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Pasco Fire Rescue employee fired for marijuana | News

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Pasco Fire Rescue employee fired for marijuana

Zephyrhills, Florida -- A Pasco County Fire Rescue employee is out of a job after admitting that a small amount of marijuana belonged to him.

Driver-engineer/paramedic Edward Haberle worked at Fire Station 16 in Zephyrhills and was immediately relieved of duty, according to a county press release Monday.

Haberle has been with the Pasco County Fire Department since Oct. 5, 2003.

"Pasco has a zero tolerance policy for illegal drugs, and drug use is not tolerated," the county release said.

The small amount of marijuana was found near one of the firetrucks and was turned in by a firefighter. Haberle later admitted the drug belonged to him.

"The fire employee came forth through his union representative and he was very apologetic and said he was embarrassed," said Pasco County government spokesperson Doug Tobin. "It was less than a quarter ounce of marijuana, but that doesn't make it any better regardless of any amount of drugs, that is too many drugs."

Tobin said his office was about to test all 21 firefighters, but Haberle admitted before that process began. Therefore, they did not test any of them.

"We are negotiating with the union to find out about implementing random drug testing," said Tobin. "It's something we do not currently have but we want it because our Pasco firefighters are the best and need to be trusted."

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The employee will be on inactive status for up to a year, which means he will not receive any benefits. The employee will remain on inactive status and can apply for reinstatement in six months only after he completes a drug rehab program and submits to a drug test.


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