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Eleven years ago, 19-year-old Scotty Boyd, a firefighter at Virginia’s Iron Gate VFD, was convicted of arson. Boyd and Nicholas Brackenridge, a 21-year-old paid member of Clifton Forge VFD, were connected to a series of eight fires in Alleghany County and Botetourt County. The conviction put Boyd in jail for 30-days and the court ordered him pay $50,000 in restitution.
Boyd had long wanted to return as a firefighter but he was prevented because of his felony conviction.
A turning point came on Oct. 31, 2016, when Boyd received a letter from Governor Terry McAuliffe restoring his civil rights. This letter gave Boyd a second chance and a shot at returning to the fire department.
Nearly a decade after he disgraced his department, they welcomed him back. (Assistant Chief Kasey) Dudley said it was a difficult decision that no one took lightly, but it’s clear now that it was the right decision.
“We need guys, and we need guys that are physically able to go do the work. It’s hard, strenuous work. He’s willing to come out here and risk his life to go into a burning building,” Dudley said.
Now Boyd says each day, he works harder than the day before to prove to the community that taking a chance on him was worth it.