MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The three Memphis Fire Department employees who were fired after the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols have filed appeals.
During the City Council public safety committee meeting, Memphis Fire Chief Gina Sweat said she would ensure a thorough internal review of all EMTs and emergency personnel policies.
Many council members and activists alike have demanded broader substantial reforms in the near future.
MFD said EMTs Robert Long and JaMicheal Sandridge, and driver Lt. Michelle Whitaker, were terminated for violating “numerous MFD Policies and Protocols."
The Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board suspended the EMT licenses for Long and Sandridge earlier this month.
According to an earlier news release from the Memphis Fire Department, Sandridge and Long were dispatched on Engine 55 and arrived at the scene where Nichols was handcuffed on the ground at about 8:41 p.m. MFD leaders said the EMTs requested an ambulance but failed to do an adequate assessment of Nichols.
Matt Gibbs, an attorney with the Tennessee Department of Health, offered a more detailed assessment at the board meeting on Feb. 3, faulting Sandridge for failing to administer an IV or monitor Nichols' vital signs and faulting both men for failing to administer high-flow oxygen or offer any other meaningful aid.
Gibbs presented 19 minutes of footage captured from a pole camera, during which Nichols could be seen sitting slumped against the side of a patrol car. Long and Sandridge both approached carrying medical supply bags, but didn't aid Nichols for the duration of the footage, Gibbs said.
"Their patient was in obvious distress. I think that it’s obvious to even a layperson that he was in terrible distress and needed help, and they failed to provide that help," board member Sullivan Smith said after viewing the footage. "They were his best shot, and they failed to help."
Other board members made similar comments, and board member Dennis Rowe said there was "every reason to believe" that the lack of action may have contributed to Nichols' death.