The second in command at the Warner Robins Fire Department was suspended last month for 10 days after admitting to having had an alcoholic drink before responding to a blaze, the fire chief says.
Deputy Chief Bobby Wood, a 36-year veteran of the agency, has returned to work since completing the suspension and is subject to random drug and alcohol testing for one year, said Chief Ross Moulton.
The deputy chief was also referred to an employee assistance program, Moulton said.
Wood declined comment.
In early July, Wood responded to a garage fire on Bonnie Drive in a departmental sport utility vehicle.
Two firefighters on scene told Moulton they suspected Wood had been drinking, Moulton said.
Wood initially denied having anything to drink, but admitted to having one drink before driving to the fire scene when Moulton came to his house that night.
Moulton also required Wood to submit to a test that Moulton said showed Wood had alcohol in his system.
After consulting with the city attorney and human resources, Moulton said he suspended Wood.
No criminal charges were sought against Wood.
Moulton said he’d like to apologize to the public and stressed that such actions will not be tolerated at the fire department.
“I’d like to say to the public I’m deeply, deeply remorseful, sorry that it ever happened,” Moulton said. “I think the fire department is probably one of the strictest departments in the city when it comes to rules, regulations, code of ethics - all that.
“Our people know you just can’t do things like that,” Moulton said. “I’m hurt by the whole situation - that it happened. But we certainly handled it firmly and fairly.”
Prior to the incident, Wood had a “clean record” with the agency, Moulton said.