by Chris Haire
According to the blog Firefighter Hourly, some firefighters are taking issue with an alleged plan to send a supporter of former Charleston Fire Department Chief Rusty Thomas to a conference. The details are vague, the bulk of the facts non-existent, but the debate is rather heated:
The apparent inclusion of a member of the command staff in a conference has stirred firefighters and family to voice their opinions both to FirefighterHourly.com,other websites and traditional media.
The command staff member in question was a vocal proponent of the previous chief and apparently spoke in front of firefighters on numerous occasions detailing complaints about the city hired Routley Panel. The panel, along with NIOSH, showed the previous adminsitration of the fire department was well below standard.
Yet, states one firefighter, this command staff member will make a trip to speak to other firefighters out of state about the night of June 18th. This despite the command staff members apparent assertion little went wrong. The firefighter, along with what he states are a growing number of firefighters, will make their voices heard to the city and residents.
The fire department stated he wasn't representing the department but firefighters and family don't buy it. They question the timing, the expertise of the command officer and also wonder aloud if his trip is to do a bit of revisionist history telling.