Arbitrator Reduces Portland Fireboat Punishments

January 11, 2013

An arbitrator has ordered the city of Portland to pay more than $1,100 in back wages to two firefighters who were punished after damaging the city’s $3.2 million fireboat.

The Maine city revealed the results of the arbitrator’s decision Tuesday.

The city suspended the firefighters without pay for causing $52,000 in damage to the boat when it struck an underwater object in October 2011. The boat had about a dozen civilians on board.

One firefighter had his punishment reduced from 80 hours to 48 hours, while the other’s was reduced from 24 hours to 12 hours. The arbitrator cited their clean employment histories and a lack of clear rules regarding who could be on the boat.

The city has since changed policy on who can use the boat, including barring civilians.

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