Is firing a veteran firefighter for incompetence that unusual? That’s the headline of this post about the termination of a long-serving Austin Fire Department firefighter because of this line in the article by Patrick George and Tony Plohetski on The Blotter at statesman.com.
Bob Nicks, president of the Austin Firefighters Association, said the firing marked the first time to his knowledge that a firefighter has been terminated for incompetence.
According to the article, the firefighter let go is Andrea Mote-Yale, who was fired Tuesday by Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr. The reporters cite paperwork they’ve obtained about the performance of Mote-Yale indicating the firefighter failed tests, did not take responsibility for her performance and that officers did not have faith in Mote-Yale’s abilities.
Previous deficiencies included being removed from calls due to poor fitness, becoming flustered and shutting down during incidents, improperly treating patients on three occasions, and requiring “constant supervision” despite her training, the memo said. Other firefighters refused to trade shifts with her due to safety concerns, the memo said.
“This is not a decision I made easily or without thoughtful consideration,” Kerr wrote. “But I simply cannot, and will not, put firefighters’ or citizens’ lives at risk.”
Nicks, the union president, was concerned that in this case Chief Kerr was using standards set for new firefighters and applying them to veterans without working with the union in setting a “reasonable incumbent standard”.
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Also on STATter911 …
- UPDATE: Detroit fire commissioner says banning firefighters from climbing aerial ladders will only minimally impact firefighters’ ability to extinguish fires. – February 4, 2013
- Arbitrator rules DC fire union prez unlawfully transferred by chief. Capt. Ed Smith says Kenneth Ellerbe ‘is about retaliation’. – October 30, 2012
- Termination letter for career firefighter is signed by 13 of his colleagues. – January 21, 2012
- Tampa fire investigator who had gun stolen twice is promoted to fire marshal. TV station confronts fire chief on Milton Jenkins’ record. – January 14, 2013
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