Firefighters Punished for Failing to Respond to Fatal 911 Call
Three firefighters and a fire alarm operator were punished.
Three firefighters and a fire alarm operator have been punished after the Medford Fire Department failed to respond to a 911 call on July 13 that involved a fatality, according to a press release from the city.
The fire alarm operator involved contacted three on-duty firefighters through their personal radios, but not with another communications system he was supposed to use, according to the press release, sent out by City Solicitor Mark Rumley.
The three firefighters had their personal radio volume too low to hear the dispatch, according to the release.
The city hired two consultants to investigate the incident and decided to hand down punishment when the investigation concluded. The fire alarm operator received a 96-hour suspension and the three firefighters received letters of reprimand from Fire Chief Frank Giliberti, according to the release.
"The Chief found their failure to maintain a sufficient volume level on their personal radios to constitute unacceptable performance and judgment for a member of the Fire Department," the release said.
While the fire department did not respond to the emergency call, Medford Police and Armstrong Ambulance did, the release said.
The city has not released the names of anyone involved.
The fire alarm operator should have used the "Zetron communications system," which would have alerted the firefighters to the call more effectively than the radio dispatch, the press release said.
Giliberti has called for new standards to ensure the Zetron system is used and to monitor it, as well as for personal radios to remain at audible volumes, according to the press release.
In a written statement, Mayor Michael McGlynn said public safety was a top priority for the city.
"Something obviously went wrong," McGlynn said. "It is my goal to insure that the facts determined through this review and the corrective action taken will make sure that this never happens again."