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
National

Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.

Local

MAP: New York City street closures, September 19,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on September 19, 20 and 21. There will be many streets and…

Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Television

'Outlander' Season 1, Episode 7: 'The Wedding'

Claire and Jamie are man and wife!!! Like, ALL THE WAY, if you know what we mean. (Twice.)

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…