Report: Drunken California Firefighters Slept at Station

A downtown firehouse was misused by off-duty personnel who used the facility to "sleep off" nights of drinking.


DAVIS, Calif. --

A downtown firehouse was misused by off-duty personnel who used the facility to "sleep off" nights of drinking, according to a Yolo County grand jury report.

Other citizen complaints about the Davis Fire Department were brought to the grand jury, including allegations of a hostile working environment, inconsistent promotion practices and a strained relationship with the Davis Police Department.

The report claims some off-duty Davis firefighters would sleep at the downtown firehouse, Station 31, after going out drinking rather than drive home.

The report said the chief supported the practice.

However, Davis Fire Chief Rose Conway would not comment on the report.

"While it may be preferable for them to be sleeping in the firehouse rather than driving on the road, the city prohibits 'being under the influence during work hours, at the work site, or in uniform,'" the report said.

The report also said firefighters -- some seen intoxicated downtown, and known to be sleeping at the firehouse after hours -- reflect poorly on the department and the city.

"Serious issues have been raised. We've hired an independent investigation to analyze what's valid in the report," city manager Bill Emlen said.

The grand jury recommended that the city's Drug and Alcohol Administrative Policy be posted publicly, and that all department personnel read and sign off on the documents.

The report also said all city and department policies related to drug and alcohol use should be enforced.

"I was really surprised and concerned that there's something amiss in our fire department," Mayor Ruth Asmundson said.

However, resident Chris Fields suggested that the department allow everyone to sleep in the fire stations if they are too drunk to drive.

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