City of Pullman fined for flood rescue operations

The City of Pullman is being fined by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries for their handling of the flooding response in April.

Three $900 violations have totaled up to $2,700 for the City, which decided to pay the fines rather than appeal them.

According to the City of Pullman, Labor and Industries issued the first $900 penalty for a fire department commander allowing an unauthorized, untrained maintenance employee to drive a front-end loader with three firefighters in the bucket. The employee had reportedly never been trained in swift water rescue operations.

The second fine was for the firefighters in the front-end loader’s bucket, who were unsecured, not wearing water rescue-appropriate helmets, and not bringing flotation devices.

The third fine was for the City not using appropriate safety devices and safeguards during the flooding.

According to the City of Pullman, the efforts of firefighters allowed them to rescue 22 people, including an infant. Fire Chief Mike Heston said that the crew in the front-end loader were able to move eight people to safety, including a man with a diabetic emergency.

There were no injuries reported during the flash flood.

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