New York's Bravest seem a little less brave and a little more stupid today, with more information about that New Year's firehouse brawl in Staten Island. Apparently, the fight broke out over disagreeing about Elvis's birthday (it's January 8, for what it's worth). But this was after the captain had organized a beer run, which was followed by sangria. When two firefighters, Robert Walsh and Michael Silvestri, got into a fight with Walsh getting hit by a metal chair, they decided to cover up by saying Walsh fell down the stairs. Walsh had a broken jaw and eye sockets, with his nose brutally hurt, and at one point, slipped into a coma. He, along with four other firefighters, was suspended and charged with drinking on duty; Silvestri is on modified duty and was charged with assault; their captain was demoted and fined.
Not as scandalous, but still in the news, Bronx Firefighter Rodney St. Cloud was arrested for having steroids and growth hormones. He was featured in the FDNY calendar and reportedly works as an exotic dancer. Previously arrested on similar charges, which were later dropped, St. Cloud has been suspended.
This is sad news, especially considering how elevated firefighters' status has become, but was it inevitable? There was a NY Times magazine rticle last year that mentioned most city firefighters spend their time waiting for calls.