RICHMOND, Maine — A Maine firefighter is claiming harassment after finding his boots were full of water when he arrived at the fire station responding to a call as a volunteer.
PPE tampering: Horseplay can end in tragedy
By Adam K. Thiel
This one is easy: whether intended as a "harmless" prank or (worse) deliberate harassment, sabotaging — and I use that word on purpose — a fellow firefighter's gear is just plain wrong.
I can honestly say that I was never big on firehouse hijinks, but everywhere I worked there was an unwritten rule that protective clothing and equipment was off limits.
We call it personal protective equipment for a reason: if it doesn't work, you can be killed or severely injured. What's the harm in a little water? How about blisters, steam burns, slips, trips and falls?
Town Manager Marian Anderson has alerted every member of the Richmond Fire Department of the incident and has launched a formal investigation, according to the Portland Press Herald.
"Workplace harassment is a serious matter that the town of Richmond does not tolerate," she said.
The Richmond Fire Department's Facebook page said that crews had responded to six calls during a storm on Aug. 3, the day that the firefighter had found his boots full of water.
The city has hired an investigator to look into the matter and may result in disciplinary action and legal prosecution.
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