Texas fire dept. medic suspended for multiple DWI's
Since the arrests came before the new DWI policy, he will not be terminated from the department
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A San Antonio Fire Department paramedic is serving a 90-day unpaid suspension for three driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges.
Erich Wolf, who has already had been flagged by SAFD supervisors for tardiness, was arrested for DWI in Austin on August 15, 2014, reported KENS 5.
The Austin Police Department report states Wolf's truck struck a highway wall before witnesses told police he passed out behind the wheel while stopped at a traffic light. Austin police officers who arrived on scene reported that Wolf was "disoriented."
Six weeks later, Wolf was charged with two counts of DWI and misdemeanor destruction of highway property in San Marcos, Texas. In that incident, Wolf crashed a limousine through fence posts into a ditch and then fled on foot. Wolf was arrested after returning to the scene 30 minutes later in a truck. According to San Marcos police, Wolf denied driving the limo at first before admitting its brakes failed while he was behind the wheel.
In November, Wolf sent a letter to SAFD Chief Charles Hood denying he was intoxicated in the incidents and that he was contemplating entering a pretrial diversion program.
He must now enter an alcohol rehabilitation program as part of his 90-day suspension agreement with SAFD. Chief Hood released the following statement:
"The San Antonio Fire Department takes the issue of driving while intoxicated very seriously. As emergency responders, we are very cognizant of the devastating impact impaired drivers have on our City. We are leaders in our community and the patrons of San Antonio look to us as an example of honor, duty and courage. The Department has created numerous programs to assist and guide our personnel through our Employee Assistance Program. In addition, the SAFD adopted a new disciplinary policy in December of 2014 which states that a first offense of driving while intoxicated will result in an indefinite suspension. A second offense for driving while intoxicated will result in termination. It is my sincere hope that this disciplinary model will effectively convey the severity of driving while intoxicated and deter our personnel from engaging in this destructive behavior."
The DWI policy was not in effect when Wolf was arrested.