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Four Firefighters Disciplined For Not Responding To A 9-1-1 Call

Not Deliberate, But a Mistake in Communications

FOUR MEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS, FIREFIGHTERS have been given disciplinary actions for their parts in a dispatching error on July 13 in which a medical patient died.

The call was received shortly after midnight while the station crew was asleep.  The fire alarm operator should have toned out the engine company, but instead he only dispatched them over the radio.  In Medford each onduty FF has their own radio that, according to the FD Rules, "….serves as a fail-safe in the event other forms of communication are off line."  However in this incident, the radios were turned down too low to be heard.

The police and the city's ambulance service Armstrong Ambulance responded and were on the scene.  For some reason, the fire alarm operator logged in that the FD was also on the scene when they weren't.

It was announced by the fire chief's office yesterday that the alarm operator has been suspended without pay for two weeks.  The three firefighters were given written reprimands. 

The president of the firefighters Local issued a statement that said, "The Medford firefighters take this issue very seriously. The firefighters involved are devastated. We are committed to working with the department to ensure this never happens again."

WHDH-TV posted this video report:

 WHDH-TV –

The Boston Globe has the full STORY.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • rc

    That’s one screwy dispatch procedure. But it’s the one they’ve got, so the FF’s must bear some brunt of the responsibility. The dispatcher sounds like they failed at their job entirely. Should be fired for incompetence and falsification of records. If it was a FF in the same boat (failure to perform assigned duties and falsification of records to cover it up) they’d be FIRED.