updated 10/13/2004 2:23:42 AM ET 2004-10-13T06:23:42

Nineteen city firefighters were disciplined for misconduct that included using fire trucks to pick up women at bars and drinking on the job, the Sacramento fire chief said Tuesday.

The department fired six firefighters, suspended seven without pay and reprimanded six others after a 3½-month investigation, said Chief Julius “Joe” Cherry. One woman was among those disciplined.

Investigators found that several other firefighters took two trucks and an ambulance to a local event known as the “Porn Star Costume Ball” at a hotel where a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted. Prosecutors concluded the act on one of the fire rigs was consensual and declined to press charges, Cherry said.

During the event, a crew with one of the fire trucks failed to respond to an emergency call.

Two of the firefighters fired Tuesday had attended the costume ball and were involved in other incidents over the past two years, Cherry said. He added that the internal investigation’s findings “definitely contributed to the tarnishing of our reputation.”

No names were released because personnel matters are confidential. Three captains, two acting captains, two engineers and 12 firefighters were disciplined for drinking on duty, taking passengers on joy rides and misusing city equipment.

The inquiry, sparked by a citizen’s complaint, found that on more than three occasions fire crews picked up women at bars and then circled the block with them aboard the engines.

Investigators later uncovered two incidents in which on-duty firefighters drank booze at a restaurant and at the firehouse. Cherry said there was no evidence that firefighters were under the influence of alcohol while responding to calls or that those who were cruising for women on trucks had been drinking.

The Sacramento department has about 300 firefighters and fire engineers, according to the city’s Web site.

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