excruciating pain, and suffered a miscarriage. The emergency workers, in a rush to take the woman to the hospital, allegedly flushed the fetuses down a toilet.
The fire chief defended his action saying that “We followed the state protocol issued by the medic who was in charge at the scene.”
The family of the woman reported the matter to the St. Clair County Sheriff who acted immediately to retrieve the fetuses from the septic tank. They were cleaned, forensically examined, and turned over to the family for proper burial.
The forensic examination concluded that the fetuses were born dead and even if the delivery had happened in the hospital would not have survived.
The woman and her family are deeply distressed by the incident and plan to proceed with legal action.
The fire chief was placed on administrative leave immediately after the incident, and was terminated by the town council on August 23, 2010.
St. Cloud County Sheriff Terry Surles has announced plans to convene a Grand Jury in October to review the entire matter.