NEWTON, Mass. -- A local firefighter has spent three years fighting fires. Before that he was in Iraq fighting for our country. Now Richard Busa is in a battle with the Newton Fire Department.
Busa's fight was first brought to light in a column in the Newton Tab. He is being told that he has to remove the American flag design that is painted on his fire helmet, because the chief says it goes against uniform standards.
However, Busa says he won't do it and the threat of disciplinary action won't change his mind. He says if the majority of firefighters thought it was offensive or a safety issue, he would take it off. But that has not happened.
Chief Joseph LaCroix is a Vietnam war veteran. He says the request to remove the flag has nothing to do with patriotism or not wanting the flag, but a uniform is just that -- a uniform. If he allows one firefighter to paint his entire helmet, what is to stop others from choosing designs of their own.
LaCroix said small amounts of paint and stickers are okay on helmets, but Busa's design, he said, crosses the line.
Republished with permission of WBZ-TV.