First it Was Backdraft, Now It’s the Lights And Siren Club

The San Francisco Fire Department has been in the headlines quite a bit lately. Oh sure, we rarely go too long without an SFFD headline here at Fire Law Blog: lawsuits stemming from on-duty drinking problems, lawsuits stemming from problems at the fire academy, lawsuits and discipline stemming from the Asiana Airlines crash are just a few… So Fire Law headlines involving the SFFD is nothing new. But last week was different.

As Dave Statter suggested, last week was a particular bad one for the department and Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White with allegations of sexual harassment leading to the transfer of 10 officers, the reported theft of fire department equipment by a firefighter, and two members accused of sexual misconduct in a moving ambulance.

It’s the latter case that leaves me wondering if we have gone beyond the auspices of Backdraft… and entered into the age of the Lights and Siren Club. YCMTSU.

According to news reports, two fire department medics were accused of using their ambulance in a highly inappropriate manner: while one drove with lights and siren, while the other had sex in the back with a woman.

NBC Bay Area is reporting that the involved unit is from Station 49, while Fox is reporting that one member is facing termination.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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