Former Columbia Township, Michigan on-call firefighter Michael Freislinger told WOOD-TV the night of a deadly crash where a woman and two children died he “was not acting as a firefighter” when he went to the scene. He claims he was a just a good Samaritan who happened to hear of the accident on his scanner and went to help out law enforcement or medics in any way he could. Freislinger says he didn’t have any gear with him.
Freislinger told reporter Ryan Takeo he is now considering legal action against the Columbia Township Fire Department for firing him for violating department protocal that only allows the chief, assistant chief and captain to go directly to the scene of an incident instead of the firehouse. The firehouse was 9.2 miles away from Freislinger while the scene of the November 13 wreck in Van Buren County’s Geneva Township was half that distance.
Citing policy, the department’s chief did not comment on the story for WOOD-TV.
“I heard all this stuff going on the police scanners — that there were children involved and there were bodies all over the place. So I went to the scene and gave a hand, whether it be with traffic with the police or CPR with the medics on scene,” said Frieslinger.
Freislinger admitted he has gone straight to scenes before and was on probation violating other department rules, all of which he disputes.
He said he doesn’t want his job at Columbia Township back. “Just a clean slate so I can put in my applications in other departments,” he said.
Freislinger went to Tuesday evening’s township board meeting to try and get his record cleared. He said the township supervisor told him the board is investigating.
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