BOSTON – Fire officials said the safety coordinator recently hired to improve maintenance of Boston's firetrucks was fired for absenteeism less than two weeks into the job, reported the Boston Globe.
George Pelletier, who previously oversaw municipal vehicle maintenance in New Bedford, was selected after a broad search and began work on fleet safety May 4. He was fired May 14 after he called in sick May 8 and failed to show up for work May 12 and 13. Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser said Pelletier was "effectively MIA," according to the Globe.
Pelletier and another civilian, a transportation director, were hired after an outside review found poor maintenance on firetrucks and recommended civilian oversight. Firefighters not licensed as mechanics previously oversaw maintenance.
As safety inspector, Pelletier would have been responsible for implementing a regular inspection and preventive maintenance program.
Fire officials said there was no indication of problems during Pelletier's pre-employment screening, which included interviews, reference checks, and a drug test, reported the Globe.
Fraser said he is launching a new search to fill the safety inspector post immediately. He said the new transportation director, Shawn Herlihy, started work in April and fire officials are pleased with his work, according to the Globe.