Home Fire News Veteran Detroit fire chiefs step down amid bungled shift swap incident last...

Veteran Detroit fire chiefs step down amid bungled shift swap incident last month


3 Detroit fire chiefs have resigned following a shift swap and series of missteps involving an injured firefighter. A Lt has also been suspended for 29 days and put on one-year probation in the wake of this incident.

Lt. David Webster was signed in Oct 13 as the officer in charge of a crew responding to a fire at a home in Highland Park. Engine 40 was responding to a mutual aid call and while it was Lt. Webster assigned to the crew that night, an inexperienced firefighter ended up filling in for him, FOX 2 reported.

During the call, a crew member fell through the floor and was severely burned. He reportedly sat in the ER for two hours, with 3rd degree burns, after being transported to the hospital in a private ambulance.

Apparently no one in command notified headquarters about the injured firefighter and at least 12 hours had passed before anyone checked on him.

The local Fox station reports that “Senior Chief Jack Wiley and Battalion Chiefs Fred Hartmann and Anthony Ellis have resigned effective immediately.”

Since the incident, steps have been put into place to monitor the swapping of shifts – also known as “work relief.”  Also as a result of the errors that occurred in October, firefighters will no longer be transported by private ambulance.


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