Capt. to fire recruits' parents: 'Millennials have thin skin'

The fire captain allegedly made "callous comments" about bullying to families of new recruits

By FireRescue1 Staff

FAIRFAX, Va. — A fire captain is under investigation after making comments about bullying to families of new recruits. reported that a letter was sent to Fairfax County Fire Department Chief Richard Bowers by a parent attending "Family Night" at the academy April 21. Capt. William Best spoke to the families about workplace behavior. The parent who sent the letter said they were "shocked and appalled" at Capt. Best's "callous comments."

In the letter, the parent said that Capt. Best said "some practical jokes go on in the station with the new recruits some might call it hazing, some might call it bullying … millennials have thin skin and boys will be boys."

The parent also said that Capt. Best used "really bad language." Another captain, according to the letter, stood up and corrected Capt. Best, citing that bullying is not tolerated.

The fire department was under fire last year after firefighter-paramedic Nicole Mittendorff died by suicide after allegedly being bullied online by fellow firefighters.

"Seems like not much has changed in a year … I wonder what the family of the deceased firefighter would think," the letter said.

Chief Bowers told WUSA9 that he's in "full investigative mode."  

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