Apparatus & Equipment, Firefighting, Leadership

Hall County (GA) Fire Chief Relieved of Command Following Fire Apparatus Accident

Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell has been relieved of command over fire services but will retain his post as Emergency Management Agency director following a mishap with a fire truck last month that injured three firefighters.

INJURED GEORGIA FIREFIGHTER TRANSFERRED TO SPINAL CORD SPECIALISTS

Jeff Hood has been named interim fire chief.

“I am anxious to find the cause of the truck accident more than anyone,” Kimbrell wrote in an internal email this morning obtained by The Times. “I look forward to what (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) finds when they come in to do their investigation, and the final report of the county and their investigation. Hopefully, that will prevent this from ever happening somewhere else and will prevent this from happening here again.”

During a training exercise in July, firefighters TJ Elliott, Stephen Jackson and Will Griffin were seriously injured when the bucket atop a fire truck ladder fell 44 feet.

Elliott and Jackson were both airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, while Griffin was treated at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

The training exercise involved maneuvering the ladder truck that was acquired in April for the new Fire Station No. 16.

The fire truck was sold by the fire department that owned it previously because of mechanical problems.

The county has retained an independent forensic engineer to assist county investigators, in addition to representatives from the cable manufacturer and fire truck manufacturer Sutphen Corp.

County officials said the change in command is part of a broader initiative to streamline management of public safety departments.

For more information, view www.gainesvilletimes.com