Volunteer firefighter with Down syndrome who quit over bullying is offered job back
An Illinois firefighter with Down syndrome who was forced to leave his department after enduring bullying at the hands of his coworkers has been offered his job back.
Jason Eagan, 33, became a volunteer firefighter in Sandoval, Ill., in 2016, after years of trying — a feat his relatives say he always dreamed of. Sadly, Eagan, who has Down syndrome, was picked on so severely by colleagues that he left his position in late 2018.
Eagan's sister, Kristin Sian, took to Facebook on Feb. 7 to lament her brother's treatment at the hands of his peers, and the story rapidly went viral with over 2,000 shares.
"My brother, Jason Eagan, has Down syndrome and became a fire fighter [sic] in Sandoval, IL," she wrote. "He responded to every single call and it has come to my knowledge he quit a few months back due to harassment from a fellow fireman. It disappoints and angers me that this was allowed and that a grown man bullied a fellow fireman simply because he’s different."
"My brother is an incredible person with an amazing drive and heart," she continued, adding that those responsible for her brother's bullying "should be ashamed."
Sian took to Facebook again on Monday to update friends that her family had been in touch with the Sandoval Fire Department, which had offered Eagan his job back. She added that the department said it would be taking precautions to ensure the issue would not happen again.
According to Eagan's mother, Darlene Eagan, her son "excitably accepted" his dream position back and is extremely happy to be back on the job. She also requested that those who were touched by Eagan's story refrain from trying to contact the Sandoval Fire Department, as not to interfere with emergency calls.