Fire Lt. Robert Alverado suspended for wearing uniform with old logo

The old D.C. Fire logo.

A D.C. Fire Lieutenant with a clean record was placed on administrative leave after wearing an overcoat bearing the old department logo.

Lieutenant Robert Alverado says all he was trying to do Tuesday morning was stay warm.

"It was either take this off and be cold or go home," Alverado said. "I was sent home."

Alverado was at the Fire Training Academy with three of his men and Truck 13. They were outside practicing for an upcoming certification test but the training ended abruptly when Alverado claims a deputy chief told him to remove his overcoat because it had the department's previous logo on it.

Last March Chief Kenneth Ellerbe changed the department's logo to include the words Fire and EMS and ordered personnel to only wear gear with the new logo.

Alverado said he doesn't have another department overcoat.

"I've got a clean disciplinary record," he said. "Been on for 12 years. I'm not a trouble maker."

A Fire Department spokesperson said that D.C. Fire and EMS rules state anyone who doesn't wear clothing with the new logo on the job will be disciplined.

"The members need to be provided the jackets that the department wants them to wear," Alverado said.

He said neither he nor any of his fellow firefighters have been given new department issued sweatshirts or overcoats. Tuesday morning, it was 29 degrees at the Academy.

"I could wear that which is covered in carcinogens and toxins but I would prefer to only wear that on a fire scene."

Alverado says he could ultimately be suspended for what he did. A D.C. Fire and EMS spokesperson would not comment on Alverado's case, but did say the department was in the process of buying new gear for all personnel with the proper logos on them.

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