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On the defensive, Newton fire chief fires back

Posted by Ralph Ranalli May 24, 2007 02:00 PM



Under pressure critics, Fire Chief Joseph LaCroix has fired back at what he calls “misleading claims” about the working order of vehicles and equipment used by firefighters.

In a memo to aldermen this week following an accident with a pumper truck that sent Lt. Richard Geary to the hospital with serious injuries earlier this month, LaCroix lashed out at the firefighters union for asserting that refurbishing a fire truck consists of putting in new brakes, painting, a little bit of polish, and not much else.

LaCroix said that the department’s equipment – from the fleet of trucks to oxygen tanks and masks to flashlights to chainsaws – is all up to code.

“Under no circumstances would I send our firefighters out to do their jobs with equipment that was not code compliant or otherwise unsafe,” LaCroix wrote in the memo.

-- Connie Paige

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