New Boston Fire Safety Chief Fired

BOSTON --

The man hired to oversee the maintenance of Boston's troubled fire trucks was fired less than two weeks after he started the job, the Boston Fire Department said.

George Pelletier, who had been hired because of his experience overseeing fleet maintenance in New Bedford, was fired after he failed to show up for work, spokesman Steve MacDonald said.

Pelletier started work on May 4, but then called in sick on May 8 and never returned after that, MacDonald said.

"We tried to contact him. He did not return our calls; he was effectively MIA for two days," Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser told the Boston Globe. "I need to have someone in this job that I can trust and depend on. I did not feel he was right for the position."

Pelletier was hired after an outside review of the department's ladder trucks concluded that department mechanics needed a fleet safety manager. The review followed January's ladder truck crash in which Lt. Kevin Kelley was killed.

Mercury Consulting found that preventive maintenance inside the fire department was basically non-existent.

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