According to an article by KSAT12, a 23-year-old is facing a third-degree felony charge of impersonating a public servant, more specifically a firefighter. The former Ata-Bexar volunteer firefighter offered his assistance at a grass fire on Pleasanton Road on the south side of town.
Officials reported that in July, former volunteer firefighter Christopher Anthony Ruiz and Brian Smith were speeding down a street to the grass fire. The duo was traveling in Smith’s black and white Crown Victoria equipped with flashing lights. The Bexar County Fire Marshal’s office said they used the red and white lights to get through a red light.
An Ata-Bexar volunteer firefighter said at the scene, Ruiz asked her if he and his friend could help with putting out the fire, and she told them they couldn’t.
After forensic investigators searched Ruiz’s and Smith’s phones, they found messages the two sent passing themselves off as firefighters. The two also posted pictures of the Ata-Bexar Volunteer Fire Department to social media, even after they were released as members, the affidavit said. Ruiz was released as a volunteer in March, no word yet as for a reason.
The report said Smith moved to California, and Ruiz was released from jail on a $15,000 bond.
We can all appreciate what these brave volunteer firefighters go through when dealing with a fire. Their hours of training puts them at an advantage and lets them safely save property and lives. But what happens when a former volunteer firefighter takes it upon himself to arrive at a fire and possibly puts lives in danger. He and his partner used illegal transportation and impersonated volunteers. There was no mention as to why they were no longer a part of the fire department, and it could be for various reasons. We are lucky a volunteer denied them their services, it is quite possible they could have put lives of pedestrians or other volunteers in danger. And it was irresponsible for them to be speeding down a road fully aware they were not volunteer firefighters anymore. They could have easily caused an auto accident on their way to the scene.