• It saddens me to see that people that hold positions in the public sector often lack the professionalism that is supposed to be shown in their everyday duties. Things such as the photos that are in question should have never been allowed to be put up on the walls or wherever they were placed. Also, the firefighters that put them in a place that was visible to others should have used better judgement and character. They most likely did that to get laughs but that being said..... If they indeed did place those photos to get a laugh, at whose expense ? That's a good question, it may have been something that could have been handled with a severe reprimand or perhaps some other course of action, but these days we have to sit back and look at the bigger picture. I wouldn't disrespect anyone by placing something that may offend someone in the slightest even if it's going to get me some laughs and make me "Mr. funny man" so to speak and these firefighters should have had better common sense and professionalism. There is a time to be humorous and often humor comes at the expense of another no matter if intentional or not.

    April 11, 2011 at 9:43 a.m.
  • Hictoria, "...but all it takes is one offended person to complain and there you have it!"

    Since all it takes is one offended person, why don't we fire that one? Morale would inprove, and there'd only be one vacant post instead of two. Is there anyone who hasn't been offended over something in their lifetime? Does the fact that one person might be offended over something trivial mean that everyone must forever walk on eggshells? People need to grow thicker skins. No one was touched in an inappropriate manner; nobody was groped. Wouldn't it be funny if the person who was offended finds the shoe on the other foot some day? It's not only pictures of nearly naked men that can cause someone to place the offended card. I would hope that the one who took offense will find that everytime she turns around, she finds people stareing at her -- in an inoffensive way, of course. Perhaps some old fashioned shunning is in order -- nobody talks, nobody invites you to lunch, people get up from the table in the break room if you sit down.

    April 8, 2011 at 5:21 p.m.
  • good point pilot, this will be an interesting to follow during the appeal process

    April 8, 2011 at 5:13 p.m.
  • Beakus, just like your job will be better off without you right, I mean since you know these guys so well?? what they did was by no means grounds for termination, based on the other things that go on in that fire house

    April 8, 2011 at 3:21 p.m.
  • This is 2011. Who in their right mind would put up pictures like the ones described in this article? Are these professionals stupid and/or just fools. Either way, sounds like they have paid a price for their decision. The department will probably be better off in the long run without them.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:36 p.m.
  • great post dfoust, tell me again how any of that allows one to break workplace rules and policies ?

    April 8, 2011 at 2:32 p.m.
  • If the true story were published, this is not about any sexual harrasment. It was a prank between friends.
    These men are a far cry from gay!

    For all of you who are so critical, Have you gone to work for 24 hours straight , no sleep?

    Have you ever shoveled up body parts after a wreck, or removed the dead burnt bodies of children after a horrible fire -then have nightmares about it?
    Have you ever been dead asleep for two hours ony to be awaked by an alarm -then rush off to inhale toxic smoke and heat for 12 hours from a warehouse fire?

    Have you ever held your hand over a wound bleeding so severe, that if you remove your hand the person would bleed to death?

    Have you ever saved some ones precious life?

    Have you ever missed your familes holidays ( Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Anniversaries, Your own birthday-because you had to work?

    I've found in life, if you put yourself in some one else's shoes, you might understand that person better. To be a critic is easy, to be a FIREMAN......well just ask one?

    May be these two men will tell you!

    April 8, 2011 at 2:18 p.m.
  • I agree with most. I know this type of behavior happens in the workplace. I am sure it was meant as a joke, but all it takes is one offended person to complain and there you have it! I am not defending these guys because they should of used their better judgment knowing the rules.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:11 p.m.
  • they did not offend their fellow coworkers.... that is why this is such a retarded reason for getting canned...

