Just to let you know, this supposed firing happened 3 years ago.
When I say supposed, it turns out (like most of these stories) to not be true.
Here is what the Oregon Department of Forestry has to say about this
(Oregon Department of Forestry Firefighting crew bosses required to speak English
The old saying, “Rumor can run around the world before the truth has got its boots on,” is borne out in information circulating on the web and elsewhere that claims the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is firing and demoting fire crew bosses that do not speak Spanish.
This is not the case. Here are the facts:
ODF has no requirement that its employees speak Spanish, and does not demote or fire anyone because they don’t speak Spanish. And to our knowledge, no crew boss on the private contract fire crews we use has ever been fired because of inability to speak Spanish.
ODF and its partner agencies contract with private companies to supply fire crews for frontline firefighting work. The crews work under the guidance of incident management teams fielded by ODF and other agencies to manage large firefighting operations.
Because English is the language of firefighting in the United States, we must have the ability to communicate with all crews. Accordingly, the contract requires that the leaders of contract crews speak English. This requirement covers the crew boss and the three squad bosses on a typical 20-person crew.
Companies may choose whom they hire for their crews. If a company elects to hire employees who do not speak English, then the supervisors of that crew must speak English as well as the language of any crew members who don’t speak English. This is a matter of good communication, safety, and effectiveness for the agencies that hire crews under the contract. Over the years, this system has established a record of solid firefighting performance and safety.