Firefighter suspended after allegedly driving drunk in city car - FOX Carolina 21

Firefighter suspended after allegedly driving drunk in city car

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Jonathan Outz (Spartanburg Co. Detention Center) Jonathan Outz (Spartanburg Co. Detention Center)
WOODRUFF, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Troopers said a volunteer Woodruff firefighter was charged with driving under the influence and child endangerment following a routine traffic stop in Spartanburg County Sunday.

According to Highway Patrol, he was driving a city fire department vehicle at the time of the incident.

Jonathan "Rhett" Outz, 22, was stopped by a Highway Patrol officer at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday. Authorities said a 16-year-old was in the car with him.

This is the first DUI offense that Outz has been charged with. A man Outz lives with told FOX Carolina off-camera that Outz has been helping the fire department for a year or two and hasn't gotten into any serious legal trouble before.

However, this may be the end of the line for Outz's emergency services career in the city of Woodruff.

In a written statement to FOX Carolina, Fire Department Chief Wade Godfrey wrote:

"The Woodruff Fire Department has zero tolerance for substance abuse and as a result, the volunteer has been suspended. The volunteer will not be allowed to participate in any and all department activities until the charges have been resolved."

Why Outz was driving a department vehicle early Sunday morning remains a mystery, according to Godfrey. He did not have authorization to use the vehicle.

FOX Carolina attempted to contact Outz Sunday, but he was not at his residence.

The Woodruff Fire Department said they will release more information about his involvement with the department in the coming days, but are keeping their purpose their first priority.  

"We have a commitment to professional emergency services delivery, and that will be our focus as we move forward," said Godfrey.

The fire chief did tell FOX Carolina that because Outz was just a volunteer, he has never received financial compensation from the department. A firefighter at the station told FOX Carolina Outz's personal items had been removed from the station Sunday.

Outz did sit before a judge Sunday morning a few hours after he was booked. He posted a $3,000 bond and was released.

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