Bigotry Plagues Fire Station

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Two Southport volunteer firefighters, including the volunteer fire chief, have been removed from the Southport fire roster.

Three Bay County firefighters at the same station face termination.

"There were several allegations made by a career firefighter. In the course of the investigation it was determined some of those allegations could be corroborated independently."

There are allegations that the men used racially charged and offensive language on a regular basis at the Southport Fire Station.

"We are recommending the attorney in conjunction with the human resource manager recommend the termination of three career employees."

There were also allegations of religious harassment, but Bay County officials say there wasn't enough evidence to prove that.

"The career firefighters have the opportunity before Monday to ask for a hearing in front of the county manager called a pre-termination hearing, then has 10 days to go ahead to make the decision on if the recommendations should be taken or if some other action should be taken."

The investigation into the incident is closed, but it will be several days before the fate of the three county fire officials is determined.

Southport is in the middle of a possible incorporation to create its own city. If residents pass incorporation, they would then have to decide whether to continue with the county fire services, or create their own department.