Council OKs Two Investigations Of Tulsa Fire Department

Thursday, January 29th 2009, 6:32 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- There are new developments in the training scandal at the Tulsa Fire Department.  The Tulsa City Council on Thursday night authorized two investigations into the department.

After a week of talking about what to do, the city council voted to start two investigations of the Tulsa Fire Department.

Last October, a state health department investigation found evidence of falsified training records for fire department paramedics.  The city council only found out last week and now wants to know more.

Related Story: 1/21/2009  State Investigating Tulsa Fire Department

One investigation will focus on the medical side.  The other will look into the training and record keeping side.

The council noted the Tulsa Fire Department paramedics had "substantial errors in documentation, some of which appeared intentional."  The council called that a violation of trust by the Tulsa Fire Department that must be investigated and addressed.

The councilors authorized $40,000 for an investigation by the Medical Control Board and also directed the City of Tulsa Auditor to conduct an independent audit of the fire department training records. They want a list of personnel with knowledge of the false records, including their ranks and roles in the training.

The council wants the city auditor to have a plan by next week on how to handle that investigation.   

The Medical Control Board plans to work quickly on its investigation as city hall tries to restore confidence in the training for Tulsa's first responders.

On the other scandal still developing at Tulsa City Hall, Tulsa's Mayor plans a news conference on Friday morning.  She will discuss the hiring of a forensic auditor to go over records of the Tulsa Public Works Department.

Two former city employees now face federal charges of conspiracy after it was discovered that money was being skimmed off city street repair contracts.