By Shereen Siewert
A 25-year-old Weston man is accused of impersonating a firefighter during a July effort to rescue a missing boater north of Wausau, according to court documents.
Police say Keyiondra J. Smith-Chamness was out on bond ordered in a 2019 case involving exposing a child to harmful material when he donned a firefighter uniform and gear and arrived at a boat landing where Village of Maine rescue crews were working. Charges of impersonating a firefighter and bail jumping were filed Jan. 13 against Smith-Chamness in Marathon County Circuit Court.
According to court documents, Smith-Chamness sought employment with the fire department in early 2021 but was denied employment based on his residency. Police say Smith-Chamness intended to assist in the July 20 rescue effort but was turned away.
Police say Smith-Chamness is not employed with any area fire agency, but showed up randomly at the Village of Maine Fire Department after being turned down for employment as if he was a first responder. He once “snuck himself on one of the department’s vehicles and was transported to a scene unbeknownst to the crew on the truck that he was not a current member of the team,” according to a criminal complaint filed in the case.
Smith-Chamness, who is not in custody, will be summoned into court Jan. 26.