Firefighter quits – says he didn’t like risk discussion with chief after rescue

Watch WCIV-TV/ABC 4 interview with Cameron Day

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Cameron Day resigned his job as a firefighter in Charleston, South Carolina on August 31 because he didn’t like his discussion with Fire Chief John Tippett after a rescue Day made during a July 14 house fire.

Day went into the burning home without SCBA and his coat unbuttoned to go after a woman who rushed in trying to rescue her cat about 90-minutes into the fire. Both Day and the woman were hospitalized.

Lindsey Maloney, WCIV-TV/ABC 4:

A Charleston firefighter is speaking about why he quit the department after saving a woman’s life. He says he didn’t like the way he was treated by the chief after the large fire at a historic home on Smith Street in July.

Fire crews from several departments rushed to the 3-alarm fire and battled flames and smoke for several hours.

“We were there for about 90 minutes, and we’re told that we could take our air packs off. Because of that, we went into a defensive posture, meaning nobody can go in or out of the building because it’s no longer safe for anyone to be in it,” former Charleston firefighter Cameron Day said.

A woman came home to find flames raging through all three levels of the house. She ran inside to try and save her cat.

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Michael Majchrowicz, The Post & Courier:

After the rescue, Charleston Fire Chief John Tippet applauded Day for his actions but then cautioned him against entering a burning structure without all his equipment.

To make his point, Tippet instructed Day to write a short essay about the department’s training practices.

“To be clear, Firefighter Day did not receive a reprimand for his brave actions at the Smith Street fire. In fact, he was nominated for a Medal of Valor prior to his resignation from the department,” Charleston spokesman Jack O’Toole said in a statement.

Day also said that, while the chief didn’t formally reprimand him, he felt slighted by the chief’s response.

As a normal part of reviewing the incident, Chief Tippett met with Day, congratulated him for saving Ms. Carpenter’s life, and cautioned him on the dangers of entering a burning structure without wearing the proper equipment, O’Toole said.

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