Three Ohio firefighters — including a high-ranking captain — have been terminated for hazing a colleague by physically and verbally abusing him, documents show.
Trustees in Orange Township voted Monday to dismiss the firefighters after a probe found that a part-time smoke eater was forced to carry a trash can around his neck and was called a “f—ing embarrassment” by his fellow employees, WSYX reported.
The victim was also frequently smacked in the groin, according to investigators who launched an inquiry after the unidentified firefighter requested a transfer, the station reported.
A fourth firefighter was also considered for termination, but township officials ultimately ruled against it.
“I just find this unacceptable behavior,” township trustee Ryan Rivers told the station.
Capt. John Hodges, Lt. David Martin and firefighter and paramedic Bradley Belville lost their jobs due to the inappropriate behavior and conduct unbecoming, department spokeswoman Amanda Sheterom told WCMH.
Township trustees said in a statement that they’re committed to providing a “safe, harassment-free working environment” for all employees.
“The Orange Township Board of Trustees takes seriously all allegations of inappropriate conduct or conduct unbecoming made against any employee,” the statement read. “The board will not tolerate such unacceptable behavior in the workplace.”
Another trustee said she believes the problem of hazing within the department is now a thing of a past.
“Definitely,” trustee Debbie Taranto told WSYX. “I think we have some good support from our other firefighters and leadership and I think it will be good moving forward.”
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