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LA County Fire Dept. damage control over cheating, nepotism

by AirTalk®

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A Los Angeles Fire Department inspector leaves the MGM Tower (L) in Century City after a woman was trapped in an elevator when a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the US-Mexico border region, on April 4, 2010. MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Firefighters who cheated on LA County Fire Department (LACFD) tests could be fired or suspended, in a new proposal from Daryl Osby, Chief of LACFD.

He made the announcement as thousands of aspiring firefighters took a new test yesterday that arrived in Brinks armored trucks in Pomona to underscore the added scrutiny. Last year, an LA Times investigation into nepotism at the department revealed evidence of cheating on at least nine different tests that had been circulated among employees. They included exams for fire captains and tests for driving and emergency medical skills.

The earlier Times investigation found the county department had hired at least 183 sons of current or former firefighters since the start of 2012. Now, Osby says current LACFD staff will be prohibited from aiding the hiring of any family members or friends. (Similar malfeasance has occurred at the Los Angeles Fire Department [LAFD], which has spurred ongoing reforms.)

Is it certain that cheating fire fighters will face discipline? How will the department whittle down thousands of applicants?


Daryl Osby, L.A. County Fire Chief

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