Career firefighter Robert Bosch, a senior battalion chief with FD 16 and certified paramedic, has been terminated. The decision was handed down Sept. 14 after the board met in executive session. Attorney Joe Quinn conducted an investigation of the incidents at a conference in Wenatchee attended by Bosch and four others in mid-June.
Reprimands were given to those four last month, but an investigation into the role Bosch played took more time, said Chief Tom Lique. The report revealed Bosch had supplied alcohol to a minor, Tim Nelson, and tried to cover it up. Nelson was a 20-year-old volunteer with the district and was terminated last month for his role in the incident.
“He (Bosch) was identified as the leader in the process to keep it quiet and keeping people in check to not say anything,” Lique said. “His name came up over and over in the other statements as the person who had the most influence.”
It was a difficult decision, Lique said.
“We first met in fourth grade, so we’ve known each other that long, but as we went through the information we kept coming back to the decision to terminate,” he said.
The decision to terminate a career employee is made by the board of commissioners.
Commissioner Rick Stout said the decision was unanimous.
“The report we got was he was supplying alcohol to a minor. That is against the law and that we don’t tolerate,” Stout said. “He was the most senior there and he should have known better, and he’s a union president.”
Bosch has the opportunity to file a grievance, and the grievance process can go on for months, Lique said.
Other career members have been pulled off of shifts to fill in.
“I’ve taken two division chiefs who were working days and put them into 24-hour assignments so they fill some vacant staff positions,” he said. “We already had a vacant firefighter position going into 2010, and during the process of the EMS levy we had a paramedic firefighter take a position with another district.”
The reprimands have sent a clear message, he said.
“People are going to be held accountable for their actions. If they are acting within the guidelines and policies they’re in good shape, but if they have questionable behavior that is when problems will occur.”
Bosch was a 26-year veteran of the district and received longevity pay. He received about $97,185 a year.
It is up to the local union to decide if Bosch will continue on as president.