Why the firefighter may have flipped: Department treatment after he stopped another firefighter from killing himself

A firefighter charged with threatening to go on even worse of a rampage than that Los Angeles cop was angry when the fire department ordered him back to work from a leave granted after he tackled another firefighter trying to kill himself in the Engine 49 firehouse in Readville, a source says.

The incident, about a week ago, ended with Kenneth Veiga covered in blood - and the other firefighter still alive - the source says.

Because of the traumatic nature of the incident, his commander gave him time off. On Tuesday, however, he failed to convince superiors that he be allowed to see his own physician, rather than a department doctor, before returning to work.

Boston Police allege he told a union representative and a superior officer that "I am Army trained and have weapons and ammunitions in a storage locker. Dorner will be child's play."

Veiga was suspended with pay and now faces a March 4 hearing before a West Roxbury District Court clerk on whether he will face criminal charges.

Department spokesman Steve MacDonald declined to comment on the incident, except to say that Veiga "is a 24 year veteran who is on paid administrative leave while police look into alleged statements."

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

    Free tagging: 

    Comments

    UHub is the best source of

    By on

    UHub is the best source of info in Boston. Always scooping the major news outlets.

    Adam and the scoop

    By on

    Yeah, he got it -- sources tell me that he actually rescued the guy from the attempted suicide.

    While Mumbles and 'the comish' hang him out What's up

    Appears major problems at BFD and the new doc
    This would have never happened several years back
    What's Tom Menino to say now! Or will he

    up
    11

    This may not be the whole story....

    Because of the traumatic nature of the incident, his commander gave him time off. On Tuesday, however, he failed to convince superiors that he be allowed to see his own physician, rather than a department doctor, before returning to work.

    From my experience, when you get injured on duty, you basically are on sick leave until HR says your injury was a result of the job. More often than not it is an easy call (person falls and breaks their ankle). Either way a City doctor has to evaluate you, and the City can order you do do whatever they want. It's pretty much all contractual.

    Sometimes the city doctor will determine that you are ok to go back to work. You might not feel that is correct, and you can get a letter from your own doctor saying you can't work. When this happens, you stay on your own sick time, and the City workers comp insurance starts to take over and set you up for more doctors appointments and evaluations. If the two doctors have different diagnosis, then a third party doctor can do an evaluation.

    No one is stopping him from seeing his own doctor, but it is kind of shocking to me that even a city doctor could order him back to work so soon. He may have been out of sick time too, when that happens, you basically go on unpaid leave, which is obviously costly.

    Either way there is a lot more to this story out there.

    up
    10

    No doubt there's more going on here

    By on

    But at least we have the beginnings of the story, hopefully, instead of just this giant question hanging out there, i.e., why would somebody even make threats like that, if he did?

    up
    13

    why?

    By on

    probably a combination of pts, anger, and having dorner's tale fresh on his mind. obviously the guy is not ready to go back into that firehouse.

    hopefully he's not compteting in any bodybuilding contests.

    up
    10

    Menino seems to be in a somewhat forgiving mood

    From the Herald story:

    Mayor Thomas M. Menino said he takes the matter “very seriously.”

    “You don’t make those statements. Just out of line,” Menino said. “I think maybe he needs some help, and we’ll give him the help if he needs the help.”

    If I were Veiga, I would definitely go the counseling route at this point. That might be as good an offer as he will get, regardless of what he did or did not actually say.

    up
    10

    Boston Fire MD's

    By on

    Also as quiet as it has been kept the Boston Fire Department has gone through about four new department doctors this past year. How competent is this new doctor and he is not a shrink. For critical incidents like this most departments put their guys out for a two week minimum to make sure their mentally okay. Veiga was covered in blood do you really think two mental heath days was enough? Shame on that doctor and shame on the Union local 718 for not standing up and helping their own dues paying member and for calling the police on him in the first place, when he went to them for help. Isn't that a lack of representation and violation of his union rights and privacy? The lack of help and support for this member is a disgrace.

    up
    12