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Decorated War Hero Put on Administrative Leave

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 10/1/12 @ 8:45 p.m.
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A decorated war veteran who came back to his job as fire chief is now off the job.

His city leaders have concerns over the Purple Heart winner's mental capacity to do his duties. But the vet says it's not his abilities that have him under investigation.

WSAZ.com has the latest on a soldier back from war with a new fight on his hands.

We’ve done several stories on Doug Reed, a fire chief and national guardsman who was severely injured on combat front lines. Reed was fire chief before he left for the Middle East.

He fought for months just to survive -- much less regain his job. Now, city leaders worry this war hero may be more detriment than desirable.

Reed drew ovations in last week's Jackson Apple Festival parade. And the Afghanistan war vet says after working nearly two years to recover from body and brain trauma in a rocket-propelled grenade blast -- if he could not excel at returning to his fire chief job -- he wouldn't be doing it.

Last Friday via a letter, city leaders put Reed on administrative leave with pay.
They also began an investigation into what they say were numerous countywide complaints over the chief's job conduct and actions

Reed says except for an early struggle with working the pumper truck and an isolated issue with some firefighters over a fire scene jurisdiction, he's done nothing wrong.

The city has asked Reed to take an independent psychological fitness for duty test. Reed says he has taken four such military and private tests - that all show him fully fit for duty.

County EMS director Chris Johnson says he works closely with a fire chief he calls more than competent.

Johnson and Reed recently fought with city leaders over dispatching and mutual aid issues, and the fire chief says his possible dismissal is likely political.

Reed says he had a court fight to win his fire chief job when he was first hired back in 2005 -- long before his military injury.

City leaders would not detail any of the complaints, citing possible litigation.

Reed says he will go to court and fight for his job.



UPDATE 4/13/10 @ 10 p.m.
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Jackson Fire Chief Doug Reed is listed in very serious but stable condition, according to a news release from the Jackson County Firefighters' Association.

He suffered multiple facial fractures, a wrist fracture and lost a finger on his right hand. He also suffered a severe concussion. The plan is to move Reed to Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, by Wednesday evening.

Reed has been a member of the Jackson Fire Department since 1999. He was promoted to the rank of chief in 2005. He is married to Jana Reed, and the couple has seven children.

A candlelight prayer vigil has been scheduled at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 15, at the Christ United Methodist Church Family Life Center, 150 Portsmouth St., Jackson, Ohio.

The "Doug Reed Courage Fund" has been established to help his family with expenses. Checks can be made payable to the "Doug Reed Courage Fund" and mailed to the Atomic Credit Union, c/o Doug Reed Courage Fund, 711 Beaver Creek Road, Piketon, OH 45661. Donations also may be dropped off at any Atomic Credit Union locations.

Donations of food, supplies or reading materials for troops fighting in Afghanistan can be sent to the Jackson Fire Department at 152 Pearl St., Jackson, OH 45640. Donations also can be dropped off at the fire station on Wednesday evenings.



ORIGINAL STORY
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A local fire chief who is serving with the Army National Guard in Afghanistan has been wounded in the line of duty.

Published reports say that the City of Jackson, Ohio Fire Chief Doug Reed was seriously wounded Sunday night when a rocket grenade hit his patrol in Bagram.

Reed was reportedly injured in his chest and head area. He also lost a finger.

Reports say that he is now in stable condition following surgery at Bagram Air Force Base.

Once stronger, he is expected to be transferred to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for updated information.


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