WRC-TV/NBC 4 reporter Mark Segraves is as least the third reporter this week who has had the accuracy of his reporting questioned in statements released by DC Fire & EMS Department Chief Kenneth Ellerbe. Segraves had reported late Friday afternoon that three firefighters, including a lieutenant who had done battle before with the chief, face possible disciplinary action for appearing in uniform at an event with President Barack Obama. A few hours later this statement from Chief Ellerbe was posted on the TV station’s website:
Contrary to reports in local media, the DC Fire and EMS Department is not considering any disciplinary action against uniformed personnel for appearing alongside President Obama. At the request of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, DC FEMS is simply reviewing its internal protocols for such appearances to ensure that both the Department and its employees are fully informed.
We fully support the efforts of President to highlight the essential and life saving work that our first-responders do every single day, and welcome his invitation for our members to participate. We’re exceedingly proud of the men and women that wear the DC FEMS uniform, and thank the President for his support.
If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because just 24 hours earlier Chief Ellerbe called into question the actions of reporters on two other stories. On Thursday evening, communications director Lon Walls sent out a pair of statements from Chief Ellerbe saying news reports on sexual harassment allegations at the Training Academy and on the death of a man on New Years at the time of an ambulance shortage were both inaccurate.
Also interesting, is a public Twitter conversation Chief Ellerbe had Friday evening with another reporter who covers the department, Andrea Noble of The Washington Times. Here it is:
This conversation ended with this Tweet from Chief Ellerbe to reporter Noble:
maybe you should schedule some time in our office to establish a foundation for accurate information as some others have done?
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Also on STATter911 …
- Three DC firefighters face discipline over appearing with President Obama without authorization. One of those in trouble publicly opposed Chief Kenneth Ellerbe’s uniform policy. – February 22, 2013
- DC Update: Police union says no to Mayor Gray’s event because of fire chief’s White House flap. Councilmember wants IG to probe cadet harassment charge. – February 26, 2013
- ‘The fire chief needs to be careful in his personnel actions’. Advice from DC Council Chairman after ruling that Chief Kenneth Ellerbe retaliated against union president. – November 1, 2012
- DC update: Firefighters vote no confidence in Chief Kenneth Ellerbe. Still has support of mayor & deputy mayor but expected to face tough questioning at hearing this week. – March 26, 2013
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