Hartford Fire Cited by Conn OSHA

The Hartford Fire Department has been cited by Conn OSHA for five serious violations in connection with the October 7, 2014 line of duty death of FF Kevin Bell.

Bell died at a house fire that seriously injured a second firefighter, Jason Martinez. Martinez leapt from the second floor to escape rapidly developing fire conditions.

Bell was found unconscious on the second floor. It remains unclear why he was unable to escape, although a NIOSH analysis of his SCBA found one of the two low-air warning alarms (“remaining service life indicator”) was not operating properly.

The five Conn OSHA citations are:

  1. HFD did not issue hoods to all members
  2. HFD did not provide a medical evaluation to all members who use SCBA
  3. HFD did not perform an annual fit test for all members who use SCBA
  4. SCBA cylinders did not meet DOT requirements (not hydrostatically tested every 5 years)
  5. HFD failed to ensure that all members were using their chin straps and ear flaps

Each citation carries a $1,000 fine. The City has until May 9, 2015 to abate or contest the citations.

Here is a copy of the citations: Conn OSHA Citation

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.
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