ORANGE TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Three firefighters, including a lieutenant and captain, have been dismissed from their jobs after an investigation revealed they had physically abused and verbally harassed a fellow firefighter.
Fire department spokesperson Amanda Sheterom tells WCMH Channel 4 that Capt. John Hodges, Lt. David Martin, and firefighter/paramedic Bradley Belville were fired on Monday by Orange Township trustees. ABC 6 reports the allegations of abuse were revealed in September when the victim, a part-time firefighter, requested a transfer.
ABC 6 reports the victim was verbally abused and called an “f—— embarrassment,” was repeatedly punched in the groin area, and was forced to carry a trash can around his neck. Other firefighters were implicated in the hazing, but trustees decided against further dismissals, ABC 6 reports.
“We take these allegations seriously and do not tolerate harassment of any kind in the workplace,” firefighters union president Keith Myers said in a statement, according to WCMH. “While these members are entitled to due process, we are committed to investigating this incident and ensuring a safe work environment at Orange Township Fire Department.”
Township trustees said in a statement that they also were committed to a safe work environment for employees. “The board will not tolerate such unacceptable behavior in the workplace,” the statement says, according to WCMH.