    April 8, 2011 at 2:03 p.m.
  • they offended their fellow co-workers, whether male or female, that is uncalled for

    April 8, 2011 at 2 p.m.
  • I feel that the city has a huge problem with educating their employees on policies. If the guys would have known that this would be the outcome of their joke, I promise to you they would not have done it. They have seen and learned these behaviors from their higher ups so, they assumed that what they did was okay, because they do these things all the time.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:24 p.m.
  • There are pranks, jokes, improper emails every day at most everyones work place. If you say no, you are lying. Heck, I bet the people who made the decision to terminate these men have taken part in such activities. Again, they say no, they are lying.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:19 p.m.
  • Can we all argree to just stop reporting on this issue already. You have made up stories and have made these men look like something they are not. I dont understand why this story is getting so much local media, cant u people see that these 2 men are suffering now, is that what Victoria likes to see, people suffering?
    They made a mistake, and I dont think that they should have lost ther jobs, but I guess that is why I am not a city athourity.
    They deserve a second chance, they guys were just goofing around, and they DID NOT offend any of their fellow fireMEN!
    And if I am not mistaken, didnt this stem from 2 firestations? and only the guys at 1 station got fired? Can you find out VIC AD for us and report on why this is?

    April 8, 2011 at 12:59 p.m.
  • The people who are involved know what they did was wrong and regret playing the "prank". Where the former employees and current employees have a problem is the selective enforcement. It all depends on who you are, who you know, and how well you are liked if you are punished and if the COV wants to follow that policy that day. wonder the fire department has a huge turnover rate!

    April 8, 2011 at 12:54 p.m.
  • look robertx, the guys are NOT gay.... you have not a damn clue!!! it was a prank, a joke, do you know what that is? these guys work together for 24 hours at a time, they get BORED and yeah a little crazy.

    I wanna know why this is such a big deal, why isnt the Vic Advocate reporting on Jose @ HEB getting fired over his "sexually offensive" posters he posted up? this is just retarded!! The people in this town have nothing better to do then fabricate some story and try and ruin peoples lives!
    Well guess what Victoria you WON!! you have ruined these guys lives, they cant work anymore!! lets just add to the amount of unemployed people in our town. Way to go!! Just to get a story!

    April 8, 2011 at 12:48 p.m.
  • Out of all these posts...dragenrider says it all..."Our society has gone way too far on these type of issues".
    Today's society has little or no moral values. Etiquette consists of the prescribed form of conduct in a "polite society". This has gone by the wayside and today's society consists of "whats for me" and violence.
    IF... nurses, doctors, and EMS, would be considered to have a "sick" sense of humor, none of this would have been brought up...
    A practical joke amongst friends is not posted or directed for "ALL" to see.
    Some who have a "sick" sense of humor are very sensitive.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:47 p.m.
  • a workplace isnt the place for men to be men, it's a WORKPLACE.

    those two should feel very, very stupid for the whole deal.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:27 p.m.
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    April 8, 2011 at 12:25 p.m.
  • So some cladly posed men cost two men their careers. The former chief resigns after the half a million snafu in fireman training but the then Asst. City Manager skates by and gets promoted and a larger pay when she KNEW about the firemen paying out of their own pocket. Where is the consistency?

    April 8, 2011 at 12:10 p.m.
  • Come on now! Let men be men. They enjoy getting away from their wives and having a little joke time amongst themselves! As if there aren't worse cases where actual physical sexual harassment takes place and it is either NEVER reported or nothing is done to protect their credibility!? Just stating my opinion......

    April 8, 2011 at 12:08 p.m.
  • From what I've heard about this incident from people who know the ones involved, I think it's a shame that termination was the result of their pour judgment in pulling a prank among friends. They should not have done what they did, but termination is way too severe a punishment. Suspension, a letter in their file, yes, but termination!? No. Our society has gone way too far on these type of issues. It's okay for us to see all types of filth on TV and in the movies, we even give awards to people who do this for entertainment off the job, but if someone pulls a prank like this on the job, oh my, there is a different standard.

    Shame on everyone involved, on the firefighters who used poor judgment for posting the pics and on the people who chose to fire them over it. Sad, sad for Victoria.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:50 a.m.
  • Well we have heard all the stories......from city hall to a college professor's analysis. What's next, some one stated let's get EEOC involved. Why not bring in the FBI, the CIA.....?

    Oh that's right- the Federal Government is broke and may close down today, but this is such a horrific case, may be the Fed's will make an exeption.

