AUSTIN - Dozens of Austin firefighters Monday said they want the department to do more to address the treatment of women and cited the department's handling of complaints against a lieutenant in 2013 as an example.
Several firefighters accused former Lt. James Baker of inappropriately touching women during medical checks, but said they were disappointed department officials handled the matter as a medical training issue and did not investigate possible misconduct.
They said had the department done more at the time, it may have prevented a case in which Baker is charged with setting up a hidden camera in a women's locker room.
"If a breakdown in the department's process for investigating complaints left female patients, female firefighters or even female station visitors vulnerable, then we need to identify that breakdown and we need to fix it," said firefighter Erin Dempsey.
Baker has since retired, and the case against him is pending in Travis County court.
Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr did not specifically address Baker's case, but released a statement saying that the department has taken steps to improve conditions for women and will continue to do so.
She said in the statement, "I look forward to hearing what additional specific actions the association would recommend the department take on this issue."
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