Deputies criticize Boston fire chief’s marathon response

13 deputy fire chiefs say they have no confidence in Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira. Credit: Google images
Thirteen deputy fire chiefs say they have no confidence in Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira. Credit: Google images

Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira demonstrated a lack of leadership in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, according to 13 deputy fire chiefs.

In a letter to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, obtained by the Boston Globe, the fire officials strongly criticized what they called Abraira’s “inactions” after two explosive devices detonated near the marathon finish line, killing three people and wounding 264 others.

“His justification for failing to take action is indefensible,” the April 26 letter said, pointing out that Boylston Street was still an active scene when Abraira arrived, with the possibility of more explosions.

“You can unequivocally consider this letter a vote of no confidence in Chief Abraira,” the deputy chiefs wrote.

The deputies said the April 15 blasts were just the latest incident where Abraira failed to take command, saying the chief “shields himself from immediate accountability while setting the stage for under­mining the confidence and authority of his command staff. While acknowledging his ultimate accountability for depart­ment operations, he avoids on-the-scene responsibility.”

In a phone interview with the Globe, Abraira said he acted appropriately after the bombings, since fire personnel had the situation under control.

“When I got there I was comfortable with what was going on,” he said. “The nationally accepted practice is that you only take command [as chief] if there’s something going wrong or if you can strengthen the command position or if it’s overwhelming for the incident commander, and none of those things were in fact happening.”

Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser told the Globe he has “the utmost confidence in my entire staff, my entire command staff, including Chief Abraira,” but would not discuss the letter on the ­record.

Menino’s spokeswoman, Dot Joyce, would not discuss the letter except to say that the mayor has “full confidence in Commissioner [Roderick] Fraser to do what’s best for the department, including [in] his own personnel decisions.”

Abraira was appointed to lead the Boston Fire Department in 2011 after serving as fire chief in Dallas and as an assistant chief in Miami.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.