A couple of Toledo firefighters are in trouble for a recent incident at a downtown fire station, as well as for misuse of city equipment.
Toledo Fire and Rescue has handed down suspensions for two firefighters to be served at a later date after an incident back on Jan. 19 at Fire Station 5 downtown. The department has issued a 16-hour suspension to Joseph Zuber for conduct unbecoming of a firefighter and transporting a civilian in an emergency vehicle without permission. Brandon Walton has also been suspended for eight hours for transporting a civilian without permission.
An internal investigation showed the two provided a ride for three women to The Blarney downtown and then back to the fire station in a life squad. The investigation also revealed the women posed for pictures in fire trucks and one woman went down the station's fire pole.
"We wouldn't anticipate there would have been any interruption in service or any compromise in response capability. If they would have gotten a run, the folks would have to get out the rig. Absolutely it's inappropriate. It is exposing the city as far as liability is concerned," said Fire Chief Luis Santiago.
The fire chief says both firefighters now understand the seriousness of the situation.
"We had two paramedics that took some liberties at the time. They didn't feel it was any big deal. After reviewing it with them and discussing with them some of the perceptions and some of the things that could have happened, they now understand it was mistake in judgement," said Santiago.
Unrelated to those suspensions, the chief says the department is also reviewing the cases of two other firefighters: one who pleaded guilty to reckless operation of a vehicle and another who is facing numerous traffic-related charges, including drunk driving.
"There's one instance where it's still in the court system. We're looking for that to exhaust itself, see where we're at by then. The other one had just exhausted through the court system and we're going to start our investigation," said Santiago.