State’s attorney general asked to investigate Watertown firefighter’s death

WWNY State’s attorney general asked to investigate Watertown firefighter’s death

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Rochester-area lawmaker wants the state’s attorney general to investigate the death of Peyton Morse, the Watertown firefighter who died after suffering a medical emergency during training at the State Academy of Fire Science.

Assemblyman Josh Jensen (R. - 134th District) sent a letter to Attorney General Letitia James, calling on her to look into what happened to Morse at the Montour Falls facility.

“If there’s a situation where things are being expected of a firefighter during training that aren’t expected on the fire ground of an active live fire - firefighting is a dangerous profession, no one argues against that, but the training shouldn’t be something that is putting lives at risk,” he said.

Jensen says the investigation, however it turns out, needs to be done to make sure emergency management leaders continue to have confidence in the state facility.

On March 3, Morse suffered a medical emergency during mask confidence training, in which the trainee’s mask is obstructed with a cloth or wax paper to simulate a smoke filled room. Then the recruit is then challenged by a series of obstacles.

It’s unclear exactly what went wrong during the exercise, but Morse became unresponsive.

He died in a Pennsylvania hospital 9 days later.

A spokesperson for the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services said last week that certain instructors at the academy administratively removed from the training schedule while the incident is investigated.

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