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Drunken, armed firefighter who fell off truck
prompts new policy for city employees
[Pittsburgh, PA]

December 22, 2000
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Drunken, armed firefighter who fell off truck
prompts new policy for city employees
[Pittsburgh, PA]

PoliceOne Staff Report
(PITTSBURGH) -- A firefighter who was armed and legally drunk when he fell off a moving fire truck has prompted elected officials to draft legislation barring all city employees except police from carrying weapons while at work.

David Anderson, 39, was found to be carrying a loaded 9mm handgun when he fell off the back of a pumper at approximately 5:15 p.m. on Dec. 19. Anderson was taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries and his blood alcohol content was found to be 0.17 percent, authorities said. In Pennsylvania a .10 blood alcohol content is considered legally intoxicated.

Fire Chief Peter Micheli said that he would be in favor of the new ordinance prohibiting the carrying of weapons.

"It's always been my theory that firefighters fight fires, not people," he told the Post-Gazette. "You call the police if you're in danger. That's common sense."

Firefighters union president, Joseph King, said that any change of policy like this would have to be negotiated.

"I'm not in favor of guns generally," he said. "But I don't want my members showing up first at a dangerous situation and getting hurt."

Micheli suspended Anderson pending a hearing by a peer review panel.

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