Five Vermilion, OH, Firefighters Quit, Alleging 'Toxic Environment'

May 8, 2024
Fire Chief Bill Brown said the sudden resignations caught him off guard.

Five firefighters have resigned from the Vermilion Fire Department over the last several days, alleging a toxic work environment.

Fire Chief Bill Brown told WKYC that the department still has enough firefighters to respond to calls.

Among those who quit include the assistant chief and four firefighters.

They say they left because of "the toxic environment that has been allowed to flourish under Brown's leadership."

The resignations caught the chief off-guard.

"I was a little taken back that it was so sudden. I would have loved to have talked to them before, but this being what it is, I wish them the best. Looking forward, though, we've got a roster of a little over 20 that are enthusiastic and willing to work."

Among the allegations listed by the former firefighters include persistent undermining of officers, endorsement and tolerance of verbal and physical assaults perpetrated by fellow firefighters, sanctioning the existence of a group dedicated to harassing fellow firefighters and officers through false accusations, favoritism, and spreading rumors and complicity in the vandalizing of firefighter property.

Brown told the city council he will address every single accusation. 

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Content curated and written by Firehouse editorial staff, including Susan Nicol, Steven Shaw, Peter Matthews, Ryan Baker and Rich Dzierwa.