Firefighter reportedly found with heroin; neighbors react - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Firefighter reportedly found with heroin; neighbors react

(Photo Source: SCSO) (Photo Source: SCSO)

James Anderson, 45, served as a firefighter for Station #35, and had been with the Memphis Fire Department since November 2002.

Neighbors who knew him describe him as a family man and say they're shocked he landed behind bars .

"Because just like police officers or anyone else that's here for the community, they should be on top," said neighbor Casey Wright. "They should have control over their lives."

It came as a shock to Wright that the man responsible for saving lives was found unconscious, with a syringe in his lap and two packages of heroin in his van — all while wearing an MFD shirt.

It reportedly happened just 15 minutes down the road from Anderson's own station .

Sources say Anderson suffered from a back injury and from there, his life started to take a turn. They say his house went up for sale and he started to have major family problems .

"You don't have to be the greatest citizen but you should be responsible. Especially when you're out there trying to save other people," added Wright.

The MFD does random drug testing that is generated by a computer. Fire officials say regular drug tests for employees are not mandatory, but if there is reasonable suspicion they will be tested. MFD does have an employee assistance program in place for those struggling with addiction .

Outside of his recent arrest, Anderson doesn't appear to have any other run-ins with the law.

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