Goshen firefighters criticized for photographs of training
BY BRYAN SUNDIE REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
GOSHEN -- Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials are investigating whether the Goshen Volunteer Fire Department shirked safety at recent training exercise that was photographed and posted on the Internet.
The owners of the old Goshen Motel building along Sharon Turnpike donated it to the department, and last month the volunteers set fire to it to provide experience to younger firefighters who had yet to see a blaze of significant magnitude.
Since then there's been questions about whether those rookies saw firefighting at its best that day, with Web surfers who viewed the photographic slide show claiming safety measures fell short.
Such violations, if proven true, could result in fines from OSHA, which last week said it's reviewing the case. Investigators could levy a fine of up to $1,000 for each violation they discover.
Paul Mangiafico, a director at federal OSHA in Hartford, said the show was forwarded to the office but wouldn't say by who.
The minute-long slide show was created by the Republican-American, with Fire Chief Barry Hall providing narration. Newspaper staff posted the photographs on YouTube, as it does with many slide shows produced by its photographers.
At the time, no one figured the 17 photos would be a flash point. But the popular Web site has recorded more than 5,500 views since the slide show was added Nov. 20. There are 15 comments from people whose identities are shielded by generic user names.
All of the comments are harsh, with each chiding department leadership for seemingly ignoring widely accepted standards set by the National Fire Protection Association. The exercise's leaders were called "cowboys" and "amateurs."
Some pictures show firefighters without breathing devices. It will be up to investigators to decide whether that was all right. Hall, himself, is pictured in a burning, smoke-filled room without one. What's more, he wasn't wearing full turnout gear.
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Thread: Goshen Under The Gun!!
12-16-2007, 12:09 PM #1
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- Oct 2007
Goshen Under The Gun!!
12-17-2007, 10:09 AM #2
Yea, that video on youtube is already being used in local training classes for WHAT NOT TO DO. It is a federal OHSA case now so when they are done, the fines will probably cost more than air packs.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
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