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'Misguided behavior': Akron Fire Department apologizes after firefighter seen on video allegedly spraying hose at man

'We recognize that this behavior was misdirected when simple words would have served a better purpose.'
Credit: Brent - stock.adobe.com
Front end of a firetruck.

AKRON, Ohio — The Akron Fire Department has issued an apology after video surfaced online in which a firefighter is seen apparently spraying a hose at a man who was recording their activity.

Video of the moment, which was uploaded to YouTube, says the incident happened March 27.

“We are saddened that any community member had to endure and witness this act at all,” according to a statement from Akron fire officials. “We also recognize that our words alone do not make up for these misguided actions, and for this we truly apologize. There is currently an open investigation into this unacceptable behavior and we will strive to ensure these actions are not repeated, and that each citizen is treated with respect.”

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Here is the full statement from the Akron Fire Department, which was released to the media Monday:

A video has circulated on social media showing an Akron Fire Department crew member briefly turning a fire hose on a citizen while cleaning up a scene following an incident. That crew member can be heard telling the bystander to “stand back” due to the area being a crime scene. The crew member is then seen wrongfully turning the hose toward the bystander with the camera. This inexcusable behavior is not approved by the remaining crew members, nor any policy or Akron Fire Department authority.

It is important for each member of our Akron Community to understand that these actions in no way represent the thoughts and sentiments of the City of Akron and the Akron Fire Department. We recognize that this behavior was misdirected when simple words would have served a better purpose. Akron Fire does not authorize or condone the misguided behavior of this individual crew member.

We are saddened that any community member had to endure and witness this act at all. We also recognize that our words alone do not make up for these misguided actions, and for this we truly apologize. There is currently an open investigation into this unacceptable behavior and we will strive to ensure these actions are not repeated, and that each citizen is treated with respect.

The Akron Fire Department does not underestimate the importance of the community’s trust in our team to provide fire and emergency medicine services to the Akron area. It is our hope that a single event does not overshadow our unending commitment to keeping residents safe and healthy every single day. We are here as a protective service within our community. Members of the Akron Fire Department are still available 24 hours a day to respond to any emergency that may arise. Fire Chief Clarence Tucker wishes to apologize on behalf of the Akron Fire Department and let the Akron Community know that we remind each of our members to continue to serve by treating our citizens with the compassion, respect, and dignity that each person deserves.

If residents have questions about this process, they should call the Akron Fire Department at 330-217-5115.

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Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published on Feb. 3, 2021.

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