The volunteer firefighter, a man named Tyler Roysdon, posted on Facebook that he would rather save a dog than a black person in a state of emergency. The post has since been deleted, but screenshots of his racist comment were captured.
Roysdon is a volunteer for Franklin Township. In his post, he wrote that if he had to choose between saving a dog or a black man from a burning building, the dog would be his priority because “one dog is more important than a million [expletive].”
According to the local TV station WHIO-TV, once the township officials discovered the post, they suspended Roysdon until further notice. There will be a disciplinary hearing to be held on September 27.
As he is a volunteer, Roysdon doesn’t actually get paid unless he is called to duty. Authorities have established that he will not be called to duty while he is suspended.
Officials released a statement on Thursday to confirm that he is suspended until the township’s board of trustees can reach a decision regarding his future.
The statement read, “Recently, a Franklin Township volunteer firefighter posted unacceptable remarks on social media. Upon gaining knowledge of this information, Fire Chief Steve Bishop immediately contacted the firefighter and directed the comments be removed.”
The statement continues, “The firefighter was suspended without pay until the Board of Township Trustees could meet to determine a course of action. Chief Bishop does not have the authority to terminate employees. Termination of any township employee requires a vote by the Board of Trustees.”
Roysdon was reached out to for comment but did not respond. However, a woman by the name of Joei Frame Roysdon spoke to WXIX-TV and claimed that she is Roysdon’s wife.
She stated that, “He [Tyler Roysdon] admitted that he said things that were wrong and apologized.” She also added, “Everyone deserves a second chance and is also entitled to their own opinion.”
Ryan Grubbs, who is another volunteer firefighter and worked with Roysdon said that Roysdon’s racist comments are antithetical to the values and beliefs of the department. He said, “We don’t pick and choose who needs us […] We’re volunteers, we’re doing this because we love the community.”