Washington Firefighters Lose Jobs Over Intubation Training on Deceased Patient

Two veteran officers with the Bellingham, Washington Fire Department have lost their jobs following their involvement in a training exercise last July where personnel practiced their intubation skills on a deceased patient.

The incident occurred when the patient was taken to a fire station to await the arrival of a funeral home. A division chief and several EMS officers practiced intubating the body without permission from the patient’s next of kin. Neither officer has been identified, but the city is reporting that one opted to retire and the other resigned.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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