Documents detail 'vandalism and disorder' in Engine 32
MILWAUKEE - When Milwaukee Fire Department command staff walked into Engine 32 the morning of Sept. 29, documents show they encountered a foul mess left by a shift of firefighters disgruntled by their pending reassignment.
Disciplinary paperwork signed Friday by Chief Mark Rohlfing describes the damage to Engine 32 as "vandalism and disorder" in a list that stretches nearly two pages.
In making his case for the suspension of five firefighters, Rohlfing details four urine-soaked lockers, a dead mouse taped up in another locker and the presence of feces in a floor drain. A number of items were damaged by brute force, including a door frame, a garage door, kitchen plates, a headboard and a heating duct.
Firefighters working the so-called "red shift" that weekend also attempted to infest the station with rats and roaches by secreting food above the ceiling panels. They were working their final days together after being reassigned because of ongoing discipline problems in their engine house.
Command staff said Friday the people who did the worst damage escaped punishment by retiring from the department. Three firefighters chose to retire before the investigation into the vandalism began.
Seven firefighters with union representation were hit with unpaid suspensions.
Two probationary firefighters who were not entitled to union protection are the only ones who lost their jobs