“I’m more than likely gonna catch total grief from my administration from this,” Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Christian Granucci says at the start of a 12-minute social media video in which he calls the vaccine mandate for himself and his fellow city firefighters “total tyranny.”
He was correct about the first part.
Granucci—who says in the rant, posted Monday, that he’s a 31-year veteran of the department—is facing an internal investigation for the statements he made while wearing an LAFD baseball cap and T-shirt, a repost of which had garnered 28,750 views on YouTube by Tuesday morning.
Regarding the August 18 vote by the L.A. City Council, which will require all city employees to be vaccinated once the order is signed by the Mayor, Granucci says, “I am done being silent on this matter, and so are many of our members… We saw this tyranny coming. We saw it coming across the Pacific. A week and a half ago it landed in Honolulu with the Honolulu Fire Department.”
Granucci then refers to Honolulu Fire Department Captain Kaimi Pelekai, who earlier this month released an emotional video explaining why he is against the mandate in his own department and calls the vaccines an “experimental drug.”
In his own video, Granucci promises, “We will take the fight to you, the city of Los Angeles.”
As KTLA reports, the LAFD responded with a statement Tuesday, saying, “While we respect the individual’s right to his opinion, he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the Department. The individual is in uniform and appears to be on duty, thereby giving the impression that he is speaking in an official capacity.”
Additionally, the department stated that Granucci’s actions are under investigation and could lead to a disciplinary review.
Meanwhile, LAFD Captain Freddy Escobar, president of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112, said in a statement that although the union encourages its members to be vaccinated, it does not support vaccinations being “a condition of employment,” adding that the majority of city firefighters have “voluntarily been vaccinated and more are choosing to do so each week.”
According to the department, 54.3 percent of sworn LAFD personnel are fully vaccinated, but Escobar admitted that L.A. has seen an increase in first responders quitting their jobs and says the union is trying to work with the city to stop the exodus.
“We are in discussions with the City because our highly skilled and experienced LAFD Firefighters and Paramedics cannot be easily replaced—especially in a department that is already understaffed,” he said. “The unexpected departure of even a small percentage of our workforce would have a devastating impact on public safety in Los Angeles.”
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