TOLEDO, Ohio — A 28-year-old Toledo Fire Rescue recruit was terminated from the program after she successfully completed all the necessary training, was assigned a station and received her uniform and badge.
The Toledo native and mother of three, Sierra Adebisi, received a letter regarding her termination on the day of her class graduation.
Adebisi spoke out about the issue in a press conference outside One Government Center Friday. She claimed she was mistreated since the beginning of the program.
"This comes as a surprise to me, but this target has been on me since the second week of the academy," she said.
Requests for comment sent to the fire department and City of Toledo officials were declined.
Adebisi's press conference was held hours before she was supposed to graduate in the 293rd fire class.
The letter claimed her unacceptable performance in the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department program was the reason for her effective immediately termination.
Adebisi said she believes her termination was racially motivated since she completed every state exam and task that was given to her.
"I was repeatedly pulled out, I was repeatedly humiliated, isolated. One thing I would do, another recruit would do and I would be the only one," she said.
Adebisi also said that at one point, other recruits would apologize and express concern over how she was being treated differently than the others.
Her spokesperson, Earl Murry, claimed Adebisi has taken the necessary steps to document her treatment in the academy through a formal complaint.
"She filed it on March, the 24th, with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, along with three other persons. So, a total of four filed together," Murry said.
Murry said that her first complaint has not yet been investigated.
Other discrimination charges were filed in the beginning of August with the Ohio Civil Right Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to Murry.
Adebisi said she was looking forward to start working at her assigned station in south Toledo and was preparing to buy a house, but now she doesn't know what she is going to do because of the termination.
WTOL will update this story if more information becomes available.
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