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By Amanda Gomez
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino defended Boston’s fire chief Steve E. Abraira after thirteen deputy chiefs slammed him in a letter.
The thirteen deputy chiefs from the Boston Fire Department discredited Fire Chief Abraira in a letter to Mayor Thomas M. Menino by insisting that their boss’s response to the Boston Marathon bombings was inadequate and fumbled under his responsibility during an emergency.
“You can unequivocally consider this letter a vote of no confidence in Chief Abraira,” the deputy chiefs said in the letter.
Within the letter, the deputy chiefs criticized Abraira’s “inactions” after the bombings and his failed responsibilities at the scene to show any leadership. They wrote that that Fire Chief Abraira told the department members he felt the staff had the “scene under control” as the department worked closely with the law enforcement and can depend on their assistance to the scene.
Abraira argued back during a phone interview Tuesday saying that the command staff had control over the scene when he arrived and that he acted appropriately.
“When I got there, I was comfortable with what was going on,” he said. “….The nationally accepted practice is that you only take command [as chief] if there’s something going wrong or if you can strengthen the command position.”
In the letter from the deputy chiefs, they wrote that Abraira had reversed decades of department protocol by changing department operating procedures. Abraira spectated fire scenes rather than taking command, a call that most of his predecessors wouldn’t have made explained the deputy chiefs.
A spokeswoman for Menino says that the mayor has “full confidence in Commission Fraser to do what’s best for the department.” Menino also said that as long as he is mayor, Abraira will have a future in Boston. Menino feels the fire chief acted appropriately, and he also speculates why a letter of this nature would surface a month after the marathon.