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Hazing News

March 14, 2005 Hanover, VA leave for fire fighters

Three Hanover volunteer firefighters are on administrative leave after being accused of hazing a 15-year-old junior volunteer firefighter.

His father tells 8News 15-year-old Jeremy had been volunteering for the past 6 months. Friday night, however, horseplay went too far. Jeremy was allegedly hazed by three of his fellow firefighters using duct tape.

Jimmy Hamrick, Jeremy’s father, says mentally, the firehouse experience was positive for Jeremy, but now he does not want to go back. J

eremy says he was duct taped to a chair, and then to an outdoor flag pole. His mouth was covered, his arms secured by his side. He was left outside with no coat on. The back wheels of the chair picked up and it flipped over and he landed on his face, with nothing to catch himself with because of the duct tape.

What his father calls an “initiation” gone wrong lead to several injuries. According to Jimmy Hamrick, “you trust these people to help you in your time of need, and they’ve done this to my child. It makes you wonder who you’re supposed to trust.”

8News also spoke with officials at the Hanover County Fire Department. Division Chief Robert Phipps tells 8News, “the Hanover Fire Department does not condone this type of behavior. An internal investigation has been conducted and we are waiting on the findings from Social Services. Three firefighters have been placed on administrative leave.”

The Hanover Sheriff’s Department has completed their investigation and says no charges will be filed.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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