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Lying About Spotter Costs 2 British Firefighters Their Jobs

Two firefighters with the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are out of their jobs following a minor backing accident that damaged a wall. They were accused of lying about the use of a spotter.

David Woollam and William Lindfield were waiting with their apparatus while three firefighters investigated a flood damaged property. FF Woollam attempted to turn the vehicle around and while backing it struck the wall of a home. Brigade policy requires that a spotter be deployed whenever vehicles are backed.

FF Lindfield told investigators that he was serving as a spotter, while FF Woollam claimed he began backing before he realized a backer was not present on his backup camera. Woollam claimed he then mistakenly left the vehicle in reverse striking the wall.

Investigators concluded that the pair had lied. FF Lindfield was terminated and FF Woollam opted to take an early retirement.

More on the story.

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About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.