New SDFD Parade Policy

Timothy Kincaid

August 10th, 2007

In the wake of the complaints by fire fighters required to drive a fire truck in the Gay Pride parade, the San Diego Fire Department has issued new rules.  In the future all parades will be staffed by volunteers.  The rule will apply to all parades in which the city participates.

The department takes part in 14 community parades each year, including the pride celebration, Fourth of July, St. Patrick’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Cesar Chavez Day.

If an unpaid volunteer can’t be found, the City will pay four hours of overtime to an engineer to participate. The City is not anticipating having a problem finding somone willing to get paid overtime for riding in a parade.


August 10th, 2007

It appears that Chief Jarman’s memory is as bad as her judgement.

Unfortunately she has just cost her city a huge settlement. Here’s how.

It seems that last year a FEMALE fire captain COMPLAINED ABOUT LAST YEAR’S PRIDE PARADE through the official channels that she had received not only complaints from her crew about harrassment, but also received “harrassing sexually explicit material” on the doorstep of the fire station as a result of being in the parade.

She suggests to the department that in the future they use off duty or volunteer personnel with out of service vehicles in order to avoid unwanted attention or sexually explicit brochures sent to the workplace.

The actual document is linked below. The reporting source is

So even though this exact situation has happened before, the fire chief chose to ignore the female captain’s written complaint and announce to the media that there had never been a complaint before and that those firemen could have ‘stepped up to the plate’ for this ‘really fun event’.

So really these firemen have no choice but to sue. If the City is smart, they will not only apologize and pay up, they will replace their fire chief immediately.


August 11th, 2007

First I think it’s good that volunteers will be used at all parades. That’s fair to all involved.

Secondly, ILoveAmerica, the attached “complaint” is the equivalent to a memo or email. The recent event was properly filed as a complaint — there is a difference. That may sound like semantics, but without a properly filed form, they can say they have no other complaints on record. Just as the government can say your taxes are not on file if you email them instead of sending in your 1040.

Also, I read the complaint. It’s vague, does not cite any examples and the attached “example” of alleged “explicit material” is missing. The only real example is apparently the firemen were shot with a squirt gun. Call the police, the fireman have been dampened!

Seriously, a squirt gun counts as harassment? If it was filled with anything other than water, maybe. But why not just go for the gusto and call it assualt with a deadly weapon, or better yet, attempted manslaughter. After all, had they been facing the right way, they might have drowned.

People got entirely too out of control with this incident. These weren’t gang rapes in the middle of the street. They weren’t forced through a crowd of people molesting them. They weren’t tied naked to the fire engine while their employers dared the crowd to taunt them more.

I’ve been a witness to real sexual harassment, the kind that scars people for life. Teacher’s harassing students. Employees being harassed by coworkers. I was taunted for being gay at my first job for months. If these allegations are true (which I highly doubt), they don’t even come close to what real sexual harassment is. Considering these were public events, I challenge the plaintiffs to find witnesses to confirm their charges. Considering these are large public events, it should be very easy.
Sad to say, but not every complaint of harassment is valid, not every charge of misconduct is true.

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