Texas Fire Chief Suspends Four in Hazing Incident

Three Garland firefighters and their captain were recently handed suspensions after a rookie firefighter was the victim of hazing.

On Feb. 25, Firefighter Dalton Harris was sprayed with hoses, chased down, duct taped, buckled to a backboard and laid on the floor under a water pipe discharging a strong stream of water, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Firefighters Scott Hunt, Oscar Lozano and Jeremy Sanford took part in the initiation and were suspended for three days. Capt. Randy Baker didn't participate, but witnessed a part of it and was suspended for five days.

Fire Chief Raymond Knight told the newspaper that the suspensions were staggered to avoid overtime costs.

None of the four men appealed the suspensions.

While the incident was limited to the crew at one station, Knight sent out a department-wide memo stating that he would not tolerate misbehavior or excessive initiations.

He said that while there is a place for rookie initiations, the firefighters went too far.

"Normally, it's having to wash dishes, clean the restroom and the stuff nobody wants to do," he said. "You have to earn your place. It's a test of attitude and will for the job."

Garland Fire Fighters Association President Paul Henley said that Knight -- who was formally appointed chief in April -- made the right decision.

"I think he had to make a statement," he told the newspaper. "It said it’s a new administration and we're not going to do things the same way. He made a good statement."