SFD's Crawford To Review Charleston Fire Disaster - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

SFD's Crawford To Review Charleston Fire Disaster

Brian Crawford, assistant to the chief of the Shreveport Fire Department, will be part of a group of outside investigators who will review firefighting practices in Charleston, S.C., where nine firefighters died during a fire at a furniture store. The chairman of the six-member review team will be former Shreveport Fire Chief Gordon Routley.The firefighters died this past June when they went into the burning store. It was the worst death toll of firefighters since Sept. 11, 2001.Crawford will be among those who will review the Charleston Fire Department's practices and develop a long-range strategic plan for the department. He will go there on Monday and will be reviewing the fire department's administration. Charleston's aggressive firefighting tactics have come under scrutiny in the wake of the disaster. The debate is over what level of risk to firefighters' lives is acceptable to save property. Fire safety experts have criticized the way the blaze was handled, saying Charleston's firefighting methods are outdated."That report is going to lend so much information to other fire departments across the country who may be operating the same way that Charleston was," Crawford said. "It may have them step back and look at their own organizations."Routley, considered an expert in investigating firefighter fatalities, was Shreveport fire chief from 1989-91. He was appointed by former Mayor John Hussey and replaced when Hazel Beard became mayor.Crawford is a resident instructor at the National Fire Academy. He recently wrote an article for Fire Chief magazine on risky traditions in the fire service.

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