‘It won’t happen again’: VB firefighters exposed to asbestos in training

( TOM) NOW TO A SOLEMN APOLOGY FROM THE VIRGINIA BEACH FIRE CHIEF. IT COMES AFTER A CITY AUDIT REVEALED A VACANT HOME BURNED AS PART OF A TRAINING EXERCISE — CONTAINED ASBESTOS.( ANITA) THE SUBSTANCE IS PROVEN TO CAUSE CANCER. TONIGHT — THE FIRE CHIEF IS ANSWERING TO CITY COUNCIL ABOUT HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE. 10 ON YOUR SIDE’S BRETT HALL JOINS US LIVE. BRETT — WHERE DO THINGS STAND AT THIS POINT?( BRETT) WELL AT THIS POINT AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION ONGOING..AS THAT AUDIT SAYS THERE WAS KNOWLEGE OF ASBESTOS PRIOR TO THE BURN.( BRETT HALL REPORTING) VIRGINIA BEACH FIRE CHIEF DAVID HUTCHESON WAS FORTHCOMING WITH MEMBERS OF THE VIRGINIA BEACH “MAKE SURE WE DON’T HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPEN AGAIN AND I PROMISE WE WILL HAVE THAT DOWN PAT.” … WHEN HE WAS TALKING ABOUT A TRAINING EXERCISE 15 TO 20 FIREFIGHTERS.HOWEVER NEARLY A MONTH LATER—THE CITY WAS ALERTED THAT SOME OF THEM WERE POSSIBLY EXPOSED TO ASBESTOS—SURE ENOUGH LAB TESTING CONFIRMED ITS PRESENCE—AROUND THE FIREPLACE. ACCORDING TO THE CITY AUDITOR—THE E-P-A REQUIRES THAT BEFORE A CONTROLLED BURN–ASBESTOS BE REMOVED. IN COUNCIL IT WAS REVEALED THAT NOT ONLY WAS IT NOT REMOVED—NO Cloth WERE EVEN TESTED PRIOR TO THE BURN. COUNCILMAN JOHN MOSS SAYS “THAT’S NOT A DIRECTION OUT OF IGNORANCE. THAT IS A DECISION OUT OF RISK TAKING.” COUNCILMAN JOHN MOSS SAYS WHAT REALLY SHOCKED HIM ABOUT THE AUDIT—IS THAT SOME LEADERS IN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT KNEW ABOUT POSSIBLE ABSESTOS THE HOME PRIOR TO GOING AHEAD WITH THE BURN—IT WAS APPROVED ANYWAY. BUT THE CHIEF SAYS—IT WAS MISTEP IN THE FIRE TRAINING CENTER. DAVE HUTCHESON SAYS “WE HAD TOO MANY PEOPLE HANDELING THE PAPERWORK, ONE THOUGHT ONE HAD DONE IT, ONE THOUGHT IT WASN’T NEEDED. IT Simply WAS MISSED IT WON’T HAPPEN AWAY.” HE SAYS INTERNAL CHANGES HAVE ALREADY BEEN MADE. BRETT SAYS “NOW DOES ANYONE HAVE TO BE DICIPLINED OUT OF THIS MISCOMMUNICATION. DAVE HUTCHENSON SAYS “NO, AND I CAN’T TALK ABOUT DISCIPLINE Controversy BUT WE ARE CONTINUING THAT PART OF THE INVESTIGATION.”( BRETT) A REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE CITY SAYS WHEN IT COMES TO EXPOSURE TO ASBESTOS—IT WAS MINIMUL IN THIS CASE.HOWEVER THE PRESIDENT OF THE FIRE UNION SAYS HE’S REACHING OUT TO OTHER STATE AND FEDERAL Business TO LOOK INTO A MATTER THAT HE SAYS–NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED ..

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