The Fire Department Merit Commission voted Tuesday to grant the fire chief the power to lessen the severity of firefighters’ punishments in certain cases.
The Fort Wayne Fire Department follows a penalty system that requires specific punishments for specific offenses, but now the chief will be able to lessen a punishment if extenuating circumstances exist. Chief Amy Biggs, who sought the change, noted that she must provide appropriate justification to the board in such cases.
The harshest penalty the fire chief can administer without oversight from the commission is a 40-hour unpaid suspension. Tuesday’s rule change would apply only to punishments beneath that threshold.
With five members present, the commission unanimously approved the change Tuesday evening at its monthly meeting.