An inappropriately shaped meatloaf and reports of sexually explicit comments made in front of minors prompted an investigation into the Cromwell Fire Department.
Through a public records request, NBC Connecticut Investigates obtained copies of emails between the owners of On Scene Training and the Cromwell fire chief.
On Nov. 30, 2022, On Scene Training owner Brian Petrucelli emailed Chief Jason Brade to inform him that On Scene Training would no longer utilize the Cromwell Fire Department for clinical observation time for its EMS training courses.
Petrucelli said he received complaints from a few of his students about the unprofessionalism they witnessed by members of the fire department. He expressed concern in particular for his underage students, who are as young as 16.
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Petrucelli said students told him they overheard conversations of a sexual nature and “statements that students felt should never be discussed in front of the public.”
In response, Chief Brade told Petrucelli he was “extremely upset” by the reports and that the fire district would, “both be looking into the matter further, and taking appropriate action to ensure our staff are not acting in a manner as described.”
In a follow up email about a week later, Petrucelli said another student had come forward with a complaint.
“During these clinical rotations there was a dinner prepared that was inappropriate, a meatloaf shaped like a large penis. Subsequently on another shift discussions took place on this dinner,” he wrote.
In another instance, a member of the fire department reportedly bent over and said to a male student, “I bet you are looking at my a**.”
In response, the fire district hired an attorney to investigate the alleged incidents of sexual misconduct.
A spokesperson for the fire district tells NBC Connecticut the investigation was completed and no staff members were disciplined.
Petrucelli said he is satisfied with how the fire district handled the situation, and decided to continue the On Scene Training’s relationship with Cromwell. He said he has not received any new complaints from students.