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Firefighter Michael Quinn, 43, had just left station one in a ladder truck on a Saturday night in June, on what turned out to be a false alarm. He drove three blocks until the surveillance video picks up. That’s 5th Street heading right to left. The motorcycle came west on Howard, the road that’s top to bottom.
Quinn blew through a red light and smashed into the motorcycle, sending the rider into a fire hydrant. Fire department rules state the driver has to have control of an intersection before going through. That did not happen in this case.
Sources say firefighters from the ladder truck took Quinn into a nearby bar, The Chieftain, and he began chugging water. That’s also captured on a surveillance camera. He left the bar, and hours later, Quinn’s blood alcohol level tested at .13, over the .08 the legal limit, and a violation of the department’s zero tolerance policy.
I’ve learned police have launched a corruption investigation into the firefighters who may have tried to help Quinn avoid arrest, by chugging that water. Sources tell me, several of them denied calling or texting Quinn that night, until investigators showed them their phone records.
On Thursday by phone, Chief Joanne Hayes-White confirmed she sent a letter to the fire commission recommending that Quinn be fired. She also told me the department’s investigation is almost done and she’ll have to decide whether other firefighters from station one violated department rules as well.
Also on STATter911 …
- More from DC: ‘Confidential’ letter on staffing from Chief Rubin to Chief Ellerbe. Report says DC having trouble finding all its ambulances. EMS union head speaks. Details on another inspector general report of department. – March 21, 2013
- Latest from DC: Preview of findings in EMS delay. Details on why three ambulances didn’t respond to police officer down. – March 20, 2013
- Reporter ambushes DC’s Deputy Mayor & still can’t get answers on fire department fleet. Union believes ladders untested since 2009. – March 18, 2013
- ‘The system worked’ is DC medical director’s response to delayed ambulance for downed cop. Reporter describes ‘bizarre’ press conference where Chief Ellerbe was not a scheduled speaker. – March 8, 2013
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