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Alameda County Firefighters In Hot Water Over Chinese New Year's Card

Carrie Hodousek
May 07, 2019 - 11:22 am

The Alameda County Fire Department is coming under fire for a Chinese lunar New Year card critics said is racially offensive.

The card appears to show members of San Lorenzo's Station 22 sporting bamboo hats while posing for scenarios that reinforce racial stereotypes. 

Carl Chan, vice president of Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, said the depictions shocked members of the community. He said that he is "truly angered by the racially offensive Chinese New Year's card."

Chan sent a letter to the Alameda County Fire Department last month in which he called the pictures "a disgusting example" and accused firefighters of acting as if they were in a frat house rather than a fire house.

Related: Racist Graffiti Discovered Again At College

"Our trust must be restored by actionable corrections that will be sustained going forward," Chan said.

Disciplinary action must be taken so that this kind of thing never happens again, Chan said. 

He suggested that the department find ways to provide further education and training so that this kind of incident never happens again.

"The [Alameda County Fire Department> is taking this issue very seriously," said a statement fromAlameda County Fire Chief David Rocha. "It is inconsistent with our values and the respect we demand our employees demonstrate toward the communities we serve."

It's unknown whether the firefighters that appear on the card were on duty when the photos were taken. 

This story was first reported by KPIX-5