Recall: Chiefs Hang up Helmets; Water Issues Surface

Resignations of two chiefs embroiled in controversies and water issues were among the headlines on Firehouse.com this past week.

For the past three years, the chief in the nation’s capital has been in the hot seat for the actions of his fire and rescue personnel.

Chief Kenneth Ellerbe announced Thursday he’s had enough, and will be hanging up his helmet in July.

His tenure was marred by complaints including firefighters who ignored citizens’ calls for help for an elderly man in cardiac arrest across from a fire station. Residents and a police officer had to wait for up to 30 minutes for EMS. And, sometimes that care came from Maryland.

Ambulances continually went out of service including one that ran out of fuel while on a Presidential escort detail. Another broke down with a cardiac arrest patient in the back, and others caught on fire.

Across the country, another chief announced he’d had enough as well.

Orange County, Calif. Chief Keith Richter's last day will be Aug. 29 – the anniversary of 37 years in the fire service.

A recent audit said the fire department suffered poor morale and inconsistent leadership.

In Decatur, an outsider is about to lead the department.

Knoxville Fire Department Battalion Chief Tony Grande was picked as fire chief while both residents and firefighters supported one of their own – Division Chief Lorenzo Jackson.

The crowd was vocal about Jackson being overlooked as they felt the 33-year veteran was more qualified.  Jackson has two bachelor's degrees, one from Alabama A&M and one from Athens State University. He also has an online master's degree from Grand Canyon University.

Grande has an online bachelor's degree from the University of Memphis.

Meanwhile, a New Jersey chief denounced the actions of firefighters who trained high-pressure hose streams on a colleague –  in the name of charity.

The Washington Township volunteers, including one on a ladder, blasted a firefighter who stood in a field with his arms out-stretched. Shots to his head and body sent him flying.

While laughter can be heard on the video that has gone viral, there is no laughing now reporters noted  as the chief and fire district officials promise to take action.

In Delaware, responders on a night operation on the river wound up needing rescuing themselves.

The three jumped overboard as the Delaware City fire boat started sinking after striking a jetty.

Firefighter Edward Kalinwoski, 62, was charged with negligence for operating the boat at an excessive speed.

In Texas, an El Paso firefighter is recovering after falling from an overpass.

Fire Lt. Rafael Navarrete is out of intensive care at University Medical Center of El Paso He suffered facial fractures in the 20-foot fall.

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