A veteran of the D.C. Fire and EMS Department says the city's training academy is leaving new firefighters woefully underprepared. Some rookies leave having never used a fire hydrant, a recently retired deputy fire chief with decades on the job wrote in an internal memo obtained by News4.
The nine-page memo says the recruits are rushed through a training program. The memo says initial firefighter training was a 20-week program, but now takes just eight weeks.
"I think it’s unconscionable,” Dabney Hudson, president of the D.C. Firefighters Union Local 36, said in response to the memo. "When you shortchange the training, you shortchange everybody."
Hudson's own training program was nearly twice as long, and he says it was a lot of information to grasp in 18 weeks.