As Unfair Park should have made clearer in our report Tuesday about Ellis County volunteer firefighters accused of sexually assaulting a trainee with a link of chorizo, the firefighters are not employed by the the city of Waxahachie or connected with Waxahachie's 58-member professional fire department.
Texas Rangers say the assault took place at the Ellis County Emergency Service District 6 fire department. ESD 6 has a Waxahachie address, but is located outside of the city. It mostly fights fires in unincorporated Ellis County -- although it does have an agreement to help and receive help from the Waxahachie Fire Department should the need arise.
The Waxahachie Fire Department issued a statement Wednesday morning:
"Over the past two days, a news story regarding five Ellis County Firefighters arrested for alleged sexual assault has been reported across the state. Many of the news outlets that have covered this story have referred to the individuals that were arrested as "Waxahachie Firefighters". This reference is not only incorrect, it also wrongly implicates involvement from the Waxahachie Fire Department, which is a stand-alone and separate entity that has nothing to do with this situation.
To clarify, the individuals that were arrested were members of Emergency Services District #6 (ESD #6), and have no affiliations with the Waxahachie Fire Department . Additionally, the 56 members of the Waxahachie Fire Department are all certified, professional, paid firefighters employed by the City of Waxahachie. None of these 56 firefighters volunteer at ESD #6.
ESD #6 is located in rural areas of Ellis County, outside the Waxahachie City Limits. The Waxahachie Fire Department provides professional fire protection and emergency medical services within the Waxahachie City Limits. On occasion, the Waxahachie Fire Department provides mutual aid within the ESD #6 area. Above that, there is no association between the two.
Furthermore, the public should not assume that this type of behavior is normal or condoned in any way. This alleged incident is appalling and inexcusable to those of us who serve in the Fire Service."
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Amy Hollywood, spokeswoman for the city of Waxahachie, said the Waxahachie Fire Department doesn't deserve the negative attention it's getting by association.
"Our guys are really great guys. They're professional firefighters. They've got nothing to do with this. They don't volunteer over there. It's completely separate," she said.
We've changed the headline on our original story.