    I'm offended by Victoria Secrets and Old Navy commericals of half nude people. Let me file a sexual harrasement suit!

    This has turned out to be the most obsurd horse and pony show Victoria has witnessed since the fight between the DA office and the City Police Dept.

    Is there really nothing else - news worthy of publishing??
    If the City of Victoria operates as a business, then they should follow all HR business practices. HR dept information is confidential.

    No where but Victoria can a prank between friends turn out to be the Headlines.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:48 a.m.
  • Gay or straight or otherwise, I don't care what the "fireman" is. I just want them to get me out of whatever burning building I'm in. Whomever filed the complaint hasn't been on an airplane in a while otherwise he (she, it) would have filed a complaint against TWA.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:24 a.m.
  • @ scarlett,

    The Advocate is not taking sides in this story. That is just your perception because you are obviously close to the men involved.

    I can't believe you and others in this town are trying to defend this unacceptable behavior and want to sweep it under the rug. Only in a "Good Old Boy" network town like Victoria would this type of unprofessionalism and unethical behavior be seen as a "prank."

    How can anyone be OK with their tax dollars being spent for city employees to pull "pranks" like this on co-workers?

    There should be more heads rolling over this. The EEOC would have a field day investigating this and other unethical practices within COV.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:22 a.m.
  • I read this article by the victoria advocate with disgust. I cannot believe that they are trying to sensationalize this incident by now claiming it must be directed against gay people or as they quote, "it appears to be". Lets just clarify a little thing, this was apparently a practical joke amongst friends. Was it inappropriate in the workplace? Yes, today it is considered inappropriate. I still remember when you could prank your coworkers and everyone would laugh and no problems. Today, that isn't the case. There was no malicious intent on the part of these firemen. I read some comments yesterday that were posted and cannot believe what some of you were writing. These men and women put their lives on the line everyday without thinking about their own families. Unless you work in the medical field and see what they do, such as nurses, doctors, and EMS, you wouldn't understand that most of them do have what would be considered a "sick" sense of humor. Why? Because they need a healthy outlet for the stress of their job. I am in no way condoning the behavior, because I believe that they did break the city policy. However, don't make it out to be more than what it really was: a joke. I know there is more involved then what we have been told so everyone out there pointing fingers should just stop. People in glass all I am saying. Last but not least, who cares about who got offended? It was against a policy. Why are we as a public trying to push the blame off to a female captain? The blame is on the two men who committed the act and anyone else who participated. No one else. Break a policy - get punished. Not saying that I agree with the termination. In this case, I would have been okay with disciplinary action that may have included a suspension. remember the days when you could prank your coworkers and get off your high horses.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:11 a.m.
  • If you put the bad grammar aside, Letmakevicbetter has a good point. Is there more to the story? Of course there is! No one ever puts out all the information. We should let that comment show us that there is more information than the city is releasing and to not rush to think these guys should have been fired.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:07 a.m.
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    April 8, 2011 at 2:48 a.m.
  • Letmakevicbetter is obviously an employee of the fire department and one should question his agenda. He purports to be outraged that these 2 were dismissed over what he considers a minor incident yet he is trying to get another fired. He is intent on letting everyone know a "female captain" is the bad person here--what difference does gender make? Hes mad because an officer did what was right? Did the jod they are paid to do? Better to be a mole than a rat....

    April 7, 2011 at 10:55 p.m.
  • Yer right! Didn't expect that problem. Still not anything to get fired over, though. A week or two off without pay should get their attention.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:06 p.m.
  • LOL! I bet ya'll didn't see that one coming!

    April 7, 2011 at 10 p.m.
  • VicAd

    I want to know who made the complaint? I want to know why the department member that posted it at station one not once but twice after being told to take it down still has a job? I want to know why the advocate is trying to make it sound so my more then it is in this article? The two that got fired did not a fended anyone at thier station. The guy at station one most have a fended the female captain there. She is the one that took it to the acting chief. So why???????

    April 7, 2011 at 8:20 p.m.
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    April 7, 2011 at 7:59 p.m.