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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    Default Deputy Fire Chief Has Take-Home Vehicle Despite DUI Arrest

    Deputy Fire Chief Has Take-Home Vehicle Despite DUI Arrest

    POSTED: 5:30 p.m. EST December 3, 2003

    WINTER GARDEN, Fla. -- A recent crackdown on drunk drivers led some local deputies to a surprising arrest: the Winter Garden deputy fire chief. But Thomas Berrios is still driving a take-home city vehicle.

    The deputy fire chief was suspended without pay for two days the week after his arrest. The chief says Berrios called him from jail right away and wanted to do the right thing.

    Deputy chief Thomas Berrios is sobered up and back on the job. Two weekends ago, the sheriff's office says he was driving with a .20 blood-alcohol level, more than twice the legal limit.

    The report says, when Berrios got out of his car that night, he was "staggering" and that his "speech was slurred and thick-tongued."

    Fire Chief John Williamson says Berrios was not on duty and does not drive emergency vehicles. So, the city decided a two-day suspension without pay was appropriate.

    "He's been a great employee. He's doing more good for us working, than not working," says Williamson.

    The chief says Berrios is owning up to this, feels very sorry about it and is embarrassed as well. The city's disciplinary report says if it ever happens again, Berrios could be fired.
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  2. #2
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Question Do What?

    "Doesn't drive emergency vehicles"? How does he get to fires? On a pogo stick? Strange place.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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  3. #3
    Forum Member kghemtp's Avatar
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    Default

    Well, he could be in a department where a driver brings him to the scene. How about the complications of a .20 BA running command on a structure fire?

    Yeah, the town vehicle thing is baffling, as much as the state maintaining his driver's license.
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Default

    Yeah, the town vehicle thing is baffling, as much as the state maintaining his driver's license

    Most states I've seen, you lose your license then are issued automatically or quickly a temproary license of some sorts -- usually restricted to commuting to work.

    It's not clear at all from the article if he was driving the city vehicle or not while under the influence. That can affect punishment -- whether it was for driving a city car UI or simply conduct unbecoming.

    Progressive Discipline comes into play, especially as Chief said he's been an excellent employee.

    As for not driving emergency vehicles, it may also be that he's a desk jockey Deputy.

    *If* he was driving the city vehicle, yes I would've expected loss of the vehicle priveleges & longer suspension. If he wasn't, and the suspension was under conduct unbecoming I don't see immediately losing the city vehicle, which is part of his compensation.

  5. #5
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Well hopefully he learned his lesson and his brothers will help him change.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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