Investigators Examining Training Issues in Hartford (CT)

Investigators are digging into training reports that show Hartford firefighter Kevin Bell, who died in a fire last October, had not participated in live fire training in more than a year and a half. The state requires every firefighter to participate in a drill or be called out to at least one live fire every year, reports

Firefighters usually train inside a live burn house at the Hartford Fire Department’s training headquarters. The live burn house is set up just like a real house with mannequins that can be hidden throughout the building, this way firefighters have to go inside to find them, making the training very real.

During that training, fires are set inside the house and the rooms fill up with smoke. Firefighters feel around past the furniture to find the mannequins, creating a real-life experience in a controlled environment.

Firefighter Bell had been called to several scenes, fulfilling his training, but investigators will still look at the records because the training teaches new techniques. While he hadn’t been in the live-burn house to learn those techniques in more than 18 months, the Hartford Firefighter Union’s president says there’s still no one answer to why Bell died.

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