A Cypriot firefighter is under fire – figuratively – for donning the uniform of a chief inspector when in fact he is only an inspector, during a stint fire-fighting in Israel in November.
Police on the island earlier this week confirmed that an administrative investigation was being undertaken following complaints against the man. The firefighter, who was not named in a report in the Cyprus Mail, was leading a crew who came to help Israel fight a wave of forest fires. (Israel received assistance from several neighboring countries as well as the Palestinian Authority.)
According to the daily newspaper Phileleftheros, the officer, while in Israel, wore a uniform with three stars whereas his rank is denoted by only two stars.
The paper said that the officer had actually been a chief inspector in the past, but that his promotion was overturned by the island’s Supreme Court, reverting his status to a two-star inspector.
The firefighter appears wearing uniform with three stars on his shoulders in a photo taken during a visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara at the Haifa central fire station. The photo was later posted on an official Facebook page of the Prime Minister’s Office.
In another photo sent by the fire service to local Cypriot media, the three stars were photoshopped from the uniform.
“The police chief has appointed an investigator to carry out an administrative probe on the matter,” deputy police spokesman Stelios Stylianou was quoted by the Cyprus Mail as saying.
The 28 firemen, as well as 24 civil defense rescuers and 17 forest rangers, came to Israel on November 26. They operated in residential areas of the cities Haifa and Hadera. Cyprus also sent two pilots and four support crew members in a forestry department aircraft.