Dealing with excessive budgets cuts San Bernardino Interim Fire Chief Paul Drasil called it quits and went on leave until his official retirement date April 15. The 53-year-old Drasil has been on the department since 1986 and has been the interim chief for less than a year. But the chief did not ride off quietly into the sunset.
Citing a lack of support from both the City Council and union leadership as reasons for quitting, Drasil outlined it all in a scathing letter to Mayor Pat Morris.
Here are excerpt from the letter in an article by Ryan Hagan atThe Sun, but I encourage you to read the entire article and the letter to get the full context:
“I am now held accountable to manage the department, yet the resources I need to do the job have been eliminated by the City Council against my advice and that of the City Manager,” Drasil wrote. “Given the complexity of managing an urban fire department of our size, it is impossible for any fire chief to do so safely and effectively given these cuts to
“From the on-set of my selection as the interim fire chief, the City Council majority has shown a disregard for me and my staff,” he wrote. “It has been made clear to me that I do not have their support or respect.”
Scott Moss, president of the fire union, was reviewing Drasil’s criticism of the union and didn’t have an immediate response.
Drasil said the majority of firefighters were supportive, but not union leaders.
“The continued resistance by the Fire Union’s leadership to engage in a meaningful and productive relationship with Fire Management has also caused unnecessary and expensive hurdles that have prevented effective management of the Fire Department,” he wrote. “Their often selfish behavior over the course of several years has been a detriment to running the department and will continue to be unless there is a change in the Union leadership’s philosophy.”
“Cuts to Chief Ofñcers responsible for overseeing management, fire prevention, training, equipment, and safety programs cannot be made without consequences,” he wrote. “I pray these consequences do not manifest themselves in such a way as to jeopardize the safety of fire department personnel or the public.”
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Also on STATter911 …
- Your DC update: Chief Ellerbe gets rid of another dep. chief in charge of apparatus maintenance. Council member reacts to paramedic’s letter. – September 5, 2013
- DC update: Firefighter/Paramedic Botwin speaks out about desk duty as investigation is underway over HIPAA concerns over staffing letter. – September 7, 2013
- UPDATED: Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira resigns. Read resignation letter citing ‘baseless attacks by the Deputy Chiefs’. – June 3, 2013
- ACLU asks DC chief about desk duty for FF/Paramedic Jon Botwin over letter to City Council. – September 15, 2013
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