The Milwaukee Fire Department announced Friday that it has terminated five fire cadets, based on complaints from several female cadets. A statement from the MFD says the department opened an internal investigation after the female cadets filed complaints on Monday Dec. 18.
The statement does not go into detail, but says that the probe focused on complaints of "sexual harassment and unprofessional conduct in the workplace."
The MFD Fire Cadet program introduces high school graduates to the firefighting profession. The department hires people who are from 17 to 19 years in age. The cadets earn a salary and receive college credits.
The MFD website describes the program as "nationally recognized," and a "great career opportunity for young adults."
The termination of the cadets marks the second time in two weeks that the MFD has been in the news because of harassment claims. On Dec. 7, the department announced that a heavy equipment operator, Michael Peden, had been charged with second degree sexual assault by force. The charge involves a female coworker.