Laurel County Fire Department

Civil action stems from October 2014 junior firefighter program event

Three Laurel County firefighters are feeling some heat of a different kind after an alleged in- cident involving a BB gun took place during the department’s Junior Firefighter program that left one minor injured.

According to a lawsuit filed in Laurel Circuit Court on April 6 by Vickie Jones of East Bernstadt, David Blake Jones was participating in the Laurel County Fire Department’s Junior Firefighter Pro- gram on Oct. 25, 2014 where he received a permanent eye injury. Vickie Jones subsequently filed the motion earlier this week, holding all three responsible in addition to the Laurel County Fire Department itself.

As part of the program, participants stayed overnight at the firehouse, located at 911 TLC Lane in London near Ky. 80, to learn more about the life of a firefighter. Chief Rodney Gay and Lt. Trevor Allen were reportedly supervising the event.

According to the lawsuit, it was at this time that firefighter Austin Prewitt left the firehouse to obtain a CO2 powered BB gun from his truck.

“The defendant, Austin Prewitt, then proceeded to shoot [Jones] with the weapon,” reads the civil suit. “In the process of shooting [Jones], Prewitt chased him upstairs. Chief Rodney Gay and Lieu- tenant Trevor Allen never took any action to pre- vent Prewitt from engaging in such reckless activity or to stop such reckless activity once it began. During the relevant time, Chief Rodney Gay and Lieutenant Trevor Allen did not take any steps to supervise and/or protect the minor in their custody and control.”

According to the lawsuit, Prewitt’s horseplay with the BB gun ended in shooting Jones in the eye, “thereby causing permanent physical damage.” Jones also seeks to incur future medical expenses and physician expenses. In addition, the report states that the injury caused “pain, suffering, mental anguish and inconvenience,” as well as the “suffered enjoyment of life,” and “loss of quality of life.”

The report also argues that Jones will not be able to work in certain fields due to the injury, thus asking for further compensation. For these alleged actions, Jones filed demands that included a court summons, judgment against the defendants in an amount determined by past, present and future physical pain, suffering and inconvenience, future medical expenses, impairment of the ability to earn money in the future, and other court-caused expenditures.

Phone calls to Jones’ lawyer, Bryan K. Sergent, from the firm from Hamm, Milby & Ridings, PLLC, were not returned by press time Thursday morning.

In addition, neither Gay, Allen nor any other members of the Laurel County Fire Department was available for comment as of press time on Thursday.

SBELZER@SENTINEL-ECHO.COM

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