The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today’s winner is former Umatilla Florida Fire Chief Richard Shirk. He gets the award for the following.

UMATILLA – Fire Chief Richard Shirk resigned Monday, after igniting a scandal by sharing pictures of a fatal accident that included an image of a nearly-nude female victim.

Last week, City Manager Glenn Irby said that he planned to fire Shirk. On Monday, Irby said that Shirk had handed in his resignation, effective immediately.

In a Dec. 12 report, Umatilla Police Chief Doug Foster said that Shirk showed a lack of concern for the victim and embarrassed the fire department when he e-mailed pictures of the 26-year-old woman to fire departments in Mount Dora, Eustis and Leesburg.

In two of the images, the woman’s breast is visible. The woman died after the early November crash.

According to Foster’s report, Shirk said he intended to use the photographs for training.

Which leaves the unanswered question- What type of training? Is it common practice to send out photos to other departments? Out of respect for the accident victims, I’d think photos would be heavily scrutunized before being used. Then maybe I’m wrong.

A sensible fire chief would have never sent out this type of photo. Based on Shirk’s resignation and the fact he had fired from a previous job, I don’t think the sharing of these photos was any accident. I’ve always argued People in positions like this need to be held to high standards, and this at the very least constitutes poor judgment, at worst you have a fire chief engaging in a sick form of pornography.

No matter which, I name former Umatilla Florida Fire Chief Richard Shirk today’s Knucklehead of the Day.

Update: According to this article at ABC News:

Shirk initially sent the e-mail to representatives of three nearby fire departments, and it was forwarded to other people, City Manager Glenn Irby said.

These pictures may have ended up in the hands of people who used them for their jollies. Pretty sick, and as one commenter said, what if this woman was your daughter or sister(or wife)?

Update 2: People who read the post before I updated, fail to consider that the City Manager was preparing to fire this guy. I’ve been following news in Florida long enough to know firemen, policemen, etc. too often get away with stuff we civilians would find our ass in jail for or fired. Take for instance these fire department officials. Only after enough outrage was voiced, were they demoted.

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