Fire Lt. Kellene Davis, on duty during Cecil Mills heart attack, gives first exclusive interview
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJLA) - With her attorneys at her side, D.C. Fire Lt. Kellene Davis gave her first extensive interview since the tragedy of January 25 when Cecil Mills, a longtime D.C. government employee, collapsed with a heart attack across from the fire station where Davis was in charge, and no one came out to help him.
If [I] had known someone was in distress across the street, I would have been over there immediately," Davis told ABC7 D.C. Bureau Chief Sam Ford.
“I had no idea that someone was actually having a heart attack,” she continued. "I am basically disturbed by what had transpired and the fact that Mr. Mills lost his life and I wish that help could have been given, rendered to him sooner."
According to a report put out by the city, the first came call into 911. A paramedic engine company arrived 10 minutes later.
Davis, who went before a trial board before she retired last month, insisted that by the time she found out what was going on, the ambulance was already there.
"I went to the front and I noticed....an ambulance was already on the scene," Davis told ABC7.
There were clearly communication issues inside the firehouse, however. Two people allegedly approached rookie firefighter Remy Jones, who called on a PA that was not on.
Another firefighter claims he went to Davis' bunk room and told her about the incident across the street. She says she asked for an address.
When asked why, Davis speculates that when the firefighter saw units across the street, he didn't bother to come back to her with an address. Then, she walked to the bay doors and saw the units herself.
If this is true however, that would constitute a glaring omission from the city’s report. According to attorney Donna Rucker:
"If you are going to look at the fact that she said, 'Get me an address,' whether people find that to be an appropriate comment or not, the ultimate question is did that particular comment result in a delay for help or assistance? I think the Mills family would like to know that it did not."
It should also be noted that per policy, Davis was supposed to make sure the incident was written up in the Fire Hall’s office journal, and tell her superior about the incident. However, the department says she did neither, and was brought up on neglect-of-duty charges. Davis retired before a punishment, if any, could be issued.
Davis has expressed condolences to the Mills family for the loss of their loved ones, and wants people to know that she's "not a monster."
"I feel bad because that's not how I am," she said.