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PTC terminates firefighter who reported for work drunk

Peachtree City firefighter/EMT Kevin Bernard McMullen had his employment with the city terminated Jan. 13 after reportedly showing up at work while under the influence of alcohol on Jan. 11. McMullen did not exercise his ability to appeal the Jan. 13 decision.

McMullen was hired while his father, Bernard McMullen, was city manager. The elder McMullen left the city’s employ last month.

McMullen was charged with DUI alcohol by Peachtree City Police on the morning of Jan. 11.

Fire department supervisors at McMullen’s place of work at Fire Station #81 at Paschall Road and Ga. Highway 74 initiated the process that led to the administration of sobriety tests by Peachtree City Police officers after performing a “mouth swab” at the fire station where McMullen had reported for duty.

Subsequent testing showed the 32-year-old Fayetteville resident with a blood alcohol levels of .135 and .136.

Peachtree City spokesperson Betsy Tyler said Tuesday that McMullen had been terminated on Jan. 13 for city policy violations. City policy provides a 10-day period to appeal the termination. McMullen registered no appeal of the city’s decision, Tyler said.

Officers on Jan. 11 administered several sobriety tests, with the results showing a blood alcohol level .135 and .136, police reports said. The legal limit in Georgia is .08.

Just prior to the administration of an additional sobriety test, one that is voluntary, McMullen said he would agree to the test and that he “wanted to prove he was innocent,” according to reports.

With the results of that test coming in at .136, the officer asked McMullen about the alcohol he had consumed. McMullen said he had consumed 10 glasses of wine at around 8 p.m. on Jan. 10, adding that he had consumed no alcohol that morning or since reporting to work, the report said. McMullen also told officers he drove his vehicle from his home in Fayetteville to work at the Paschall Road fire station earlier that morning, according to reports.

McMullen was subsequently charged with DUI and transported to the Fayette County Jail.

McMullen was one of the Recruit Class graduates in 2007 and, in January 2008, was named Peachtree City Fire Department’s Rookie of the Year.



for the high standards you set for your departments and staff. As unpleasant as this was for all who had to get involved, you did the right thing and our city is better for it. Thank you.

Mike King's picture

You assume Chief Eisworth had no previous knowledge of the man's problem. I would venture to say that there was prior knowledge.

The question we need answered is how long has this been tolerated.

You should know that if one admits to warning someone before about such things in the hope of changing them, that he is in trouble!

I understand your logic, that if someone drinks as much as they said he did and was dumb enough to go to work, it would be quite unusual if that had been the first time!

For instance, is it possible that the former Chief of police did computer porn while on the job and no one there knew about it? There wouldn't be any fun in it if not shared!

"On the job" is the problem, and I'm speaking of physical and mental condition not just wasting city time! Pilots shouldn't fly who are druggies "off" the job!

Robert W. Morgan's picture

After all he admitted to going to some porn sites on the job, but it was just for research to help him in his campaign to bust those evildoers who were coming to our town to hook up with 13 year old girls. Plausible isn't it?

I also miss those dummies getting arrested by our very own police. Wish the new chief would start up that sting operation again.

Live free or die!

SPQR's picture

Too bad. I'm sure this was a first offense.

First offense recorded or first offense turned in?

ilockemup's picture

Both the fire department and the PD in PTC deserve credit. They saw a problem with one of their own and did the right thing.

One bad apple will spoil the whole bunch.

Many departments just cover up for the wrong doing of their employees. Many chiefs would have just kept the guy off the road (or worse).

Good work.

They could have taken the easy way out, but I think they did the right thing in this case. It's a violation of the public trust to have a first-responder show up for work intoxicated.

Gawd, this is the second time you and I have been in agreement on something. Somewhere a seal is breaking.

she said that hatey,killy,crosshairs,reloady thing is working fine.
Also it may be a violation of public trust to have a first-responder show up intoxicated, but the articl had TMI too much information.

.......a vile talker, although I expected she was in private. That church of hers uses some real funny talk in services too, it may not be vile, I don't know.

She now says all Obama said was, WTF stuff.

Where does she want to cut the budget enough to balance it? She hasn't a clue!
The big tax cut Obama had to agree to do is the real problem. When is that going to produce all those jobs promised?
That and the 2% SS tax reduction for every single wage-earner--right when SS is broke. Makes no sense except to get votes by dummies.

My goodness we get less smart every day.

