City of Spearfish releases statement regarding volunteer firefighter incident

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SPEARFISH, S.D. — Spearfish Fire Department command staff became aware of a volunteer firefighter who responded to a call on Sunday, September 13, and was suspected of drinking alcohol prior to responding.

Command personnel asked an outside agency to investigate and proceed with any subsequent action necessary.

The firefighter, Christopher Gengler, had driven a fire department vehicle to the scene, but there was no damage to the vehicle, nor any injuries or compromise to the scene due to his actions.

The City of Spearfish is handling the incident as a personnel matter.

Gengler is no longer with the fire department, and the City of Spearfish cannot comment further on personnel matters.

“We expect all members of the Spearfish Fire Department – paid or volunteer – to demonstrate the highest standards of personal and professional conduct,” Spearfish Public Safety Director Pat Rotert said. “Chris has served the fire department and community for 30-plus years with an impeccable record. This was an unfortunate error in judgment that I believe was driven by his desire to serve and is not indicative of his character or the department’s standards.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News