Fire instructors faulted in 2003 death at Port Everglades
Nine Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue employees have been disciplined in connections with a 2003 fire training exercise at Port Everglades that lead to the death of a recruit, a report in Thursday's South Florida Sun-Sentinel says.
The disciplinary action includes a 30-day suspension for the acting division chief for training at the time of the incident, and a two-week suspension for one of the instructors. Seven instructors were given written reprimands.
A 37-year-old trainer, Wayne Mitchell, died in an exercise that simulated a fire inside a cargo ship. The report said trainees were using a hose as a guide to move through a steel structure. The heat was so intense that three instructors bailed out early, but Mitchell lost track of the hose and became separated. He wandered away, collapsed and later died.
His widow settled a lawsuit with Miami-Dade County and has a pending lawsuit against Resolve Fire and Hazard Response, which owns the facility.