'Grossly insubordinate': Okla. FF fired for refusing to take COVID-19 test

Cpl. Jerimiah Hoffstatter, a nine-year fire service veteran, was terminated following an administrative investigation


JaNae Williams
The Oklahoman

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — An Oklahoma City Firefighter was fired this week after refusing to submit to COVID-19 testing protocols, according to a release from the department.

Cpl. Jerimiah Hoffstatter, a nine-year veteran of the department, was terminated Wednesday following an administrative investigation. The department cited the reason for the termination as gross insubordination.

"Required testing of Oklahoma Task Force 1 members upon return to Oklahoma City revealed three Oklahoma City Fire Department personnel had contracted COVID while deployed," a department news release states.

Hoffstatter was a member of Oklahoma Task Force 1, a group that was part of an Urban Search and Rescue Team dispatched to Louisiana to help with hurricane rescue and recovery efforts. According to the department, members of the Urban Search and Rescue Team working with the Oklahomans contracted COVID-19 while deployed and were removed from service.

"Required testing of Oklahoma Task Force 1 members upon return to Oklahoma City revealed three Oklahoma City Fire Department personnel had contracted COVID while deployed," the release states. "Corporal Hoffstatter refused to comply with this testing requirement upon return to our city."

The department stated that Hoffstatter's refusal to be tested was considered "grossly insubordinate." Hoffstatter had a disciplinary meeting Wednesday at which a last chance agreement, including time off without pay was offered, which he refused according to the statement. He also refused to sign the disciplinary document.

Hoffstatter was contacted Thursday for comment, but had not provided a response at the time of publication.

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(c)2021 The Oklahoman

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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