Lt. Robert Alvarado has spent 11 years responding to emergencies and fires in the District of Columbia. Just last April, he was severely burned with three others while searching a burning house in Northeast. The lieutenant says he loves his job, but he has a problem with the chief.
"All we are asking is to be is dealt with fairly," said Lt. Alvarado. "If you want us to wear a certain item of clothing, issue it to us and we will gladly wear it instead of expecting us to come out of pocket to meet his agenda. We are sworn order takers, but make it fair and give us the tools to do that.”
On Tuesday night on FOX 5 News, Ellerbe had this exchange with anchor Laura Evans.
Evans: "It is expensive though, we have to say, winter wear is expensive to buy, if you are talking about buying a whole new set of uniforms."
Ellerbe: "They don't have to buy a whole new set of uniforms. We supply over $5,000 in outerwear and equipment for our employees. What they are talking about is purchasing sweatshirts and t-shirts that have the “DCFDEMS” on it. They are not talking about the outerwear that we provide.”
"We do get $5,000 worth of gear, but the majority of that is spent on structural firefighting gear that we use to go into burning building,” said Lt. Alvarado. “It’s a complete outright lie that we are issued outerwear. We are not issued outerwear.”
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Lt. Robert "Cadillac" Alvarado in a special message from the Medstar Burn Unit at the Washington Hospital Center last April.