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Moonshine in the firehouse. Flagler Beach, FL Chief Martin Roberts & 3 others suspended over charges of drinking in firehouse.

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The Flagler Beach city manager has suspended four firefighters with pay, including the chief of the department, after claims surfaced that they drank alcohol while on the job.

According to public records obtained by Local 6 on Wednesday, one of the incidents under investigation happened on Dec. 14, 2012, during the firefighters’ holiday party.

The documents state that Chief Martin Roberts admitted he and Captain Steve Wood drank apple pie moonshine and then responded to a house fire.

Witnesses said Wood also drank beer then drove the tower truck, which seats five people and has a 95-foot aerial platform, to the fire.


The second incident allegedly happened Christmas Day.

The firefighters wrote that when assistant Fire Chief Shane Wood and firefighter Jacob Bissonette came off duty at 8 a.m. they drank moonshine and beer, while in uniform at the fire station.

“I’m hoping it’s not true, because I think they are a great bunch of guys there,” said Jane Mealy, chair of the city commission.

The attorney for Steve Wood told WFTV that his client was not under the influence of alcohol when he was operating city fire equipment. He said he expects his client to be vindicated. 


From Flagler Beach website.

Daytona Beach News-Journal:

Roberts and Steven Wood are accused of drinking alcohol during the Flagler Beach Fire Department’s holiday party on Dec. 14 and then responding to a fire call, according to reports. Steven Wood is listed as “Fire Captain of the Fire Police,” a volunteer position, but he is employed as a garbage truck driver, according to city documents. He has been suspended from his paid and unpaid positions.  

A firefighter and paramedic, whose name is being withheld by the city, wrote in a statement  to Campbell and Kania that he or she was at the department’s Christmas party at Friends Cafe in Flagler Beach when Engine 11 was paged out to a residential structure fire on the north side of the city.

“Fire Police Captain Steve Wood, who I had seen drinking beer and what appeared to be apple pie moonshine (apple juice colored liquid from a mason jar) throughout the night, was making his way outside,” the employee wrote. “Steven Wood then went to the fire station to pick up Tower 11 (the fire department’s aerial truck), and drove it to the fire.”

Robert Pace, a firefighter and paramedic, is the acting chief, as he was last year when a different set of allegations emerged against Roberts. Roberts survived that controversy—focused on his trip to inspect fire trucks without the city manager’s knowledge—with a three-day suspension.

The allegations originated with Pace, who wrote a two-page letter on Dec. 26 to Campbell and Libby Kania, the human resources director, citing “several incidents recently that are very concerning to me and several members of the fire department.” But he was not alone filing the complaints. Another firefighter sent a letter to Kania and Campbell on the 25th, and another–a volunteer firefighter–on the 28th.

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Comments - Add Yours


    Wonder if this is the workings of a person named TICKLE ?????

  • Ms. Greene

    I cannot understand why this had to go to the media and could not be taken care of withing the department. We all know it was an isolated incident. Why put it viral and make everyone look bad? I was shocked to see it here. It doesn’t belong on Facebook or on TV. I’m a widow of a FF veteran of 30 years and this would not have been handled in such an unprofessional way 20 years ago. I am ashamed of the way this way done. It effects more than just the department now when it comes to public ridicule.

    • dave statter

      There are no secrets today. You can’t sweep it under the rug like you could 20-years-ago. The best thing to do is to get it all out and behind you.


    • xray

      I couldn’t agree more Ms.Greene,we here in DC are the kings of running to the media for anything.Unfortunately this is how people call themselves giving payback for someone you do not like.

  • (RJ) in florida

    This is particularly fishy because the great state of florida does not recognize the position or title of “Fire Police” the term “police” is strictly regulated in the state of florida and it is very well defined in law including prohibited terms connected to the use

    these fold are in some deep shit on this one

  • welcome to our world

    If found guilty let em go,hey hook are you gonna make excuses for these guys like you do in DC

  • David S.

    I live 10 miles from this station and this is the first time ever that something like this has been reported I hope all of this is not true.

  • Anonymous


    Seriously, remember innocent until proven guilty. I hope this isn’t true but man, what a black mark on the fire service either way.


    No Violet….ill leave the exaggeration and guilty before being found innocent comments up to you precious….it seems like you’re quite good at it…muahhhh…oh and don’t forget….Jesus loves you…kisses

  • OldCityCaptain

    I see that a majority of the comments on here indicate that these guys did nothing “really” wrong…This is an un-necessary “black eye” for the fire department. HUH?????? I will explain it plain and simple…..there are rules, regulations, and laws in place that prohibit drinking and driving, and or operating an emergency vehicle while under the influence of alcohol…..They broke the rules! Suffer the fate that gets handed to you and have a nice day! If you had not broken the rules……your name would not be on Statter 911. If you think that they don’t deserve this……then it’s probably just a matter of time before we see your name on here for not following the rules for something….and crying about how it isn’t fair to be punished for breaking the rules! I leave you with…..COME ON MAN!

    • xray

      Yes yes finally someone with some integrity speaking,we need that attitude here in DC. Oldcitycaptain, we need 20 more like yourself here in DC because we seem to have members who think they can break rules without consequences.

  • Blue

    In ref HOOKMAN’s comment, Chief Roberts old home is only bout an hour an a half from Tickles! And Fire Police? Really?

  • Chief 62

    The days of entitlement and breaking the rules of common sense are days long gone. As Dave so well points out, there are no longer any places to hide. If for some reason you find yourself in a stupid not the norm place get in “front of it”, the sooner the better. Its very good advice from someone whom spent his career observing our actions from the other side of the optic. It is quite simple folks, it either happened or didn’t. If it didn’t then they will be cleared, simple as that.

    The public, our real bosses have an expectation that the men and women operating these multi ton apparatus responding to a fire/emergency scene are sober, are of sound mind, alert and free from mind/body altering drugs or chemicals that might impair their judgement. The fact a Chief of a Department is implicated as well is troubling to me. We are either elected, appointed or hired to provide the leadership, stay the ship, provide the moral compass and most importantly of all set the right example.

    In a time where the Fire Service is under the microscope, the actions once more of a few greatly cast upon the balance of professionalism on the hard working and dedicated men and women within this Department, and their ability to provide service to their community. I wish them well in moving past a difficult time. Stay Safe-Be Smart-Learn Everyday-Retire Happy.

  • Mid West Chief

    Tried to stay in Flagler Beach for the Daytona 500 a couple of years ago. Checked into the “Motel” and immediately went for a refund. No working smoke detectors and the structure had major building maintenance/code issues. Had dinner, on my way out of town, (it was getting late), I stopped at one of the more popular restaurants… exposed wiring with numorous exposed splices… exit lamps out… extension cords hanging from the ceiling ect. I am of the impression that little, if any, life safety code enforcement is taking place in the city of Flagler Beach. It seemed third world. This article does not surprise me one bit.

  • David S.

    Mid West Chief you are so correct. Even though this station is located in Flagler County not in the big area like city of Palm coast they do not have a fire inspector or they do not seem to care about any fire codes. When I was a vol ff many years ago every weekend we took the engines out and did home inspections( Business too) which saved many fires from starting. So your comment is very sad to read this kind of stuff still goes on in 2013.

  • xray

    Hookman believes that you can be insubordinate to a chief officer and that it is justified if you believe your right. Doesn’t matter if the rule is written in black and white and have been ordered verbally.I dont expect a non-officer to see the logic in discipline,integrity,chain of command and leadership by example.And in discipline I dont mean punishment,but how you carry yourself.Doing whats right inspite of not being in the presence of superiors.That’s what missing in organizations today no discipline.