A group of nine members of the Milwaukee Fire Department have been suspended for allegedly trashing their station in response to being transferred to other assignments, WISN-TV reported on Wednesday.
The unidentified firefighters are accused of allegedly “relieving themselves throughout the building,” breaking kitchen equipment and hanging a dead mouse inside Engine 32 following their final shift. In addition, WTMJ-TV reported that the group, reportedly frustrated over a change in command at the station, also broke multiple televisions and stained equipment with “bodily fluids” and drawings of a “racial and sexual nature” were also found in the building.
“We don’t know if it would be criminal,” Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing told WISN. “We’re beginning this thinking it’s not criminal, and we’ll see what turns up.”
The group has been placed on administrative leave while the department investigates the incident, but Alderman Willie Hines, whose district includes Engine 32, is calling for their dismissal.
“It stains the entire city,” Hines said to WISN. “It stains the department, and they should be held accountable, and as far as I’m concerned, separation is warranted.”
Rohlfing told both WISN and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the transfers were standard operating procedure, though usually not involving this many firefighters at one time, but that the station needed “some fresh faces.”
“When we look at what went on there, and I think I speak for myself and the department, it’s upsetting and disappointing,” Rohlfing said to the Journal-Sentinel. “Our core value is integrity, and we hold them to a pretty high standard.”
Watch WISN’s report on the mass suspension, aired Wednesday, below.
[Image: "Screaming Firefighter In Uniform On A White Background" via Shutterstock]