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Three DC firefighters face discipline over appearing with President Obama without authorization. One of those in trouble publicly opposed Chief Kenneth Ellerbe’s uniform policy.

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Previous coverage of dispute between Chief Kenneth Ellerbe & Lt. Robert Alvarado

Mark Segraves, WRC-TV/ NBC 4:

Three local firefighters are facing possible disciplinary action after appearing with President Obama during a press event.

Earlier this week the president was flanked by first responders as he spoke about the impact of sequestration. Kenneth Ellerbe, chief of D.C.’s Fire and Emergency Medical Service Department, told News4 the three members of DCFEMS who participated in the event may have violated department regulations.

“I didn’t know about it, the deputy mayor didn’t know about it, the mayor didn’t know about it,” Ellerbe said. “There should be protocol followed anytime one of our employees representing the District of Columbia appears at a public event.”

Ellerbe says the three have each been ordered to file a special report on the event detailing how they came to appear with the president and who authorized it.

“How did they get there, why were they there and why didn’t we know about it before?” Ellerbe said.

Ed Smith, president of Local 36 of the firefighter’s union, said his office facilitated the appearance by the firefighters.  “The request came through the International Association of Firefighters,” Smith said, adding that it’s not the first time D.C. firefighters have been asked to appear with the president.

But he said, it’s the first time it’s been an issue. “We’ve done this before. I would hope it doesn’t come to any discipline. They were supporting our president,” he said.

Ellerbe would not identify the department members involved, but one of those pictured is Lt. Robert Alvarado, who has been disciplined in the past by Ellerbe. In 2012 Alvarado was placed on leave after he wore a uniform with an outdated logo.

Ellerbe says requiring Alvarado and the others to explain why they attended the event in their dress uniforms is not payback for any previous incidents.

“There’s no payback, we don’t operate in a payback environment. I know folks say that but it’s not true.” Ellerbe insited.

Ellerbe says none of the firefighters are facing termination, but added one of those involved is a woman who is new to the department and still on a probationary period.


Comments - Add Yours

  • Anonymous

    What’s the big freaking deal Ellerbe????!!! You have more on your plate to worry about…..sexual harrasement….etc.

  • Lrb lover

    Wtf is wrong with that man. They appear with president and that’s not good enough. Go away.

  • Anonymous

    I hope this covers up the ” SEXUAL HARASSMENT ALLEGATIONS!

  • SrFireOfficial

    Perhaps it’s payback cause the rank and file were with the President Obama, not Emperor Ellerbe!


    Wah! Wah! Wah! Sniff! I didn’t get to meet the President. You all will pay!

  • damnd if ya do

    Wear the uniform, you are disciplined. Dont wear the uniform, you are disciplined. White socks you are disciplined. Black socks you are discplined. One button undone on your uniform shirt your disciplined. Your sleeves are rolled up bc its hot out and you went to a reported child birth your disciplined. What will be next from a low life who cant manage a leomonade stand making six figures

  • Anonymous

    How much longer is DC going to put up with this petty BS from the Chief

    • damnd if ya do

      As long as his school buddy is the mayor. Maybe he couldnt get in to the WH bc the district openly admitted they used google for his only background investigation. Im sure the Service does more of an invest than that…….

  • Dirk Diggler

    That’s it… This Guy needs to go, of all the firefighters at this event. It’s our Chief that opens his mouth and for what… Who friking cares, if they were their…This dipsh#t is the most embarrassing Chief I have ever seen. He makes Ronnie Few look good. I know our Mayor- won’t don’t anything; he is an Empty Suit also, has the Mayor even done anything lately, I think the Feds got him in check and please,please,please don’t tell me how great a JOB you are doing Mayor. DC produces nothing, but lawyers and special interest groups. If the Federal Government didn’t explode the way it has, DC, would still be scraping the bottom… Property Tax, Permits, Sales Tax and speed cameras, that’s all you got -And that got you almost a BILLION DOLLARS in the last few years…
    Why, that’s SIMPLE, you haven’t given a pay raise to big services, FD, Police etc… Plus you don’t pay your bills, great system, tax everything and pay everyone late, that can all run itself .But I will say this, the election is around the corner and I would BET my retirement, that the Mayor is NOT reelected, so goes the Mayor this piece of work goes with him. Good Luck Loser’s, you are going to need it. You have done nothing positive, since you got here, I would personally not let you – lead me for a walk across the street. Quote “There’s no payback, we don’t operate in a payback environment
    Lying SOB… And to all the snitches this Chief has… Remember KARMA is a bitch, you will get yours, you are so short sighted, to realize this guy won’t be here forever…For that, you are a friking idiot also… Oh ya, how is that Cadet training class investigation going… Seems like a great idea on the chalk board, until you chose some of your Boyzzz- to run it, or should I say, child molesters…Cover it up, cover it up!!! That carpet is getting full… My Brothers & Sisters – Stay Strong and for the Chief
    The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end

    • Welcome to our world

      Oh Dirk,I believe your the one who is short sighted.Just so you know there are a lot of people who agree with the chief,they just choose to be silent.Yes we will be here to combat you on every level once Chief Ellerbe is gone.So go on with your karma of “you will get yours”,because we will be ready for you trust that.

  • http://att boots

    I can’t see how he(Ellerbe) could comand any respect from the rank and file
    when he pulls this crap

  • WurkSmarter1

    Does seacrestcastration really have anything to do with any firefighter?

  • Chief Rumpshaker

    This chief is one total moron. His face you can read like a book, with lies after lies after lies DC should dump this inept of an individual. Send him back to Florida or whatever department he went to for a while. His face is the face of a liar and what kinda of firefighter and officer was he when he was on the rigs, probably a story teller of a firefighter who did nothing but, make up BS stories of his bravey HA HA He has to go

  • RJ(in florida)

    if it was ANYBODY else other than alvarado it would be a non issue. LRB is just pissed because he didnt get in on the photo op because if he ever got alvarado cannedm having your pcture with the prez dont look bad on ones resume