Bronx firefighters, EMS workers may soon be forced to take random drug tests

(02/28/04) SOUNDVIEW - Bronx firefighters and emergency medical service workers will soon be subjected to random drug tests. Fire commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta says the new policy is in response to a fire truck accident last Saturday in Mott Haven.

An FDNY driver, who tested positive for cocaine, crashed into another fire truck while responding to a fire. The truck driver from Engine Company 83 was on his way to Concord Avenue when the rig slammed into a truck from Engine Company 60 also on its way to the same blaze. The trucks collided on Jackson Avenue and St. Mary's Street. Eleven people, including nine firefighters, suffered minor injuries. The fire commissioner says Thomas Lennon was the driver who tested positive for cocaine. He faces suspension and administrative charges. Lennon is currently on medical leave.

The president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) tells News 12 The Bronx UFA members and Commissioner Scoppetta were in negotiations over drug testing more than a year ago. Union members say FDNY officials have repeatedly failed to respond to their proposals.

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