Last year, a firetruck crash killed a Boston firefighter when Ladder 26 lost its brakes, lurched down a hill, and hit a Mission Hill apartment building. A report released earlier this week says the driving accident was the result of improper driver training and flawed brake adjustments by firefighters who had not been trained as mechanics.
Since the fatal accident and the investigation that followed, the fire department has hired licensed mechanics to service trucks and has created a preventive maintenance program. Mayor Menino and the fire commissioner support these safety measures, and Menino had initially ordered that licensed mechanics work on trucks rather than uniformed firefighters.
However, the report from earlier this week recommends that uniformed firefighters receive training and return to servicing the firetrucks. The debate continues, as critics argue that the panel was advancing a union agenda rather than putting safety first.