Two Waterbury firefighters fired after random drug testing - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Two Waterbury firefighters fired after random drug testing

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Waterbury Fire Department (WFSB) Waterbury Fire Department (WFSB)

Two Waterbury firefighters were fired after they failed random drug testing.

According to Waterbury Fire Chief David Martin, Greg Keane and Thomas Eccleston both failed drug and alcohol testing.

Keane, an engine driver for Engine 6, was fired in February after allegations arose that he drove a fire engine while intoxicated.

A report written by Adam Rink, the department's administrative assistant said, " His eyes were red. at this time I did not notice the distinct smell of alcohol, his eyes were glossy and bloodshot ... I asked him if he was alright. he stated that he 'felt stupid and was embarrassed.'" 

Martin said Keane had a blood alcohol content of .083, which is over the legal limit. He has been working for over two hours at the time of the drug test.

In further interviews, Keane allegedly told fire administrators he had started drinking at 11 a.m. the day before and fell asleep. He said he later woke up and could not get back to sleep. 

"He reported that in an effort to tire himself he began doing housework chores. FD Keane reported that while he was doing some cleaning around the house he began drinking a fourth bottle of wine," the report stated. 

Eccleston, a lieutenant, was fired on Monday after he tested positive for marijuana.

Martin told Channel 3 that Eccleston has a medical marijuana card, but he also had a “last chance agreement” because of prior issues.

Part of the “last chance agreement” is that Eccleston couldn’t test positive for illegal substances.

"... Lt. Eccleston appeared confident that it was within his rights under CT law that he was permitted to use marijuana. He stated, 'so what I'm a drinker too, but I don't do it at work,'" the report said. 

Eccleston and Keane both appealed the firings.

They have both been working for the city for more than 20 years. 

There was a hearing at the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration in Wethersfield on Friday.

According to Martin, Keane grieved the city’s termination and it was denied, which is why it went to the Labor Board.

Martin expects the decision of the appeal for both firefighters between 30 and 90 days.

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