Michigan Firefighter Canned For Bringing A Watermelon To Work
Robert Pattison, a Fenton native, was officially discharged from the Detroit Fire Department after bringing a watermelon to work.
The watermelon was Pattison's welcoming gift to his new co-workers at Engine 55 at Joy and Southfield in Detroit. It's tradition for incoming firefighters to bring a gift when starting at a new station, but this gift did not go over well according to Fox2.
The station is 90% African American, and some of the crew were instantly offended when Pattison brought in his watermelon wrapped in a pink bow.
Is it possible that this was all a big misunderstanding? Most of the people questioned think not. Some of the firefighters said that when you are assigned a new post, you know a lot about that post going in. Others said that the traditional welcome gift is donuts, but they have seen other gifts as well.
The DFD Fire Commissioner left little doubt though with his statement that was released about the firing.
There is zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior inside the Detroit Fire Department. On Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, at Engine 55, a trial firefighter (probationary employee) engaged in unsatisfactory work behavior which was deemed offensive and racially insensitive to members of the Detroit Fire Department. After a thorough investigation, it was determined that the best course of action was to terminate the employment of this probationary employee.
Pattison said that he did not mean to offend any of his fellow firefighters, and doesn't think he should have been let go.
Do you think the DFD went to far by firing Pattison, or did they not have any other choice?