Firefighters Union Again Takes Aim at SAFD

Accusations of harassment and intimidation at the San Antonio Fire Department has the attention of Firefighters Association President Chris Steele.

Steele presented a letter written and signed by several of the city’s Battalion Chiefs stating that morale is low and they want something done about it.

“The recent firing of 6 cadets, as well as inconsistent and ever changing reasons for their dismissal, have eroded trust and undermined integrity and credibility of San Antonio Fire Department Administration,” Steele said.

Steele said how the Cadet situation was handled is just one of the complaints in the letter.

“I can’t give you many specifics because I have to look into these complaints.”

Steele says the letter was signed by 80 percent of the city’s Battalion Chiefs who represent about 1,200 firefighters.

The letter ask for Chief Hood to meet with Battalion leaders to discuss the matter and come up with a resolution.

“You know, morale is a two way street,” Chief Charles Hood said.

He said he met with his Battalion Chiefs after the termination of those six cadets and he’s willing to meet again if there are issues.

“But if the perception is from them that there are morale issues, then we need to look at that and use this as an opportunity to make things better,” he said.

And his door is always open to Union President Chris Steele if he wants to chat too: “it would’ve been nice to get a phone call from Chris Steele so we could talk about these issues,” Hood said.

But that didn’t happen. Tuesday afternoon, Steele and the union invited news reporters in the city to a press conference outlining the accusations.

Is this a case of the union politicizing this? Is this somehow related to the contract issue? The Chief’s response: “I think anytime that you have a platform to make yourself relevant then that’s an opportunity.”

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