Local & Regional
Tue July 21, 2009
Tulsa Fire Department Probe Resumes
By John Durkee
Tulsa, OK – The Tulsa City Council will again take up an issue dealing with the Tulsa Fire Department.
It was learned last January that some Tulsa Fire Fighters had falsified documents showing that they had taken EMT training on certain dates. This after the state health department interviewed a handful of firefighters who could not verify the continuing education credits they were claiming. EMT/fire-fighters were retested and all passed. Officials said "at no time was the public's health in danger". The Tulsa City Council ordered the auditor's office to conduct an investigation, but the fire fighters union has told its members not to fill out a questionnaire without legal representation.
Firefighter E-M-T's receive a stipend for the C-E-Us. Bynum asked city attorney Deirdre Dexter if it is a crime for a city employee to receive an increase in salary for something they did not do? Dexter said it would depend on what the pay represents.
When questioned by Councilor Rick Westcott, Tulsa Fire Chief Alan LaCroix confirmed that fire fighters must sign a form saying they have earned the continuing education credits before getting the raise.
Three fire department officers were reassigned and two top level staff retired shortly after the story broke. Fire-fighters union Vice President Chad Miller says the union advised the firefighters regarding the auditor's questionnaire
Miller says Firefighters would take part in one-on-one interviews with representation, but not fill out the form.
At this morning's 10a.m. meeting, the council will again discuss how to move forward with its probe,