Kevin is a good man who made a very poor decision. I have worked with Kevin and he is an excellent firefighter and excellent public servant. Along with serving Peachtree City, Kevin served in the U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom and saw heavy combat. That is no excuse for showing up to work drunk but it was a poor decision that does not define the person he is.

Live for life, but be prepared to exit.

Why is this incident described in such detail ? Usually arrests are hidden in a small column that says "John Jones,age23,DUI,PTC." I don't think this event even belongs in the paper, especially in the way it is written. So he had a "mouth swab", drank "10 glasses of wine" etc. That info is not germaine to the issue. Plus his blood alcohol levels were listed twice and his father's name listed.

All we needed to know is this; A PTC fireman/EMT,Mr KBM, was terminated as an employee of PTC on Jan. 13 for DUI/alcohol which is a violation of city policy.

The headline PTC Terminates Firefighte who reported for work drunk
is lousy journalism. Were you afraid no one would read the article if you used DUI instead of drunk ?
Who are you really trying to demean with this article ?

Who knows the real purpose, but the fact is that 90% of the stuff on TV currently is done because it is NEWS and people like that stuff.

SPQR's picture

If you were the chief and wanted to avoid being terminated with bad performance reviews would you mess with the boss's kid?

I thought alcoholism was a disease not a problem. If he had shown up for work with illness from chemotherapy would they have fired him? Give the guy some help, but no!! lets ruin his life and that of his family. If the Fire department had prior knowledge shame on them for not addressing it sooner. Kevin god bless you and your family and I wish you the best. You risked your life for the citizens of PTC as well as defending this country in Iraq. God only knows what you have been through. The administration of PTC as well as the citizens of this community have turned our backs on you when you needed us most. Can we not give you just ONE chance!! I am discussed with the comments on this board. Shame on you!!

Just vote. Citizens have given their lives for that right. Stop spending money we do not have. myself

NUK_1's picture

Seriously, get your head out of the sand.

This wasn't a "PTC problem," it was an individual problem that cannot be dealt with any differently than what everyone in "PTC" handled quite well.

As far as alcoholism being a "disease and not a problem," I don't know what to say that kind of ignorance. You don't think that having a disease is a problem for not only the person with a "disease" but also the employer?

"You don't think that having a disease is a problem for not only the person with a "disease" but also the employer?"

I sure am glad my co-worker friends were not fired for their "PROBLEM" of prostate cancer and another who had throat cancer. They missed a lot of work because of their "problem". Thank God they were allowed to seek help and return to work. They were allowed to overcome their "problem".

Just vote. Citizens have given their lives for that right. Stop spending money we do not have. myself

Gene61's picture

Good job, removing this firefighter was the right move.he reported to work drunk, bottom lime he was in violation of the law and in fact could have posed a safety concern to those around him.

10 glasses of wine, I also wonder if this man has a serious problem with alcohol.

Shame on you for even suggesting that there should be different rules for different classes of employees. Being a war vet or a FD employee doesn't warrant special treatment on this or any other issue. Ask anyone affiliated with MADD if this guy should get a special break. When his pop was in charge a lot of folks got far worse treatment than this for far less serious perceived infractions.
You should be ashamed to expose your bias - or ignorance - in such an obvious manner.

From the CDC web sight

Dependency on alcohol, also known as alcohol addiction and alcoholism, is a chronic disease. The signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence include—

* A strong craving for alcohol.
* Continued use despite repeated physical, psychological, or interpersonal problems.
* The inability to limit drinking.

1.What he did was wrong and against the law.
2.He has a disease that has severely clouded his judgment.
3.I believe he should be given an opportunity to seek a cure for that disease. If he won't then let him go.
4.If a cashier at Kroger did the same thing they should get the same opportunity. His position has nothing with the opportunity to be offered help.

I have no knowledge of his "pop". Sounds like someone may have a chip on their shoulder regarding that. This man served his country and his community. What he did was wrong no doubt, by the grace of God no one was hurt. I just believe he as well as anybody should get the opportunity to seek a cure for his or her disease. I am ashamed of myself for having a little compassion regarding a man and his family. I am ashamed of myself for believing that a man who has gone to war for this country and risked his life for his community should not be maligned on this board.
Before you go there I have never had a DUI and never will. I am blessed to have not contracted this disease or any other that I am aware of. Now I will tuck my tail between my legs hang my head low and walk away in shame.

