Firefighter under investigation for playing joke with dispatcher

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

Firefighter under investigation for playing joke with dispatcher.

ATLANTA - An Atlanta firefighter is at the center of an internal investigation after he told a dispatcher to send his squad on all fire calls and to hold another squad back.

The firefighter said he was just kidding.

Some say his actions threatened public safety.

Those calls between the fire captain and the dispatcher were recorded and are a part of the investigation. Channel 2 Action News obtained them through an open records request.

“This is Captain Meyers with the 14 truck. Fire Chief just called me and said for me to call communications, add us to every working fire today all day and all night,” Meyers said on the call.

“I’m kidding,” he said. “I’m just kidding. It would be cool though. Could you make that happen though?” Meyers was laughing as he made the suggestion.

But, the dispatcher didn’t get the joke.

So when the call came in about a possible fire at a southeast Atlanta business, truck 14 got the call on the other side of town.

As a result, the Atlanta Fire Department has launched an internal investigation.

“It’s a small internal investigation over an out of context conversation,” said Stephen Borders with the Atlanta Professional Fire Fighters Union.

Borders said the joke only affected the one call and that public safety was never threatened.

Meyers made a second call to dispatch about an hour after the first call.

"Hey Ms. Williams, this is Capt. Meyers again at 14. How are you? You know I was kidding with you,” Meyers asked.

“No,” the dispatcher responded.

"Should a firefighter suggest that to a dispatcher even in a joking way?" Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh asked Borders.  

"Well more so a dispatcher, if they hear a conversation that is out of the norm that's asking for something that's as big as changing the response matrix, should call their supervisor," Borders said.

Kavanaugh checked with the Atlanta Police Department, which oversees the 911 center. They said they are aware of the incident.

“We conducted a quality assurance review, which did not warrant further corrective action with the dispatcher,” said Sgt. Greg Lyon.

Meyers is still on the job as the internal investigation continues.


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