Firefighter accused of taking fire truck on drunken joy ride
FRANKLIN COUNTY, Kan. — A volunteer firefighter allegedly took a fire truck on a drunken joy ride and then apparently called dispatchers to complain about another firefighter following her.
Investigators say the sirens were blaring with Chelsea Matthew behind the wheel. The 24-year-old woman was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.
The Lincoln-Ottawa-Harrison fire district keeps their trucks locked up. Matthew had access to the fire district’s rig that is used to fight grass fires.
As she traveled down a road, Matthew apparently used the emergency radio to reach dispatchers, according to dispatch recordings obtained by KCTV5.
The recording captures a 911 dispatcher asking the woman what her emergency was.
“There is another firefighter on my tail and he’s trying to (expletive) kill me,” the woman allegedly radioed back.
Dispatchers got Matthew’s exact location from her and sent a deputy to investigate.
“The emergency is that an LOH firefighter was following me. I was at the station on standby. The LOH fire followed me to standby and was harassing me,” she allegedly said.
The dispatch recordings also capture the woman, who is apparently Matthew, telling dispatchers, “The LOH firefighter is now not following me.”
A Franklin County Sheriff’s Office pulled Matthew over near 23rd Street and South Eisenhower Road. In addition to the DUI charge, the prosecutor is considering filing a charge related to the theft of the fire truck.
The fire truck was returned without any damage.
Matthew has been dismissed from her duties as a volunteer firefighter. She was released from jail after posting a $1,000 bond.