Just vote. Citizens have given their lives for that right. Stop spending money we do not have. myself

Justacitizen never said there should be different rules nor should being an Iraq vet warrant special treatment. That's your interpretation. JAC simply gave some info about the man. The crack about his "pop" shows your bias big time.

The city or someone needs to reach out to Kevin and help him. Get him the help he needs, don't ruin his life. He made a mistake a huge mistake that could have hurt people but help is what he needs not to be belittled and chastised. Get him into rehab and give him another chance to serve PTC.

Live for life, but be prepared to exit.

I favor treatment being more affordable and more available for mental problems and addictions.
At one time we had mental hospitals paid for by either insurance or the states. They were shut down due to costs. (Reagan administration).
We have never had such availability for addictions.

The Betty Ford Center is only available for cash customers. Judges can on occasion demand treatment, usually evaluation for some, but these are simple clinics.

After saying that, I must say that we can not provide that availability only when someone of importance (fireman) needs such help.

Showing favoritism when desired is a sure way to defeat any program.

It boils down to money--which no one of any quantity has--or insurance.
We can continue to ignore people in those conditions by writing it off as they did it to themselves----to bad they aren't wealthy!

[quote]I favor treatment being more affordable and more available for mental problems and addictions[/quote]

Must be what I ate this morning - agreeing again with 'roundabout'. I saw the results of Reagan's decision when the mentally unstable were put out on the streets of California. Early detection and treatment should be available to teachers, lawyers, judges, police persons, and yes - firefighters. This would assist the person with the disease and the public.

Well it was #1 goof in the 80s, but calling ketchup a "Vegetable" in order to cheapen school lunch costs was rare Reaganesque!

The type voters he had then are similar to the ones now who harp all of the time about welfare, stamps, foreign aid, health care, earmarks, and assisted housing!

Eliminate all of them and the reduction in spending would be hard to find!

They simply don't want people to have any of that!

Along with these big problems:

Is it legal to carry TWO guns and a knife now?

Is BBQ served in the White House?

Is Obama really a US citizen?

Can a black man possibly run the USA executive office?
(Other than Powell or Thomas)

this made a lot of sense LOL

Just vote. Citizens have given their lives for that right. Stop spending money we do not have. myself

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Never makes sense, justacitizen. Keep on looking

Live free or die!

I agree with bonker, the "sense" is ALL there---facts only! Those decisions were about his top skill. Did better on 20 mule team borax!

If anyone where to reach out to this person it should be his family. If I'm not mistaken one or two of them live right here in good ole PCT.

PTC had no choice but to discharge this person. I would bet that our insurance doesn't cover city employees driving/operating city equipment while under the influence.

That being said, I'm not sure our previous mayor didn't bend if not break some rules when he assisted another city employee.

It's not that I don't feel sorry for this person or his family I just don't want to be legally liable for his actions.

I won't drive under the influence and I don't expect the city to 'cover me' if I were to be caught doing so.

The city does not and should not be responsible for operating a crises help center.

You may not "drive under the influence" but your self-righteous attitiude
" confident of one's own righteousness, esp. when smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others " makes you a threat on the highway. Just my opinion.

You probably also believe that alcohol addiction is a life style problem, whereas, it is a medical problem,like cancer, and treatment is usually covered in most health insurance plans.

A final word. You are ignorant of the law. There is no way you could be "legally liable for his actions", unless,of course, you were responsible for his drinking an alleged 10 glasses of wine.

NUK_1's picture

The only person who truly knows whether McMullen is an alcoholic or not is McMullen himself, not you, and not anyone else here.

We can all say that he has an alcohol "problem" like anyone else that gets a DUI and loses their job from that, but whether he needs treatment or not is something that can't be determined based on the information. Plenty of people have alcohol problems that ARE in fact lifestyle choices, not due to addiction.

I can appreciate you supporting McMullen as he's going to need it whether or not he's an alcoholic, but saying that all he needs is treatment and a second chance with PTC isn't going to help him if that isn't the issue.

I never said McMullen was an alcoholic nor did I mention him by name.Your statement is true "Plenty of people have alcohol problems that ARE in fact lifestyle choices, not due to addiction." Many of these people drive cars after drinking.In my opinion, anyone who gets a DUI does so due to poor judgement.

DarkMadam's picture

How do we know that he was not offered help? It is quite possible that he was offered help in the past but chose not to take it. I am not against his firing, but I just can not see that the PTC FD could not have possibly seen that this may have been a problem and offered him assistance prior to this particular incident.

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