Three New Braunfels firefighters were disciplined and another has resigned following an incident at a local hotel in April.

While on duty and responding to a medical emergency call back in April, several firefighters had a possible exposure to COVID-19, according to City Manager Robert Camareno.

As part of the standard protocol for such an exposure, he said, those firefighters were asked to quarantine, with an option to quarantine at a local hotel to avoid exposure to family and friends.

“The incident in question, where alcohol was consumed and water damage occurred to the hotel, happened during the quarantine period at the hotel, where the employees were still considered on duty per city policy,” Camareno said in a statement. “A total of three firefighters have since received disciplinary action.  A fourth firefighter, who was responsible for the damage to the hotel, resigned before the completion of the administrative investigation.”

Camereno did not disclose the name of hotel.

He said the water damage resulted from an overflowing bathtub and it has since been determined to have been caused accidentally.

“The city reacted quickly by immediately working with the hotel to reach a solution regarding repairs to their facility and to address the conduct of city personnel,” he said.  As part of the process, Camereno said the city has provided about $19,775 for repairs to the hotel, with an additional $10,000 being paid through the Texas Municipal League risk pool.

“The choices made by these firefighters are disappointing, but those actions should not reflect on the culture, professionalism, and commitment of the New Braunfels Fire Department or the city of New Braunfels,” he said.

The city did not disclose the names of the firefighters.

All matters in this incident have been resolved and no further action will be taken, Camareno said.

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