Carl Monday investigates Fire Boat House in the flats - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Carl Monday investigates Fire Boat House in the flats

Cleveland Firefighters getting paid to deliver mail to other fire stations?  How about Firefighters using the fire station to fix their cars?  That's just some of what WOIO Chief Investigator Carl Monday found during his ongoing investigation into the Fire Boat House in the Flats.

Now, months  after the first stories aired, Cleveland Firefighter Andrew Patsouras has been suspended for working on his vehicle at the station.  Newly appointed Chief Patrick Kelley says the fireman was not suspended for the mail delivery because he was only following orders of his supervisor.  Turns out, firemen working as postal carriers is common practice in the Cleveland Fire Department.  But no more.  The Chief says he put a stop to it after reviewing Monday's reports.

Back in May, Monday questioned whether the Fire Boat House should be open in the first place.  At least in its current state.  The station on the Flats West Bank has no fire truck and no equipment.  Yes, it does have a fireboat.  But records obtained by Carl Monday Investigations shows it is rarely used.  In fact, only twice over the summer:  During the Parade of Ships and the July 4th Fireworks. 

Yet  a half dozen firefighters are still assigned to Firehouse-21 on a limited basis.  Each morning, one or two of them report for two or three hours, supposedly to maintain the boat and the station, before being reassigned to a station short on staff.   But for most of the day, the Fireboat sits idle, other than a weekly check of the river.  If there were a fire or boat accident, the crew would have to be called back from other stations across the city, leaving response time in question.

Still, the new Chief Says he is committed to staffing the station a few hours a day.

As for Firefighter Patsouras, The Chief called him an "excellent employee and he regrets those mistakes."  Patsouras' suspension is for only one day.  But earlier this year, he served a six month suspension after getting involved in a fight in the Warehouse District.

After his hearing with the Chief at Fire Headquarters, Patsouras and a union official wouldn't comment on the most recent discipline.  Union President Frank Szabo ran interference for Patsouras, allowing him to enter his car and avoid Monday's questions.

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