Menino backs Boston fire chief despite criticism

Emergency personnel respond to the scene after two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Credit: Getty
Emergency personnel respond to the scene after two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15. Credit: Getty

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino stood behind the city’s fire chief Wednesday, despite criticism from 13 deputy chiefs over how Steve Abraira responded to the Boston Marathon bombings.

“I’m the mayor of Boston and he has a future as long as I am here,” Menino, who is in the final year of a two-decade run as mayor, told reporters.

The letter to Menino, dated April 26 and signed by all but one of the department’s 14 deputy chiefs, said Abraira failed to assume command when he reached the scene of the bombing at the race’s finish line, where twin pressure-cooker bombs had exploded in a crowd of thousands of spectators and athletes.

Three people were killed and 264 others injured in the April 15 explosions.

Abraira told the Boston Globe that he followed “nationally accepted practice” in allowing his deputies to continue to direct the response.

On Wednesday, Menino said he believed Abraira acted appropriately.

“I think we came out of this marathon professionally; I think everybody did a good job, and to have a letter like that surface a month later, I wonder,” Menino said. “If it was an issue at the time, why wasn’t it brought to our attention immediately?”

A deputy who signed the letter but who didn’t want his name published told the Globe the deputies waited to send the letter out of respect for the bombing victims.

Menino said he planned to meet with the city’s fire commissioner, Roderick Fraser, to ensure that Abraira’s response met national standards and followed fire department protocol.

Abraira, who had previously served in Dallas and Miami, was named Boston fire chief in 2011, the first time an outsider was picked for that job.

Menino said it was normal to have tension within the department.

“The fire chief is relatively new on the job; he does come from another fire department, he’s an outsider and on a regular basis, when an outsider comes to the fire department you have issues,” Menino said. “There is always that little tension.”

With additional reporting from Reuters. Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Wahlbergs expanding Wahlburgers fast food joint across North…

Wahlburgers, a fast casual burger restaurant founded by brothers Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg and subject of a new A&E Network’s original series, “Wahlburgers”, announced expansion plans in North America,…

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Local

Tsarnaev defense lawyers in court Wednesday, seek family…

Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are due in court Wednesday to ask a judge to order prosecutors to hand over more information on the defendant's family.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 16: 'The Americans,'…

'The Americans' Philip and Elizabeth face "painful turns" in their missions. Maybe next week they'll have a nice easy mission with no moral ambiguity? Probably…

Going Out

Pastoral provides a country feel in the big…

One thing any packrat crafter will note on walking into Pastoral is how much fun chef/owner Todd Winer undoubtedly had in designing this, his first…

Movies

Review: 'Bears' is a cute Disney doc about…

Disney's latest nature doc, "Bears," doesn't completely shy away from the fact that its subjects would devour you (or eachother) if they had the chance.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.