Fire Firefighter Who Allegedly Refused to Save Dying Teenager

Target: Albuquerque Fire Chief David Downey

Goal: Terminate firefighter who denied help to a teenager who was shot and dying.

A teenager who was trying desperately to save her friend’s life after he had been shot was told to “deal with it herself” by Albuquerque, New Mexico dispatcher and firefighter Matthew Sanchez after she called 911, according to reports. This is utterly unconscionable behavior and cannot be tolerated on the part of any first responder. Demand that this apparently heartless man be fired from the fire department as soon as possible.

Seventeen-year-old Jaydon Chavez-Silver was attending a party last June when he was shot by an unknown attacker. As he laid bleeding out on the ground, a friend of his called 911 and began to perform CPR on him to keep him alive. Unfortunately, Firefighter Sanchez was working dispatch that night.

The recording of the phone call is truly disturbing. The caller can be heard alternating between talking to Sanchez and Chavez-Silver, saying “I’m doing CPR as we speak. I’m keeping him alive. Just stay with me, okay, okay. There you go. Good job Jaydon.”

Sanchez can then be heard asking a number of times whether or not Chavez-Silver was breathing, to which the caller, understandably frustrated, replied “He’s barely breathing. How many times do I have to f*cking tell you?!” Apparently that was too snappy for Sanchez, who told the caller “Okay, you know what ma’am, you could deal with it yourself. I’m not gonna deal with this, okay?” Sanchez proceeded to hang up.

Reports indicate that paramedics had already been dispatched by the time Sanchez ended the call, but it was too late—tragically, Chavez-Silver did not survive. Sanchez is now under internal investigation for his handling of the call. Sign the petition below to demand that he be fired from the Albuquerque Fire Department if this investigation reveals that he truly did hang up on this desperate caller.


Dear Chief Downey,

I am writing you today regarding Matthew Sanchez and the ongoing investigation into the manner in which he handled the call about Jaydon Chavez-Silver. If your investigation reveals that Sanchez truly hung up on the person who called 911 trying to save that young man’s life, he needs to be fired without delay.

The fundamental basis of a first responder’s job is to be relied upon to save lives at a moment’s notice. Consequently it is expected that they do so, without pretense or ego. Thankfully the vast majority of first responders do this with pride.

The recorded call in question, however, seems to suggest that Sanchez cannot be trusted to do this. There is no excuse for the heartlessness it takes to tell a person fighting to save the life of a friend bleeding out from a gunshot wound to “deal with it yourself.” This is especially true when it comes from a first responder.

This incident suggests that Sanchez is not fit to serve in your department. If your investigation concludes that what is alleged to have happened did in fact transpire, I demand that you fire him from your department at once. The people of Albuquerque deserve better.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: United States Navy

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