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Firefighter Chokes on ‘Toxic’ Work Culture That Simply Can’t Be Put Out

You are currently viewing Firefighter Chokes on ‘Toxic’ Work Culture That Simply Can’t Be Put Out
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Firefighter in West Coast state up North is planning to return to the agency. This is after resigned earlier this year because of what he has described as a culture of “hazing, sexism, and racism.”

Firefighter Works with Fire Department Personnel

Desmond Lewis, after months of self-reflection, has been working with fire department personnel to regain his position in the Sacramento Fire Department as a probationary firefighter.

According to fire department spokesman Captain Keith Wade, Lewis does not yet have a return date. However, Wade did say Lewis has been taking important steps toward making a full return.

Serving the Community With Pride

“I think, for me, it was an opportunity to serve my community. Thus to fulfill a dream that in which work is very hard to attain,” said Lewis. Since I’ve stepped away and felt like my head is really in a better space I can come back with a clearer head. Then finish the job which I started. That is what I want it to be about.”

Lewis has decided that he was not going to give up on his dream. This is despite his reservations about the present culture. Though being a firefighter is Lewis’ dream career, it has become much more than that.

Being a Black person, Lewis did say there were times he did feel alienated in the department. Then he said his return was a “calling” to be in a position where he would be a catalyst. That is to promote diversity and inclusion within the department. Moreover, he does want to make a difference for the people who look just like him. However, he does say that change does have to come from within the department’s leadership.

“I don’t want to give up on something I have worked very hard for and that is my motivating factory. Also to be impactful in the city in which I grew up. Then see the change in the fire department,” said Lewis. I think I have shined the light, but now, in fact, I have got the opportunity to make difference in a more impactful way.”

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