L.A. firefighter accused of ‘despicable act’ in protest over vaccine mandate

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A department spokesman said Wednesday that the Los Angeles Fire Department is investigating an incident in which a firefighter “reacted inappropriately” after being handed a letter asking them to comply with the city’s vaccine mandate.

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The LAFD member received the non-compliance letter by dropping his pants and wiping his buttocks with the letter, leaving fecal matter on the document, before dropping it on the ground, according to the Stentorian of the City of Los Angeles, representing Africans. Responded to a group. American firefighters.

The alleged incident underscores deep resistance among some within the fire department over the city’s mandate that workers be vaccinated.

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LAFD spokeswoman Cheryl Getuiza said the alleged incident took place on November 18. “The department is aware of the gravity of the allegations and took immediate action upon learning of the incident,” she said, refusing to comment on the details.

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Getuiza said the firefighter is on paid administrative leave and “will face the consequences of any unfair act.” She didn’t specifically elaborate on what inspired the holiday.

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An LAFD captain and a chief officer witnessed the incident, Stantorian said in a statement sent to the Board of Fire Commissioners and city leaders. The group said it happened at Fire Station 69 in Pacific Palisades.

“The LA City Stentorians are sick and disappointed by this horrific display of unprofessionalism,” the Stentorians statement said. “To date, we have not heard anyone from the LAFD administration condemning such an act of disrespect and harassment.”

The group called on the mayor, city council and fire commission to “take prompt and immediate action not to encourage and encourage any city employee to feel entitled, but to behave in such an embarrassing and threatening manner.” “

Stentorian described the act as a “terminating” crime. His statement included a picture of a man in what was a discolored document.

A person who answered the phone number linked to the man in the picture told the Times on Friday that the person was not available. When the reporter called back, the person said they had the wrong number.

An image sent by Stentorian on Wednesday also circulated within the fire department on Friday.

Getuiza said in a statement Friday that the department is “aware of an incident where a member inappropriately responded to a hand-off letter to comply.”

“No matter how our members react, all city employees must comply with city ordinances – either file for exemptions, receive vaccinations, or face termination,” Getuiza said.

On Monday, Getuiza said the incident was recorded in the complaint tracking system and the department’s business standards division was investigating.

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s spokesman, Harrison Wollman, declined to comment Monday on the alleged incident.

Asked to respond to Stentorian’s statement on Wednesday, Wollman said, “The mayor is hopeful that the fire department’s leadership will definitively handle the matter, and make it clear that these appalling actions do not preclude the enforcement of those rules.” We will find those we have kept to save lives.”

“I am horrified by such an act by an LAFD firefighter,” said fire commission chairman Jimmy Woods-Gray on Wednesday. She said “strong corrective action is necessary.”

The city has sent out vaccination compliance notices to workers as part of the city’s new vaccination mandate. Workers who have not yet been vaccinated or wish to receive an exemption must sign a notice instructing them to provide proof of vaccination by December 18.

According to a memo sent by Garcetti to city departments, employees who refuse to sign those notices will be removed from duty and their pay withheld as they await notices of a “proposed separation”. .

The vaccination mandate has sparked outrage in the fire department for a few months now.

A newly formed group called Firefighters 4 Freedoms is suing the city over vaccine rules, while a YouTube video of a firefighter criticizing the mandate went viral in August.

At the same time, some staff groups want LAFD chief Ralph Terrazas to be removed amid allegations that the department is not addressing harassment and bullying, particularly of female firefighters.

A recent survey found that a large number of firefighters do not trust their leaders, while many in the department are dismayed by alleged discrepancies in how the top brass took oath of discipline.

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