Spearfish volunteer firefighter suspected of drinking before going to call

Local News

SPEARFISH, S.D. (KELO) — An outside agency is investigating a Spearfish volunteer firefighter accused of responding to a call after consuming alcohol on Sunday, September 13.

The Spearfish Fire Department says one of its volunteer firefighters, Christopher Gengler, is suspected of drinking alcohol prior to driving a fire department vehicle to a call. Officials say no damage was done to the vehicle, there weren’t any injuries and the scene wasn’t compromised.

A news release sent out by the Spearfish Fire Department on Wednesday says Gengler is no longer with the department and the city is handling the incident as a “personnel matter.”

“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 in a release. “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.”

Command personnel from the fire department say they have asked an outside agency to investigate and proceed with any subsequent action necessary.

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