Thursday, February 18, 2010
7 News Investigations: Getting Burned Follow Up
More heat tonight for BSO's fire department. As 7 News first reported a million dollar fire hose system for Port Everglades doesn't work, and now investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero uncovers there may also be problems with an expensive fire truck.
WSVN -- This half million dollar fire truck looks great, but looks can be deceiving. A former employee with the Broward Sheriff's Fire department claims it's missing tens of thousands of dollars in equipment.
The truck is designed to handle the chemicals needed to put out fuel fires. It is housed at Port Everglades here at Station Six. The port provides fuel for 12 South Florida counties plus three international airports. Needless to say an out of control fire here could be catastrophic, but some question whether the truck could do its part in the firefight.
Seven News has obtained this eight and a half page document claiming problem after problem with the truck, items that were improperly installed, other items that were substituted and other things just completely missing. The total value $39,000.
The report was written by Rip Dalyrymple in 2007, who, at the time, inspected and repaired BSO's fire trucks. He was in charge of inspecting this truck when it was delivered.
Rip Dalrymple: "I advised my supervisors that it wasn't built to our specs."
Despite the concerns he raised BSO took delivery of the truck paid for it in full and put it into use.
Rip Dalrymple: "We didn't receive what we paid for."
At the the time Dalyrymple did nothing, afraid he would lose his job, but he has since retired and is now speaking out.
Phillip Allen, Port Everglades: "These matters came to my attention and I turned them over to BSO Internal Affairs relative to looking into the facts surrounding these issues."
This latest problem comes on top of another big issue for the port and BSO. As we first showed you earlier this month, more than a million dollars has been paid for a fire fighting system to fight fuel fires.
BSO claims it hasn't worked correctly in testing. So for now, the hose and all the support equipment currently sit in a warehouse.
Carmel Cafiero: "If there was a fire today, could you use what we have spent a million dollars on?"
Chief Joseph Lello, BSO Fire: "No."
Carmel Cafiero: "Does that disturb you?"
Chief Joseph Lello: "It does disturb me and that's why it's in the hands of the legal department."
But, the head of the port says it is still well protected.
Phillip Allen: "We don't think public safety is at risk. This was an effort to try to even increase that level of security."
BSO turned down our request for interviews regarding these latest claims about their fire truck, saying it would not comment on an open internal affairs investigation .
Carmel Cafiero: "All this is now in the hands of BSO's Internal Affairs Department. It will have to determine if any wrong-doing has taken place."