A culture clash within the Boston Fire Department is at the root of the recent no confidence vote in Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira by 13 out of 14 deputy chiefs. But this isn’t a flap — as in the past — about whether shamrock details are appropriate decorations on fire trucks in a racially diverse city. In a recent letter to Mayor Menino, the deputies are charging that Abraira’s ineffective leadership and reluctance to assume the responsibilities of command at complex emergency scenes could cost “the life of a citizen of Boston or a member of the Boston Fire Department.’’
These are extremely serious charges and deserve close attention in upcoming City Council hearings and any independent review of the city’s public safety response to the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing. The deputies have leveled an especially harsh charge at Abraira of failing to show any leadership and relegating himself to spectator status after the blasts that killed three and wounded scores of spectators.