In 2013, a fire fighter in the municipal fire department where I was employed physically assaulted me, multiple times at work. I had been sexually abused and assaulted at work previously, but these assaults were very violent and broke me. I was too afraid to go to work anymore. I was the lone female fire fighter in the many fire stations that I worked at. Other fire fighters witnessed the many assaults and abuse and did nothing.
I contacted the police and the fire fighter was charged. The city asked me to resign. I refused. The city’s investigation was exhausting and unprofessional. The union was of little help. A lawyer did an investigation interviewing me and all the male fire fighters. No one sided with me. I was exhausted and depressed.
In reality, the abuse started in 2006 at the fire academy when my training captain sexually assaulted me. He was later charged by the police as well. Over 15 municipal fire fighters (men) haven bullied, assaulted me, and harassed me. I have spoken with other female fire fighters who are now off work due to harassment. We have some of the same perpetrators! This fire department is systematic in its abuse on woman. I am trying to keep my Human Relations Tribunal file open. It feels like my only leverage. I am receiving payment from the Workerplace Safety Insurance Board, and the municipality is challenging that decision.
In 2018 after a ridiculous arbitration process \, that took over ten dates, the union threaten that if I did not sign the arbitration agreement, he would. The agreement has not yet been implemented. The city is claiming I received an excess of Long Term Disability payments and want me to give them $40,000.00. My settlement agreement states that I shall receive $50,000.00 for the violence I experienced and a letter of apology from the fire chief.
I want out of my NDA and have already contacted both my lawyers working on my case. I have severe and chronic PTSD and speak with my psychiatrist on a weekly basis. The emotional toll on me since joining fire department has been very damaging. I self-isolate, I moved to a rural area to get out of the city due to being traumatized by hearing fire trucks. I miss my career but would never go back or recommend that anyone become a fire fighter anywhere.