DALLAS (CBS11 I-TEAM) – The City of Dallas appears to have “significant” concerns with its own fire department in a just-released audit. The city and state made 19-safety recommendations following the death of veteran firefighter Stan Wilson in 2013.
Now a city auditor says the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department still has not done enough.
Stan Wilson’s brother and wife tell the CBS11 I-Team they are sad and frustrated so little changes have been made.
Change is all Wilson’s wife and sons said they could hope for after the 28-year veteran firefighter was killed in 2013 when a building collapsed. For years, the I-Team dug into what went wrong.
Sources said Wilson was sent back into the burning apartment complex while thousands of gallons of water from ladder pipes rained down on it. Experts told the I-Team it was an order that should have never been made because the chance of somebody still being alive inside was nearly impossible and the collapsing building was brittle from the the water.
Firefighters told the I-Team Wilson’s death was a “senseless-unnecessary” loss caused by mistakes.
In an audio tape the I-Team obtained, firefighters are heard arguing about who gave the order to go back inside.
The fire chief, mayor, city and state eventually admitted a breakdown in commands and tactics. Nineteen recommendations were made. Dallas Fire-Rescue announced new protocols and training in 2016.
But, four years after Stan Wilson’s death, a just-released city audit finds the fire department has not followed through with enough changes in “training,” “language” that could lead to “confusion during an incident,” and its radio-monitoring system.
“It just seems like they’re not being held accountable. Hopefully this audit pushes that, but when you don’t have records of who has been trained and how much they’ve been trained and what still needs to be done in training… that’s just dropping the ball,” says Ken Wilson, Stan Wilson’s brother.
In response to the audit, the fire department said it “…concurs with the listed recommendations. Were it not for budgetary constraints, many of these would have already been implemented.”
Ken Wilson says that sounds like excuses.
Jenny Wilson, Stan’s widow, says she believes in the fire administration which took over approximately two years after Wilson’s death and she still hopes changes are coming, but adds, “this is frustrating.”