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  1. #1
    FH Mag/.com Contributor
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    Default Instructors suspended after injuries...

    Fire academy instructors suspended after training goes wrong

    ABC13 Eyewitness News
    (02/11/05 - HOUSTON) — The Houston Fire Department has suspended at least six fire academy instructors as part of an investigation into a training exercise gone wrong.

    Two cadets were burned while training on search and rescue techniques last month. The department won't confirm whether the instructors were trying to haze the cadets, but the teachers won't be at the academy any more.

    They will retain their jobs as firefighters.
    (Copyright © 2005, KTRK-TV)


  2. #2
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    More from the Houston Chronicle.

    Teachers suspended from fire academy
    An investigation continues after two HFD cadets were burned in a training exercise
    By JOE STINEBAKER
    Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

    Houston Fire Department officials have suspended at least six instructors at the department's fire academy as part of an investigation into a Jan. 19 training exercise in which two cadets were burned.

    Rick Flanagan, the assistant fire chief overseeing training and career development, said the instructors — HFD employees working side jobs as academy instructors for the Houston Community College System — had been placed "on hold" until the city's Office of Inspector General completes its investigation.

    Flanagan said they will retain their HFD firefighting jobs.

    He declined to say whether he expects more disciplinary actions after the investigation is finished.

    Flanagan and others have confirmed that two cadets were injured during a "controlled burn" at the academy last month.

    Controlled burns feature simulated structures that are set ablaze so cadets and firefighters can practice search-and-rescue techniques. Temperatures inside a controlled burn can reach 1,000 degrees.

    The two cadets, whose identities have not been released, were injured during the exercise.

    One suffered minor burns and was treated at the scene; the other was hospitalized with minor burns to his arms and back and significant burns to his scalp and head, according to sources familiar with the incident.

    The cadets, Flanagan said, have since returned to the academy and are expected to graduate with their class Feb. 24.

    "Situations like this are very rare," said Flanagan. "This really concerns me. Something went wrong, and I want to find out whatever that void was."

    Flanagan said the inspector general's investigation will look into what it was that instructors were trying to achieve with the exercise and whether all safety procedures and policies were followed.

    He said he could not confirm allegations that the instructors may have been trying to haze the cadets.

    Houston City Councilman Adrian Garcia, a former police officer and chairman of council's Public Safety Committee, said he has been briefed on the investigation and he wants to ensure that safety procedures were not ignored.

    "What I got was that somebody was freelancing on the curriculum," Garcia said. "It rightfully so hit the radar screens of the people who monitor the (fire) training. We're supposed to be a smarter society, not one functioning on testosterone like it was in the old days."

    Garcia said he will be briefed again when the Inspector General's Office has completed its investigation, which he said should be "in pretty short order."

  3. #3
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    When are people going to learn??? Just glad no one got killed.
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    significant burns to his scalp and head
    No hood? best wishes on their recovery.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  5. #5
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    1403

  6. #6
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Every time I read one of these stories I just have to shake my head. I have NEVER had a student seriously hurt during the 24 years I have been a fire service instructor. Of course there are times when you get the sunburn type burn or an occasional slight steam burn and occasional bumps and bruises.

    In fact the most serious injury that ever occurred during a live fire training that I was involved with happened to me. Even though I was wearing a hood and had everything else on properly I sustained some nasty burns to my ears. This was after repeated entries with different crews and my hood was wet. The crew on the line didn't do what they had been told to do and I quickly got them out before any of them was injured but because I was the last to leave I was steam burned on both ears. Why weren't the students hurt? Because I did my job and protected them FIRST.

    The time for the macho "I'll cook these guys to show them" crap is over. It doesn't teach them anything and leaves them questioning what the heck you are doing as an instructor.

    FyredUp

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