Five days after eight D.C. firefighters were injured in a crash while responding to a fire, FOX 5 has learned one of the engines involved in the collision should not have been on the street and neither engine had a working camera.
When Engine 8 and Engine 19 collided at the intersection of 15th and K streets in the east end of Capitol Hill last Friday night, one of them had an inspection sticker that expired two days before the crash. Both engines were at least 15 years old and in the reserve fleet.
This latest accident with injury, the fourth in just over a year, has the firefighter’s union calling for better training.
“To the best of my knowledge, we don’t teach anybody how to drive,” said union president Dabney Hudson. “We don’t do it in a probation. We don’t allow them to do it before they come out of the training academy. The only time people go down for vehicle training is if they are trying to become a technician or get turned over to drive.”
In the Washington D.C. area, all jurisdictions require firefighters to take an Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC), which includes hours of classroom time.
Five years ago, a special report commissioned by the D.C. Council recommended the fire department put the course into its training curriculum, but it has not been done.
D.C. Fire and EMS Chief Gregory Dean said he was unaware a full EVOC course had not been put in place at the fire training academy.