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
International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.