Chief looking into firefighters' safety equipment accusations

Chief looking into firefighters' safety equipment accusations

HANAHAN, SC (WCSC) - Hanahan's fire chief says he is listening and looking into accusations made by one of his firefighters on our newscast Thursday night.

Our investigation began after several Hanahan firefighters contacted us to complain about the quality of their protective clothing and outdated equipment.

One agreed to do an interview as long as we disguised his face and altered his voice.

He said it may be a matter of life or death.

"Do I have to die? I mean I come into this job, knowing I could and I'd die for any one of the guys I work with. But I don't want to, they don't want to," he said.

Friday, more firefighters contacted us with their concerns through phone calls and e mails.

They also asked us not to identify them for fear of losing their jobs.

One wrote, "Some of protective boots had holes in them, the bunker gear had rips."

Another firefighter wrote, "We want better for our people and our chief and city administrators need to know this."

We contacted Hanahan Fire Chief Jerry Barham and asked for an on camera interview.

Barham said he's too busy, and that he's actually looking into the accusations now.

Barham said if he finds out any of the firefighters' allegations are true, and there are problems, he will correct them.

The chief said the safety of his firefighters is his top priority and that he would never put them in an unsafe situation.

Barham said he will need time to look into the accusations and will keep us posted.

Many of his firefighters will be watching and waiting.

©2014 WCSC. All rights reserved.