HOUSTON - "There’s no pulse he’s gone I said stop saying that and do something," Stacey Williams said while recalling her conversation with two HFD paramedics,
Williams knew her 14-year-old special needs grandson Jacah Jefferson wasn’t dead when the two paramedics showed up last January.
Jacah is nonverbal in a wheelchair and has cerebral palsy.
At five months he became a victim of the shaken baby syndrome.
The person responsible went to prison and Williams became his primary caregiver.
"I promised him when he was in his 10-day coma, I would never let anyone hurt him again when he was five months old," she said. "I made a 911 call and he got hurt. Who broke the promise?"
Williams told the two paramedics Jacah wasn’t dead and to do something. That's when a third paramedic showed up and performed CPR.
Jacah spent the next 31 days in the hospital.
"The vast majority of our employees approach every call with care and thoughtfulness," said Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena. "It didn’t occur in this situation and we’re going to correct that,"
"Like I told them I don’t have a problem with the Houston Fire Department EMTs because we’ve always gotten excellent service," said Williams. "You’ve got two rotten apples you are going to have to get rid of."
"The cases are still under appeal by the employees but I feel confident we took the right steps to try to correct that behavior," Pena said.
The Chief says if he would have fired the two paramedics instead of the seven-day suspensions he believes that decision would have been overturned.
"It wouldn’t serve the family well or anybody well to get the discipline overturned by an arbitrator because they felt it was too harsh," said Pena.
"I still do not feel great about a 7-day suspension," Williams said. "We spent 31 days in the hospital - seven unpaid days but did it hurt them?"
The incident Pena says has led to some retraining.
"When we stumble when we fall short of the expectations we are going to hold ourselves accountable," he said.