Chesterfield Fire Department activates team to investigate death of young fire recruit

Local News

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)– The Chesterfield Fire Department has activated a team to investigate the death of a fire recruit who passed away last month.

According to Chesterfield fire, a fatality review team is now in place to look into the death of Tyvaughn Eldridge, a recruit with the department who passed away after a medical emergency during physical training in early July.

Timothy McKay, Deputy Fire Chief for Chesterfield Fire and EMS, said Eldridge started his morning on July 1, with stretching and exercises. He then went on a group jog with his recruit class, where he suffered a medical emergency. Eldridge was taken to the hospital, where he passed away two days later on the morning of July 3.

McKay told 8News, the department is still in mourning after the tragedy and continues to feel the effects.

“We continue to grieve as a group and with his family,” McKay said.

After Eldridge passed away, the child said the department immediately initiated the fatality review team. The group is made up of people from multiple jurisdictions and backgrounds, such as medicine and even human resources. They are tasked with looking into the circumstances surrounding Eldridge’s death.

“That involves everything from his hiring and onboarding process, the vetting process that got him with our agency, up to and including the events of the morning of the medical emergency he suffered while on duty,” McKay said.

The fire chief said there are many factors to consider and the team is going to be diligent.

“It’s important to us that it be as thorough and comprehensive as it possibly can be,” McKay said. “I think part of what naturally we’re looking at is updates to policies, procedures or practices that could be made or might be beneficial.”

Chesterfield Fire and EMS is currently waiting on Eldridge’s medical reports. The final report will be released when the review is finished. There is no timeline set for how long the review will take.

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