TFD Announces Investigation
Allegations of Improper Fire Certification Training
February 14, 2014
The City of Tallahassee Fire Department today announced an Internal Affairs
Investigation has begun into allegations that a city fire lieutenant working in an off-duty
capacity, failed to deliver training he was paid to provide. The Tallahassee Police
Department will conduct a separate investigation to determine if there was any criminal
The case came to light after a potential student notified the State Fire Marshal's Office
alleging that an instructor offered that instead of taking the class, the student could
receive the course information, test and test answers for a fee. The State Fire Marshal's
Office provides training and certification for fire service professionals. Instructors are
certified through the State Fire Marshal's Office, and then can arrange to teach classes to
firefighters seeking advanced training such as Fire Safety Inspector, Fire Officer, Fire
Arson Investigator, etc.
"At this point, we do not have enough information to know the validity of the issues,
however for the Fire Department our integrity and commitment to public service require
us to take this very seriously," said John Gatlin, Acting Fire Chief. "We do know that
this training was not provided through the city or our fire department, but because it may
involve one or more city fire employees, we are investigating to gather all the facts."
Firefighters who receive advanced training can be eligible for pay supplements, and
advanced certificates may be necessary to be considered for promotions. "We will also
be working to ensure that we have a clear understanding of whether any of our
firefighters did not take the necessary training for these higher level designations," said
Officials with the State Fire Marshal's Office are also conducting an investigation into
whether any potential statutory or administrative violations may have taken place.
Lt. Mike Bellamy, Public Information Officer, 850-606-6625
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