Firefighters fear lack of training, wasted equipment

Photo source: WGCL

A handful of Douglas County fire fighters are speaking out about concerns they have with safety and use of taxpayer dollars.

They point to several Hazardous Materials Unit vehicles parked and locked up in a yard with weeds waist high, behind a fire station on Chapel Hill Road.

“That equipment has never been used,” said one firefighter.

He told CBS46 they’ve been threatened with losing their jobs if they speak on camera so he and others asked us to protect their identity.

CBS46 news also confirmed the vehicles are filled with equipment, bought with federal taxpayer dollars.

“There are Hazmat suits and chemical monitors inside,” said another firefighter, who admitted that he has not received Hazmat training in years.

They are also exposing their concerns with lack of training.

“The last Hazmat training exercise that we had was in December of 2011,” said another firefighter.

In search for answers, CBS46 emailed and called Douglas County’s spokesperson, Wes Tallon, but he never responded.

We then visited the county administration building looking for the spokesperson and saw his office door open but no one was inside.

We then asked for County Chairman Tom Worthan.

His assistant told us the two were in a meeting but didn’t know where.

Douglas County Fire Chief, Scott Spencer, called CBS46 to inquire about our story but declined our request for an interview.

“These are trailers that house some [of] our Hazmat equipment,” said Spencer in an email.

“That is all we have for Hazmat response,” a firefighter told CBS46 in response to the Chief’s email.

Copyright 2016 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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