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Police & Fire

Fire Chief Removed From Duty Over Racist Posts About Protestors

The chief of the Washington Heights Volunteer Fire Department has been relieved of duties after allegedly making racists comments.
The chief of the Washington Heights Volunteer Fire Department has been relieved of duties after allegedly making racists comments. Photo Credit: Washington Heights Volunteer Fire Department Facebook

An area volunteer fire chief has been relieved of his duties after making racist comments on his Facebook page about protestors decrying police-related deaths.

Washington Heights Fire Chief Chuck Healy was removed from duty on Tuesday, June 2, said officials with the volunteer fire department, which is based in the City of Middletown and covers the town of Wallkill. 

Healy, a 34-year firefighter, allegedly made the comments numerous times.

The department was barraged with complaints after word spread of the posts. 

The department, which is overseen by a board of civil officers, and not the town of Wallkill, issued a statement following his removal.

"The Washington Heights Fire Department does not condone his statement or his views," said the department. "The mission of the Fire Department is to protect all residents. Mr. Healy’s post was insensitive and inappropriate at a time when all people should be unified against hate and discrimination."

They were "frankly embarrassed and assure the community that these statements do not reflect the views of our volunteer firefighters."

The department also strongly suggested Healy offer a public apology while they reviewed all disciplinary options with legal counsel. 

Healy reportedly defended his statements to reporters, saying he had "colored grandkids."

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