Complaint Filed with State Alleges Health Hazards in Fire Department

June 28, 1994 (~estimated)

Complaint Filed with State Alleges Health Hazards in Fire Department

A complaint filed with the State Department of Health charging that there are potential health hazards in the Fire Department is expected to be discussed at the Borough Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday night, June 28.

A letter dated June 17 from the Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health Program to Mayor Marvin Reed asks that the allegations of violations be investigated, and that the State be advised within 30 days of the Borough’s findings and actions.

The name of the complainant was not disclosed by the State. Borough Administrator Tom Shannon said he did not know who made the complaint, but that it was not the Borough.

The Borough and the Fire Department have recently locked horns on several issues, including the Borough’s request that firefighters undergo an annual physical examination. Fire Department members have voiced strong opposition to this.

The two-page complaint states that the Princeton Fire Department may be in violation of plans dealing with respiratory protection, diesel exhaust, hazardous materials, standards for firefighters, bloodborne pathogens, and incident management.

Specifically, it alleges in part that there is no written respiratory protection plan or standard operating procedure; no medical examination procedure as to who is physically fit to use self-contained breathing apparatus; no written procedure to control emissions in the firehouses;

Also, the complaint alleges that there is no compliance with a written emergency response plan; a lack of documentation of training and drills; the absence of a written plan and implementation of cleaning personal protective clothing; no written physical fitness evaluation plan; and no effective training requirement plan, causing officers to hold positions who have little or no training.

Mr. Shannon said that the Borough has bonded money to put in a ventilation system to deal with exhaust fumes in the firehouses. He also said that training requirements have been put into effect, and that officers are currently in the process of being trained.

As of Monday afternoon,…

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