Colo. Capt. Jailed Trying to Aid Victim

LEADVILLE, Colo. -- The Leadville mayor and fire chief are blasting deputies who briefly jailed and cited a fire captain for trying to aid a domestic violence victim at the Lake County Sheriffs Office. Underlying...

The fire chief was outraged that his captain was jailed for trying to help a patient.

"It's reprehensible," Harvey told Thursday.

"This is what we're all about is being there to render aid, to assist and care," Harvey said. "So this could have been more appropriately handled had my crew been allowed to begin the basic life support and stabilization procedures on this patient. And then taken care of (the jurisdictional dispute) later."

Firefighters are vowing a protest rally Monday.

Preventing a first responder from administering care to a victim is unforgivable," International Association of Fire Fighters 9th District Vice President Randy Atkinson said in a statement. "The Lake County Sheriffs Department should issue an immediate apology to the victim and to the Leadville Fire Department, and the deputy whose terrible judgment led him to arrest Captain Dailey should step down because he is unfit to serve the public."

"This frontier justice is an abuse of power, Atkinson added. "The sheriffs department is free to disagree with us, but he is not free to arrest those who disagree with him."

Fire union leaders noted that the deputy who cited Dailey is involved in training sheriff's staff to become firefighters.

Without question, the arrest of Captain Dailey by Deputy James -- a fired volunteer firefighter who is training members of the sheriffs department to become firefighters -- stems from the sheriffs anger over our resistance to his attempted takeover of the Leadville Fire Department, Leadville Local 869 President Zac Pigati said.

As a result of this incident, a city police officer will escort fire crews on all their calls, the mayor said.

Elliott called detaining Dailey "a real abuse of police powers and an abuse of dispatch protocols that are being used as a political tool."

Elliott stressed that the protocol is to have fire medical crews respond to emergencies at the county jail, adding that the sheriff cannot unilaterally change the protocol.

The mayor said sheriff's dispatcher's reluctance to call fire EMT's may have contributed to one death.

"We had an incident where a ladys dad was visiting (Leadville) and had a heart attack," Elliott said. "She called 911 and she was doing CPR." Sheriff's dispatchers did not dispatch fire department "until much later."

"A sheriff deputy only responded. By the time an ambulance got there, the guy had died," the mayor said.

The sheriff wants to cross-train his officers so they can also provide fire and paramedic service, the fire union statement said.

But fire union officials said the plan to have one person do both jobs known as a public safety officer -- "has been widely discredited and has failed in communities throughout North America because of the difficulty training one person to do such diverse jobs."

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