This is a tough one. I am sure the AC was performing his duties
as best he could. But there must be accountablity. As a victim of
a training accident, I have a unique perspective. We as
firefighters need to remember the sanctity of life. We aren't a
tool or apparatus. So we must be held to the highest standards.

Our company isn't perfect. But our chief is strict on double and triple redundancy. If we have a training officer in the smoking structure, we also have radio contact. And we have a RIT team of
"white tag" older, trained firefighters on standby with a charged line. I feel I was lucky to only get burned. We retreated when the fire was hit with a hand line and the steam explosion knocked us on our backsides. We were evacuated and a review was conducted. Because we were prepared for a lot of possiblities, we were only steam burned. I may not like my chief's personality, but he keeps us as safe as he can.

This officer took on the responsibility of the job. Should he have been aware of the general nature of NFPA guidelines? Heck yes he should have. Would this awareness saved lives? This awareness would have given him more tools in the planning of the burn.

There are a lot of sad men and women in that area yet today. It is a hard choice to make. But the DA has the reponsibility to determine if sanctions must be made. The fire safety "culture" in that area should be assessing its methods and attitudes. Amen and be safe...