Cincinnati Fire Chief Out Over Department's Culture

March 25, 2023
Cincinnati's city manager Fire Chief Michael Washington, saying his leadership was unwelcoming to women.

Cincinnati's city manager said Friday that Fire Chief Michael Washington was fired over concerns about the fire department's culture. 

“I want to be clear that I do not tolerate discriminatory, hostile, or unfair working environments in any City department,” read a statement from City Manager Sheryl Long. “Cincinnatians place their trust in the Fire Department, which is tasked with keeping all of us safe. If the workplace culture within the department is unhealthy, that’s a violation of the community’s trust.”

Long told WLWT that, under Washington's leadership, the department was unwelcoming to women. It wasn't a new problem, adding that a recent assement of the department called it a "boys club" mentality. 

"What they said was essentially you want your leadership to walk the walk, essentially, and that is not happening in our fire department. And he undermined the effort of the Women Helping Women training," Long said.

Assistant Chief Steven Breitfelder was named Interim Chief.

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