Fired Orange Township firefighters file grievance to get jobs back

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ORANGE TOWNSHIP, OH (WCMH) — Three Orange Township firefighters who were fired earlier this week, have filed a grievance to get their jobs back. 

Captain John Hodges, Lieutenant David Martin, and firefighter/paramedic Bradley Belville were fired due to alleged inappropriate behavior and conduct unbecoming, according to township spokesperson Amanda Sheterom.

According to documents released by Orange Township, the township’s trustees terminated the men due to their alleged roles in the hazing, harassment and physical violence leveled toward a fellow firefighter.

NBC4 obtained a copy of the grievance, which was filed by the firefighters’ union.

According to the grievance, the men are asking for their firings to be reversed and that they be reinstated with back pay and all benefits. They are also asking to retain their various levels of seniority.

Earlier this week, NBC4 obtained audio recordings of the fired firefighters’ administrative investigative interviews.

In them, Belville and Hodges admitted to hitting their colleague in the groin.

“We were joking around in the kitchen and I only meant to get a reaction out of him, and I – I just missed,” Hodges said. “I-I didn’t miss, I actually hit him. I didn’t mean to hit him. I apologized emphatically and it seemed to be OK, but it still…”

Belville said hitting the firefighter in the groin was part of “a game.”

“It was just supposed to be a fun thing back and forth, I don’t know,” he said, when asked about what happened.

Martin, on one recording, can be heard admitting that he called the firefighter an expletive, related to his family.

“More than once, less than ten,” he said, of the number of times he called the firefighter that name.

According to union president, Keith Myers, the men will have their grievance heard in arbitration. There is no word on when that will happen.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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