Looking for a quality used fire truck? Selling one? Visit our sponsor Command Fire Apparatus
In Washington, a volunteer firefighter with Mountain View Fire and Rescue resigned after being suspended due to an investigation into racist comments he made on Facebook. Those comments were posted shortly after the November presidential election, but only became public and action taken after both the department and The Courier-Herald newspaper received an anonymous email.
“I’ve come across a Mountain View firefighter… who has been flagrantly using the ‘n-word’ on social media and threatens ‘lynching,’” the person wrote. “I’ve provided a screenshot of his inappropriate public behavior on social media and included some pictures of the firefighter so you can identify this man.”
Upon receiving the email, Mountain View opened an investigation into the comments, which the emailer said were made sometime shortly after the 2016 presidential election.
“Upon further investigation by the department, it appeared that there could be some association with the positing and the person contained in the photo,” Fire Chief Greg Smith said in a press release on Aug. 17, adding that while the photos identified a volunteer firefighter, the name of the Facebook profile did not match the name of the firefighter. “The district placed the volunteer on suspension and the volunteer was informed that they were not to participate in any fire department activities nor be present at any of the district’s stations during this investigation.”
The volunteer resigned his position the day after the investigation began, and the department suspended any further investigation into the incident.
“I take this very, very seriously,” Smith said in an interview before the investigation was dropped. “When something like this happens, it hurts all firefighters. We will not put up with it, if it is in fact true.”