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

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.