For the first time, the Toledo fire department is speaking out about one of their former fire recruits who was terminated the day of graduation.
Sierra Adebisi claims she was mistreated and faced racial discrimination throughout her training.
Toledo Fire Chief Brian Byrd could not provide specifics on this case but said all terminations from the fire academy are a specific and detailed process.
“The process includes other city departments such as diversity and inclusion,” said Toledo Fire Chief Brian Byrd.
The chief said all the reasons Adebisi was terminated are stated in her file.
Those reasons outlined in documents from TFD include lacking physical ability, having a poor attitude and missing classes.
Other issues cited include sleeping in class, showing up without gear, missing equipment and missing carpools to training, which is a requirement TFD upholds.
Additionally some fire recruits and instructors have accused Adebisi of recording conversations throughout training to use against the city.
At a press conference Thursday afternoon regarding the situation, it is believed Sierra Adebisi was there. She asked a number of questions regarding diversity and testing standards, but left right as it ended. Adebisi ’s representative Dr. Earl Murry said he did not know she planned to go and that it was shocking to hear she attended. But Murry did state Adebisi had a legal right to be there.
Murry also said there are no specific charges against her that call for termination.
Chief Byrd again stressed these situations involve a number of departments in the city.
“Anytime we make a decision like that, there’s a process. And again the decision was made based off the information you have in that documentation,” said Chief Byrd.
Chief Byrd this recruitment class was one of the most diverse since the 1980’s and wants to make it his goal to continue to push for diversity throughout TFD.