Friday, November 3, 2017

SAFD Battalion Chief Suspended a Week for Forcing Firefighters to Train in Heat

Posted By on Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 2:09 PM

COURTESY OF THE SAN ANTONIO FIRE DEPARTMENT
  • Courtesy of the San Antonio Fire Department

A San Antonio Fire Department battalion chief was suspended and reassigned earlier this year for forcing firefighters to train in elevated heat levels and failing to take control of a fire scene, according to an investigation by the KSAT Defenders team.

Robert Westbrook, who has worked for SAFD since 1999, faced a seven-day suspension in late July for his actions on April 28.

According to documents obtained by KSAT, Westbrook failed to take command of a fire in the 5400 block of Rittiman Plaza on April 28, despite being the first battalion chief on the scene.

Later that same day, Westbrook forced firefighters at Fire Station 38, including those who had participated in the Battle of the Flowers Parade and fought the fire earlier that day, to participate in physical training in “Level II heat.” The days before the parade, Metro Health issued a high-level heat advisory for people attending, saying it was “imperative that people drink plenty of water to prevent complications from the heat.”

Westbrook was reassigned, and is currently overseeing facility maintenance and new construction for the department.

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