Three Detroit fire chiefs resign for role in firefighter's injuries

FOX 2 has exclusively learned that three Detroit fire chiefs have resigned for their role in the injury of a firefighter two months ago.

On October 13, Detroit Fire Engine 40 responded to a mutual aid call at a house in Highland Park.

According to department officials, Lt. David Webster was signed in as the officer in charge of the crew - but it was an inexperienced firefighter in his place. The two had swapped shifts.

While fighting the fire, one of the crew members fell through the floor and was severely burned. He was taken to Detroit receiving by a private ambulance where he waited for treatment.

For two hours, he sat in the emergency room with 3rd degree burns.

No one in command notified headquarters about the injured man for at least 12 hours. The fire chiefs were then ordered to check on the injured firefighter but no one did, according to department officials.

Senior Chief Jack Wiley and Battalion Chiefs Fred Hartmann and Anthony Ellis have resigned effective immediately. Combined, they have nearly 100 years experience.

Fire officials say steps have been taken to monitor the practice of shift swapping - known as work relief. Fire department personnel will also no longer be transported by private ambulance.

A lieutenant has also been suspended for 29 days and put on a year's probation.

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