Stolen valor or self-dispatching? Texas never-Trump elector explains 9/11 response

Watch Friday story from WFAA-TV

Previous coverage of this story

The Dale City Volunteer Fire Department in Prince William County, Virginia confirmed last (Friday) night that Chris Suprun was a member of the department on September 11, 2001. But the statement from Chief Christopher Hool also confirms there was no official response to the Pentagon by its members until 6:00 p.m. that evening.

Suprun, a Republican elector from Texas who announced he won’t vote for Donald Trump during Monday’s Electoral College vote, has said on a number of occasions, including yesterday, that he was a member of Dale City VFD when he responded to the Pentagon in the moments after American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon.

Suprun’s controversial position as an elector and as a critic of the President-elect have brought a great deal of scrutiny and attacks from those who oppose his views. On Thursday, WFAA-TV was the first mainstream news media outlet to question Suprun’s account of his actions on September 11. That story focused on an unidentified source who said Suprun’s claims are a case of “stolen valor.” That man, interviewed by reporter Jason Whitely, based his allegations on the fact that Suprun was not employed by the Manassas Park (VA) Fire and Rescue Department during 9/11. Suprun was hired by Manassas Park in October of 2001.

WFAA-TV may have keyed in on Manassas Park because Chris Suprun appears to be wearing a uniform from the department at various 9/11 related events. This includes throwing out the first pitch at Kauffman Stadium on September 11, 2014, as the Kansas City Royals hosted the Boston Red Sox (see the video above). Despite this, STATer911.com, so far, has seen no clear indication that Suprun ever claimed his response to the Pentagon occurred while he was employed by Manassas Park Fire and Rescue. In its initial story WFAA-TV did not mention Dale City VFD and only referred to it in a follow-up story on Friday.

While the statement from Dale City VFD Chief Christopher Hool rules out an official response by Suprun or any other Dale City volunteer on the morning of September 11, older articles indicate Suprun’s response was not “official.” A 2012 Philadelphia Inquirer column by Daniel Rubin says Suprun and another volunteer self-dispatched after hearing about the incident and provided EMS services in a parking lot of the Pentagon until 6:00 p.m. Suprun repeated some of that same information during a Reddit AMA on Friday.

At this point, we have not seen information from any fire or EMS agency that either officially confirms or disputes that Suprun and the other volunteer went to the Pentagon on their own and were put to work. In the stories we have seen, Suprun has not identified the other Dale City volunteer.

Here’s the statement last night from Chief Hool:

In response to an inquiry from the press regarding the membership status of Christopher Suprun, the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department can confirm Mr. Suprun was an active member in good standing from July, 2000 through June 2002. 

The official station records confirm no Dale City Volunteer Fire Department members were on duty from 6:00am to 6:00pm on September 11, 2001.  Therefore, no members of the department were involved in the initial response to the attack on the Pentagon in their capacity as a member of the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department.  However, members of the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department were part of the operation from 1800 hours on September 11th, 2001 until released by the Incident Commander.  In addition, members of the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department were involved in the initial response on the Pentagon in their capacities as public safety officials with other organizations.  However, the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department has no records upon which it may rely on to confirm or deny the times of service or specific nature of the involvement of these members.

The Dale City Volunteer Fire Department is located in Dale City, Virginia.  The department protects nearly 90,000 residents and visitors in a 27 square mile area from 4 fire stations.  The department responds to over 20,000 emergency calls for service a year.