May 13–A Cherokee County firefighter was arrested and fired after he allegedly called 911 to report smoke — a prank that interrupted fellow colleagues dining at a restaurant.
Clay Gridley, 33, called 911 shortly before 7 p.m. April 29 while he was on duty, according to Tim Cavender, fire department spokesman.
“Gridley called 911 to report a non-emergency false smoke odor investigation to inconvenience and cause another engine company to have to leave their dinner while dining at a local restaurant,” Cavender said in an emailed statement.
Fire Chief Tim Prather requested an internal investigation into the incident, which was turned over to the county’s Sheriff’s Office. On Wednesday, Gridley was arrested and charged with transmitting a false report of a fire and unlawful conduct during a 911 call, the Sheriff’s Office said. Gridley was released the same day after posting $2,000 bond.
Gridley, who joined the fire department in 2009, was fired, Cavender said.