• Three firefighters disciplined after use of 'insensitive' screen saver

    By: Catherine Varnum


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Three firefighters including a captain and lieutenant are in trouble after a picture showed up on a fire house computer.

    The screen saver was made as a joke between two friends, but the fire chief said it was on a computer at the fire house for 7 days.  

    The picture shows firefighter Jeffrey Abboud’s face photoshopped on what the fire chief called a known terrorist with the saying "jingle bombs."

    Chief Kurtis Wilson said it happened in December, and they found out how pretty fast.

    “The individual came in and confessed, said how he did, and how he created the image,” said Wilson. 

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    That individual is firefighter Levin Painter at fire house 18, who got a written reprimand.  

    “It stays as a joke until somebody feels it’s not and at some point, someone felt was not a joke,” said Wilson. “The officers on that crew had the opportunity to take it down that day, instead they left it up.”  

    That’s why Captain William Hood and Lieutenant Tony Stivers Jr. also received counseling and are being transferred out of the fire house.  

    Wilson said this isn’t helping JFRD’s image in the city.

    "It put the fire department in negative light. It has opened us up to claims on how we treat certain races, religions and we’re going to defend against that,” said Wilson.

    The chief doesn’t want more mistakes made. That’s why the department is already working with the human rights commission on more training.

    “We’re going to be proactive and not reactive,” said Wilson. 

    That training for the department will happen over the next few weeks. 

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