Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Saturday, January 19, 2013
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Firefighters union president is rehired

Former Monroe County Fire Rescue lieutenant and current firefighters union President John Hamburger got his job back, according to 35-page ruling released by a special arbitrator Thursday.

Hamburger, president of the International Association of Firefighters 3909 union, will not receive back pay for the year he was out of work -- Dec. 7, 2011, to Dec. 6, 2012, according to the ruling.

Hamburger claimed he was fired because he blew the whistle on an Aug. 10, 2010, incident in which a Sheriff's Office Trauma Star flight medic allegedly took medical supplies from the Marathon helicopter hangar to treat a volunteer firefighter with a non-life-threatening malady.

The county countered that Hamburger was fired after repeated incidents of insubordinate behavior and that his leadership role in the union had nothing to do with Monroe County Fire Chief Jim Callahan's decision to fire him.

Hamburger is to receive pay from Dec. 7 onward, said Monroe County Assistant Attorney Cynthia Hall.

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