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Firefighter suspended for saving 2 homes

Captain Randy Woodward was cited for allowing a volunteer firefighter drive a city-owned truck to fight a blaze

By FireRescue1 Staff

COWETA, Okla. — An Okla. fire capt. was suspended after helping to save two homes from burning down.

Green Country Fire Captain Randy Woodward was disciplined after allowing a volunteer firefighter to drive a city-owned flatbed fire truck to help fight a grass fire that was close to burning his home, according to News on 6.

Volunteer Firefighter Jerel Long was faced with a fast-moving fire that was coming dangerously close to burning his home. He called 911, but knew that the fire station was 10 miles away and decided to fight the fire himself with a water hose.

The fire department was reportedly stretched thin that day and Capt. Woodward arrived alone to Firefighter Long's call, according to the article.

With a second fire truck 10 minutes away, Capt. Woodward made the call to allow Firefighter Long to drive the flatbed fire truck he arrived in, while he fought the blaze from the back.

Despite saving not only Firefighter Long's home and those of his neighbors, Capt. Woodward was suspended for a day without pay because he violated a city policy by allowing Firefighter Long drive the vehicle.

"If he would have followed the policy, we would have been sifting through ashes," Firefighter Long told the station.

The Professional Firefighters of Oklahoma have stepped in to help Captain Woodward appeal the suspension.

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