Councilman Larry Sykes apologizes after blasting TFD on Facebook

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Over the weekend, Toledo city councilman Larry Sykes posted pictures of an incident that occurred Thursday in downtown Toledo.

In the post, he recounted witnessing a woman in a wheelchair fall in front of Fire Station One and complained about how it took three minutes for a crew to respond when they were right across the street.

But, as TFD Chief Brian Byrd would explain, there's a reason for that.

"Apparently it's not known by some folks who should know, this is an administrative building. We don't have fire rigs that respond out of this building. It's all offices," Byrd said.

The building has held administrative offices for more than two decades.

"It's very frustrating," Byrd said. "People are out here trying to do a good job everyday, and it's very frustrating for us especially when we have other people who represent the city who are putting misinformation out there."

Fire Station One houses the chief, deputy chiefs and other civilian personnel.

But in this case, Station 3 answered the call.

Sykes originally said he planned to meet with Chief Byrd on Tuesday, hoping to get the Fire Station One sign taken off the building to end confusion.

He issued an apology Tuesday afternoon:

I want to publicly apologize for a post I made on Saturday evening after assisting a woman that tipped over in her wheelchair behind Government Center. After feedback from our firefighters and community members, I learned that the tone of the post implied that our firefighters do not respond to calls for service in a timely manner. That was not my intent.

Our firefighters responded to this call within 3 minutes of the initial call and while I was on the phone requesting service. I have the utmost respect for our firefighters, who are ready and willing to risk their lives every day for our community. Our city employees take pride in public service and the work they do each day on behalf of our community.

I am appreciative of their service and will be mindful of the tone of my post to ensure the message does not convey otherwise. Thank you for your service @toledofirerescue.