In its first federal sexual harassment complaint of the Me Too movement, the ACLU has filed charges against the Fairfax County and the fire department.
The charges are being filed on behalf of two of the highest-ranking women in the Fairfax County Fire Department. The national civil rights organization is accusing Fairfax County leadership of retaliation over sexual harassment complaints. The charges are the first step in filing a federal lawsuit over the treatment of women in a fire department renowned for its emergency and fire response.
“Harassment, cold shoulder, people messing with my office. My computer not working,”said Kathleen Stanley.
“They’re trying to force me out. There’s no other way to look at it,” said Cheri Zosh.
Battalion chiefs Cheri Zosh and Kathleen Stanley are the two highest-ranking women in the Fairfax County Fire Department. They are two of only three women battalion chiefs. Zosh has been in the department 24 years, Stanley, 27 years.
WUSA-TV 9 DC
A two-year-old is alive after a near drowning at an Upstate swimming pool. And it's thanks in large part to an area fire chief, who was the first to arrive on the scene.
The emergency unfolded at the Hartwell Villas pool Tuesday around 5 p.m. But luckily, that was the same time a hero happened to be nearby and heard the call for help.
Randy Bratcher is the Chief at Anderson City Fire Department as well as Williford Volunteer Fire and Rescue, which serves the Lake Hartwell area.
Bratcher, also a trained EMT, was heading home when he heard the call come across, asking for assistance at a possible drowning at Hartwell Villas. He thought he'd be arriving to a busy emergency scene, but when he pulled up, the parking lot was empty and all he saw was two frightened young women holding their two-year-old cousin, who the chief described as lifeless.
WCSC-TV Charleston Live 5 News
A months-long probe into abuse of sick leave within the fire department concluded this week with the resignation of a deputy chief and the release of an internal review.
The city paid $93,816 in unearned or unauthorized sick time, benefits and incentives over the past five years, according to the review. On Monday, days after the report was completed, Clearwater Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Steven Strong resigned in lieu of being fired.
He was named in the review as the supervisor of a former logistics manager who changed his address to one in Key West and told peers he was going sailing — yet stayed on the city’s payroll.
"He (Strong) simply didn’t do enough on his part to ensure that the sick leave rules were being followed," City Manager Bill Horne said Wednesday.
Strong, a 13-year employee who made $115,230 a year, could not be reached for comment. He is the second employee to resign amid the fallout.
Tampa Tribune and TBO.com (Tampa Bay Online)
A new professional standards program at Cal Fire is giving the department a mechanism to hand down discipline in a consistent manner across the state for the first time in its history.
It’s racking up pay reductions, suspensions and dismissals at a rate that rivals scandal-plagued 2014 – the year when an instructor at its fire academy murdered his mistress and brought intense scrutiny on the department.
The program’s advocates says it is long overdue, but the sudden application of harsh discipline is surprising firefighters and raising concerns that Cal Fire is unnecessarily wasting its investment in employees it spent years training. Take the crackdown on academy cadets last fall who at different times after hours had a drink at Amador County bars. Thirty-one of them were dismissed from their jobs and 12 more were suspended for not reporting on their peers.
Two firefighters were buried in rubble during a fire in Rogers Park Wednesday.
Officials said roof work was in progress at an apartment building on the 6100 block of North Hoyne Avenue, which set off the fire.
Several firefighters were climbing the stairs to access the fire when the stairs collapsed, causing three of the firefighters to fall.
Two of the firefighters were buried in rubble after the fall, but another group of firefighters were able to free them.
The injured firefighters were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
WLS-TV ABC 7 Chicago