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FDNY bars civilians on fireboat rides after deadly crash


No civilians might be allowed to journey on FDNY fireplace boats except the journey is accepted by the division’s chief of fireside operations, the FDNY stated Friday — 5 months after a rogue fireplace boat journey ended within the loss of life of a visiting Belgian firefighter.

The codified guidelines come because the property of Sgt. Johnny Beernaert prepares to sue the town over the fatal June 17 East River crash, the Every day Information has discovered.

In a discover of declare filed with the town Comptroller’s workplace, attorneys for Beernaert’s property say the division was “negligent in inviting and/or allowing civilians to journey as passengers” on Marine 1 Bravo, a 31-foot lengthy fireboat that docks within the Hudson River.

The nonetheless unfiled wrongful loss of life lawsuit might be looking for damages for his spouse Heidi Vermandel and their two kids, the discover of declare, which was filed in September, states.

Beernaert and his spouse have been taking a journey throughout the East River at 11 p.m. when Marine 1 Bravo collided with the constitution boat the Honcho near Pier 11. The Belgian suffered a head harm and died at Bellevue Hospital. Vermandel was not harmed.

At the very least two different civilians, recognized as a retired FDNY firefighter and his spouse, have been additionally on the boat, however not injured.

The clarified FDNY coverage, which was distributed to its members Friday, makes it clear that each one “harbor familiarization excursions not approved by the Chief of Operations (or designee) are strictly prohibited.”

Town’s Division of Investigation really useful that the FDNY make clear its guidelines about civilian boat rides to verify everyone seems to be conscious of the coverage, an FDNY supply stated.

“Officers shall not allow passengers on FDNY marine vessels for non-emergencies, except (they) are members of the division or are helping within the efficiency of official division enterprise or operations, or the officers have obtained approval by way of the chain of command,” the coverage signifies.

Non-fire personnel are normally not allowed to journey on marine boats with out permission, however prior to now the approval got here from officers on the Marine Unit, not by larger ups at headquarters, an FDNY supply stated.

“It’s not just like the pilot of the boat can say, ‘Come on let’s go for a journey!’” the supply stated.

Belgian Fire Sgt. Johnny Beernaert
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The coverage goes on to say that any requests for civilians to journey on an FDNY fireplace boat have to be submitted to the Chief of Marine Operations, who will then ahead the request to the Chief of Operations workplace.

It additionally signifies that a minimum of one officer and two firefighters have to be on any accepted familiarization excursions and conduct a security briefing for all passengers who’re accepted to journey on the boat.

In the course of the June 17 crash, an on-duty firefighter was driving the boat, however he was the only real Marine Unit member on board, a division supply stated.

The FDNY dry-docked three Marine 1 fire officers — a lieutenant, a captain and a battalion chief — afterward, pulling them from their common duties and giving them administrative jobs throughout the Marine Unit.

Neither the firefighter on the boat, who handed all drug and alcohol assessments following the crash, nor his superiors have been hit with felony or disciplinary fees because the Coast Guard continues it’s investigation. An electronic mail to the Coast Guard was not instantly returned.

A number of efforts to succeed in the proprietor of the Honcho have been unsuccessful.

Legal professionals representing the Beernaerts’ property didn’t return requires remark.

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