Two white career firefighters in Loudoun County, Virginia are suspended with pay after a noose was found in the car of a black firefighter. Loudoun County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management Chief Joseph Pozzo, while not providing details, confirms an investigation is ongoing. In an email to STATter911.com Chief Pozzo wrote, “When the Department learned of the allegation we took immediate action. . Employees under investigation are not currently assigned to any public duties.”
Sources familiar with the investigation, but not authorized to speak for the department, confirm the incident occurred the first week of December at the Station 5 in Hamilton. According to the sources, the two firefighters, one of them a rookie, put the noose in the car of their fellow firefighter. The black firefighter discovered it and brought it into the station. The sources tell us that the firefighter who was the victim was not happy, but did not pursue a complaint involving the incident. We are told the lieutenant of the station became aware of the noose and reported it to his superiors.
The two firefighters, now under suspension, face the possibility of losing their jobs. They are currently on administrative leave with pay.
A third career firefighter in Loudoun County is suspended in an unrelated incident that occurred a few days later. A call came into Station 6 in Ashburn on December 6 that was perceived as a bomb threat. According to sources the phone call was traced to Station 2 in Purcellville. A career firefighter from Purcellville who had apparently been involved in some prank phone calls back and forth between the two fire stations is under investigation.
Chief Pozzo replied responded to STATter911.com’s questions about this incident via email:
LCFR did receive an allegation that what you have described occurred. As with the other incident when the Department learned of the allegation we took immediate action. This matter is also currently under investigation. The employee under investigation is not currently assigned to any public duties. As the matter is under investigation I cannot comment any further.