Feds Blame Lack of Training, Inadequate Staff for Boston Firefighter Deaths
Federal investigators are set to release their report on Thursday detailing the factors that led to the deaths of two Boston firefighters during a fatal 2014 blaze in Back Bay.
According to the Boston Globe, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has concluded that the Fire Department did not have adequate amount of staff on hand and did not receive the proper training to combat wind-whipped fires. Other factors that were cited include a lack of fire hydrants, absence of a sprinkler system, and faulty ventilation.
Investigators also found that the fire had burned through the firefighters’ hose lines, which cut off the water to the building.
Lieutenant Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy were killed in the deadly brownstone inferno on March 26, 2014, which also injured 13 others. Deputy Chief Joseph Finn previously called the incident one of the worst he’s seen “in 30 years.”
Prior to the report, early analyses blamed actions taken by welders who were installing a railing on a building close by, as well as high wind gusts, for contributing to the fire.
The report includes 15 different recommendations for the Boston Fire Department, ranging from increasing staff in more populated parts of the city to developing more procedures and tactics for riskier fire incidents.
According to the Globe, the Boston fire commissioner has instituted a “back to basics” training regimen that will be completed by each Fire Department shift in every district.