Montgomery Co. council wants answers on fire station harassment incidents

It took about 75 firefighters on site to control the fire. (Courtesy Pete Piringer/Montgomery County Fire & Rescue)

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County Council President Hans Riemer is demanding prompt answers from county Fire Chief Scott Goldstein about inappropriate comments directed at custodial staff at multiple fire stations.

Last week, Goldstein notified Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel that he was made aware of vulgar sexual remarks and negative comments about immigration directed at the contracted custodial staff.

Goldstein said the comments were not isolated incidents, and he reminded personnel to “serve with integrity and mutual respect.”

In a letter to the fire chief, Riemer has asked him when the complaints first surfaced and what actions he has taken in response.

Riemer said the council also wants to know what training the Fire and Rescue Service received to counter sexual harassment and ensure a hostile-free workplace.

“This behavior cannot be tolerated by county employees and is not acceptable behavior anywhere, especially in county facilities,” Riemer wrote.

Earlier this week, a county spokesman said no official complaints were filed by the custodial staff.

Riemer is also requesting a demographic breakdown of the fire department staff and steps that are being taken to diversify the workforce.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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