Family and friends remembered a Virginia teenager this weekend who drowned a year ago after a series of transferred 911 calls delayed rescue crews finding him.
Music and prayer led a celebration on Sunday at Riverside High School to remember 16-year-old Fitz Thomas of Loudoun County.
His mother, Pastor Michelle Thomas, said it was about keeping his memory alive and advocating for change.
“There’s a part of negligence and a part of ineptness and lack of training and care that really played a part in Fitz being denied access to on time emergency services,” Thomas said.
Fitz would have graduated in a couple of weeks.
Three days of events over the weekend included a block party, a memorial walk, a headstone dedication and a celebration service honored his life.
“It was just a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful time,” Thomas said.
She said she wants to see more transparency in the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue policy changes.
“It’s just unfortunate. We could do better, we deserve better,” Thomas said. “I hope that his life is the catalyst for policy change. It is not enough to hope for policy change, we have to get it.”