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Mother tries to block rehiring of firefighter-EMT who fled hit-and-run

Lisa Purvis, whose son died in the crash, created a petition against the rehiring of Edward Ackerman


By EMS1 Staff

SYRACUSE, N.Y.  — A woman is fighting to block the rehiring of a firefighter-EMT who fled the scene of a hit-and-run crash that resulted in the death of her son.

Syracuse.com reported that Edward Ackerman was fired April 2017 when he was arrested for attempting to destroy evidence from a fatal crash that killed Seth Collier, 18.

According to police, Ackerman was driving behind Peter Rauch, who was driving drunk and hit and killed Collier.

Police said Ackerman fled the scene and unplugged surveillance cameras at an athletic club where he was president to hide that Rauch was in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Collier’s mom, Lisa Purvis, started a petition urging the city not to rehire Ackerman after he recently challenged his termination.

"He didn't do his job that night," Purvis said. "He worried more about helping his friend than helping an 18-year-old left in the road ... he does not deserve his job back."

Purvis added that Ackerman could have been saving the life of Collier in the four minutes that it took for an ambulance to arrive on scene.

"He just left my son on the side of the road not knowing whether he was dead or alive," she said.

City personnel director Robert Stamey said they have not changed their opinion about Ackerman’s firing since the decision was made.

"The city is defending and will work to continue to uphold its termination of Mr. Ackerman in 2017," Stamey said. "Because the matter is in arbitration, the city is not in a position to say more at this time."

A Syracuse Fire Fighters Association is providing a lawyer to Ackerman for the case, but stressed that it is only performing a legal obligation.

"The union is playing a role that it has to play with any and every member - that's a duty to represent across the board equally," FFA president Paul Motondo said. "Mr. Ackerman was a dues paying member and he's entitled to fair representation." 

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