Fla. Firefighters' Driving Habits Raise Concerns


Concern is growing over the driving habits of Orange County firefighters following two incidents for road rage that resulted in punishment earlier this month, according to officials.

On Tuesday, battalion chief Brett Wasmund received a warning for nearly hitting a woman on the way to a call and officials said that led to a citizen complaint.

A woman said she came face to face with Wasmund's truck when he was on his way to a call after he crossed a median into oncoming traffic. The witness said he did not have his lights or sirens on.

"To my knowledge, the only drive cam we have at an intersection other than the complaint came," said Dave Rathbun, a firefighter.

The fire department said Wasmund was approaching traffic at the intersection at Lee Road and Edgewater. Wasmund's statement said he shut off his siren and was going to use it intermittently to get through the intersection.

The citizen actually ended up complaining to Wasmund, who then self-reported the incident to his supervisor.

Rathbun said firefighters aren't allowed behind the wheel until they are employed for at least a year and take driving classes. He said if a firefighter's driving becomes a problem, more action is taken.

"There is a whole different part that governs discipline and remedial training," said Rathbun.

Wasmund called the woman, apologized and received what the department calls, a counseling form. The department said going into the oncoming lane is accepted procedure. Rathbun said Wasmund made a mistake, but the the road rage was intentional.

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