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Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department racy pics under investigation

5:05 PM, Aug 7, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The photos show several nearly naked firefighters. Some of them are captured in compromising positions as they stripped down for charity. But now, those captured in the images may be in trouble for a performance that looked more like a scene from the movie Magic Mike.

In one of the photos, Lt. Jenny Kabisch is shown topless except for the suspenders covering her nipples. She's wearing her bunker uniform pants and posing for the camera.

Others are shown decked out in firefighter gear in racy positions that were all caught on camera Thursday night at the Whisky River bar and restaurant on the Southside of Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson Tom Francis said Martin Senterfitt, the Director/Fire Chief of the Department, is not happy about it and now an internal investigation is underway.

"No one can represent the JFRD in or out of uniform at a public or social gathering without the permission of the Director/Fire Chief," Tom Francis said.

Francis said they're identifying who is in the photos and interviewing witnesses. No doubt Chief Mike Allen could be on that list of witnesses since he was captured in a photo at the event in street clothes. There are questions about his presence and whether he was there during the strip show watching it all unfold.

Chief Allen recently received a 20-day suspension without pay for viewing porn on his fire station office computer.

Francis said participating in the charity event was not affiliated or sanctioned by the department. But he said what's also at issue is the public's trust. He said they're also looking into whether personnel at the event were on duty or off.

"No one's really ever off duty," Francis said, "In other words, as you pass an incident even if you're off duty, you have an obligation to stop and render assistance if there's another accident."

Randy Wyse, president of Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters,  said there's still a lot of unanswered questions. He looked at a handful of the photos and questions whether all of those pictured are even with the department and where all the gear came from.

Wyse said "we'll have to determine whether or not all of that is city issued gear ... that I don't know."

He said he does want the public to know that the "First Responders Appreciation Night" was a fundraiser that was being held for a good cause -- to pay for the education of fellow firefighter Jason Bishop's three children.

"It was a fundraiser for a firefighter that was killed doing side work," Wyse said.

No word yet on what type of punishment those involved could face. Francis said it will all depend on what rules, if any, were broken.

Tammie Fields, First Coast News

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