A petition that appeared yesterday on change.org for injured Anchorage firefighter Ben Schultz has received over 2,400 signatures. Schultz was badly injured in 2017 when he fell 100 feet from a ladder truck. The petition, created by Anchorage resident Eric Gallagher, states, “As of November 1, 2021, Ben will be terminated from his administrative position, due to elective budget cuts for the MOA.” However, the petition left out some key details.
The Landmine has confirmed that Schultz signed a settlement agreement with the Municipality of Anchorage earlier this year. We are working on getting a copy of it. We confirmed the settlement amount was between $700,000 and $1 million as well as a medical retirement. It provided for a retraining period in a position that was unfunded through what was supposed to be the end of summer. It also said that he could not return to his old job. This is why his temporary position was eliminated in the current budget.
We reached out to Eric Gallagher for comment but were unable to reach him. Alex Boyd, the Assistant Chief at the Anchorage Fire Department, provided the following comment:
Ben’s accident was tragic. We worked hard to support him throughout his recovery and retaining. The settlement and separation was part of that process. Ben agreed to the settlement and as part of that knew this position would end. We wish him well in his future.