PESH ruling ‘lets the state off the hook’ in Peyton Morse’s death, Ritchie says

Academy of Fire Science, Montour Falls, N.Y.
Academy of Fire Science, Montour Falls, N.Y.(WWNY)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 12:44 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A north country lawmaker is expressing frustration that there were no citations for the state fire academy where fallen Watertown firefighter Peyton Morse suffered a medical emergency earlier this year.

State Sen. Patty Ritchie said she was “disappointed and angered” that no citations were issued against the New York State Fire Academy in Montour Falls at the end of an investigation into the incident by the Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau (PESH).

On March 3, Morse experienced a medical emergency during training at the academy on March 3. He remained in a coma and died nine days later.

Ritchie said PESH’s investigation “lets the state off the hook completely.”

PESH was one of two entities investigating the incident. A state police investigation is still underway.

Here is Ritchie’s full statement:

“I am deeply disappointed and angered by news that the Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau’s (PESH) investigation into the death of City of Watertown Firefighter Peyton Morse failed to identify any wrongdoing by the New York State Fire Academy in Montour Falls.

“For more than eight months now, family, friends, fellow firefighters and the community have been looking for answers regarding what happened to Firefighter Morse. PESH’s investigation brings us no closer to the truth and instead, lets the state off the hook completely.

“It is my hope that the other investigations taking place provide the answers and closure that so many are desperately seeking. Just as importantly, I am hopeful they will identify any issues at the Academy that could potentially put other firefighters in jeopardy.”

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