Fla. Chief in Trouble for Nearly Hitting Pedestrian


An Orange County fire chief is in trouble for nearly hitting a pedestrian while driving on the wrong side of a road in an emergency vehicle. But the chief only received a verbal warning for what happened.

Fire District Chief Brett Wasmund was required to attend counseling sessions about his driving skills after a woman called and complained she was almost hit by him while he was on his way to a call. The witness said he did not have his lights or sirens on, and then went to the fire station to the report the incident. The actual incident was not caught on video.

Supervisors said the fire chief was stuck in traffic so he ran over the median, drove the wrong way down a street, ran a red light and almost hit a pedestrian.

Earlier this month we showed you how another fire rescue engineer was following so closely behind a car that he nearly ran the driver off the road, his lieutenant was with him and they wouldn't let off the horn as they were on their way to a rescue call. Lieutenant Thomas Veal became so angry he even flipped off the driver. Then they sped up and intentionally cut off the driver who had to swerve to avoid a crash.

WFTV asked the Orange County Fire Department what type of training the firefighters receive before they can get behind a wheel.

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

The battalion chief did call the woman to apologize for his actions. Chief Rathbun said these are two different incidents because Wasmund's mistake was not intentional, however the road rage was an intentional act.

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