Firefighter suspended after outburst was caught on camera
SOUTH BEND, Ind.--On Sunday June 12, South Bend firefighter Lance Gunderson was caught on video by a man from an online group called “Freedom 2 Film.” He was seen getting in the faces of people videotaping an emergency call. The video shows Gunderson walking away, but then coming back just moments later, angrily approaching, yelling and bumping into the cameraman, who was legally recording on the sidewalk.
Today, the Board of Public Safety met to vote on Fire Chief Carl Buchanon’s recommendation to suspend Gunderson, who said in a statement to ABC57 quote:
“I recommend that the board of public safety suspend this firefighter for five, 8-hour days, require completion of an HR training seminar on anger management”
"I looked at all the documents, I read them all, I watched the video that was submitted to us. And I realize there was some good intent going on in there, some frustration in place. But at the same time, I think there was an opportunity to realize and acknowledge the public’s safety,” Board of Public Safety member Luther Taylor said.
The board voted unanimously in favor of Chief Buchanon’s recommendation.
“After all the information that we received, I support and uphold the chief's decision,” Board of Public Safety member Eddie Miller said.
“Sometimes you just have to bite your tongue on some things and walk away, and think about how much I enjoy what I do and get over it. So, for those reasons, I’m going to vote yes,” Taylor said.
Despite what’s seen and heard on camera, the firefighter's union, disagrees with the punishment and isn’t letting it go.
“Firefighter Gunderson and local 362 strongly object to this and we will be perusing further action concerning this manner,” Vice President of Local 362 James Weinberg said.