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Firefighters Accused of Drinking, Partying on Duty

Firefighters Accused of Drinking, Partying on Duty

Tampa Bay Tribune via YellowBrix

September 10, 2010

SPRING HILL, FL — Spring Hill Fire Rescue Chief Mike Rampino said Thursday that he’s looking into allegations that on-duty firefighters attended parties where alcohol was served earlier this year and that intoxicated women were allowed on fire station property.

The allegations were made at Wednesday’s district fire board meeting by Ridge Manor resident Rob Rogoski, who presented commissioners with about a dozen photos showing people drinking at what appears to a house party. A subject in the photos is identified as an on-duty Spring Hill firefighter, but it does not show him drinking alcohol.

Another photo shows two women near a district rescue vehicle that Rogoski said was parked outside a home during one of the parties.

Rogoski, who operates a news and information website called Hernandoliving.com, posted the photos he said he obtained from a Facebook page belonging to another firefighter. According to the website, the photos were taken sometime between March and May.

Rampino, who would not name any of the firefighters involved, said that as far as he is aware, none of the photos were taken at any of the district’s firehouses. Of the photos he has seen, only two concerned him.

“Obviously, if he (Rogoski) had others he thought would be of concern to us, we would like to see them,” Rampino said.

Rogoski said that he chose the board meeting to present the photos because he wanted to make sure the allegations would be investigated.

“Where better to make sure it’s not buried than at a public meeting?” Rogoski said.

Commissioners at the meeting agreed that the matter should be left to Rampino to investigate. However, commissioner Rob Giammarco called the allegations a “bombshell,” and questioned whether the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office should be contacted to investigate any possible criminal activities.

Rampino said none of the photos showed what he considered criminal activity.

In other district news, the board voted 4-1 to approve a tax rate increase from 2.2686 to 2.50, with commissioner Giammarco casting the dissenting vote.


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