Fatal Fire Truck Crash Blamed on Faulty Parts

Filed in Local News by on December 16, 2009 0 Comments

The fatal crash of the Boston Fire Department’s Ladder 26  last winter has recently been under investigation by authorities, and according to a police report obtained by the Globe, it seems the installation of wrong parts on the truck may be to blame.

The questionable maintenance was supposedly done by a contractor for the Fire Department, but the report claims unliscensed maintenance was done by some firefighters.

The recent investigation found that a brake chamber and pads were wrongly replaced on the ladder truck in spring 2008, and that the unliscenced mechanic work may have exacerbated this underlying problem.

According to the police  report, it was a brake failure that caused Ladder 26 to crash into an apartment building after speeding down a hill, killing Lt. Kevin M. Kelley on January 9, 2009.

It concluded that the unlicensed maintenance, combined with a lack of preventive maintenance and poor driver training served as errors that all contributed to the fatal crash.

Mercury Associates, who created a report investigating the departments maintenance procedures for the city, spoke to Firehouse.com about their report.

“Even 15 to 20 years ago I would question how effective (their practices) would have been. I think it makes perfect sense for some routine inspections to be done in the firehouse, but maintenance is different.

“A fire department’s main mission is to fight fires, not to manage a fleet.”

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