FDNY Hazing Prank Prompts Discipline

FDNY has taken disciplinary action against seven firefighters over a hazing incident involving an African American firefighter.

According to the New York Post, unofficial sources report that firefighters pranked a member by putting his locker in a bathroom. FDNY has refused to identify the members involved or release any details about the incident.

An internal department order released Thursday indicated the accused firefighters received penalties ranging from 3 to 30 day suspensions without pay, and the loss of up to 15 days of vacation.

The Post quoted FDNY insiders as saying the prank was minimal, but the penalty severe.

  • “This is all bulls–t.”
  • “There’s a culture in the firehouse when you’re a new guy. Somebody’s feelings get hurt and all of a sudden it’s hazing.”
  • “Today hazing could be anything, a disparaging remark — being called a ‘Johnny,’ ” — slang for an inexperienced firefighter.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 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) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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