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Press Releases / 2009 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NOVEMBER 17, 2009

FIRE COMMISSIONER NICHOLAS SCOPPETTA ANNOUNCES DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST FIRE OFFICERS WHO FAILED TO PROPERLY PERFORM BUILDING INSPECTION DUTIES

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today announced disciplinary action has been taken against four fire officers for failing to conduct required hours of building inspections in accordance with Department policies.

The four officers – two captains and two lieutenants – did not have their units fully perform mandated three-hour periods of inspection duty, as required under Department rules.  Instead of leaving their firehouses at designated inspection periods, they left late, returned to quarters too early, and stopped to conduct various non-inspectional activities, including shopping at stores.

In addition to being fined several days’ pay, all four officers have also been detailed from their field units and assigned to work at headquarters on fire prevention matters.

“Inspectional activity is a crucial part of the job for firefighters and fire officers, and failure to diligently perform this work is a dereliction of duty that will not be tolerated,” said Fire Commissioner Scoppetta.

In addition to being detailed from their commands to headquarters, the four officers have agreed to the following disciplinary actions:

  • 10 days pay - Lieutenant Edward McNulty, Ladder Company 152
    (Ladder 152 missed more than 2 hours of their 3-hour scheduled inspection period by failing to leave quarters on time and returning before their shift was scheduled to end.)
  • 5 days pay - Captain Patrick Gleason, Ladder Company 45
    (Ladder 45 missed more than 90 minutes of their scheduled inspection time.)
  • 5 days pay - Captain Gregory Wellbrock, Engine Company 93
    (Engine 93 missed more than one hour of their scheduled inspection time.)
  • 5 days pay - Lieutenant George Faller, Ladder Company 32
    (Ladder 32 missed more than one hour of their scheduled inspection time.)

Two other fire officers were also disciplined for failing to conduct buildings inspections, but were given less formal Command Discipline. While they did not face loss of pay or assignment, they have letters detailing misconduct in their personnel folders.

The Department’s Bureau of Investigations and Trials conducted surveillance of the units that resulted in these disciplinary actions.  To increase accountability for building inspections, FDNY also audits inspections performed by its fire operations and fire prevention personnel.  FDNY implemented increased inspection auditing as part of its agreement with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in the aftermath of the Deutsche Bank tragedy, where two firefighters died, and where required 15-day inspections had not been done.

All of the FDNY’s 198 engine and 143 ladder companies have regularly assigned building inspection responsibilities three days each week under the Building Inspection Safety Program (BISP). The inspection time is scheduled either from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (am duty) or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (pm duty), when firefighters inspect schools, hospitals, places of worship, restaurants, nursing homes and other types of occupied buildings, as well as buildings under construction, demolition and abatement.


Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Frank Dwyer, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

http://www.nyc.gov/fdny

 

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