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State audit / safety report of Copenhagen Fire Dept. reveals several things needing change

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 5:45 PM EST
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COPENHAGEN, New York (WWNY) - The New York State Department of Labor has made the Copenhagen Fire Department aware of several safety violations.

The Department of Labor citing a July 30, 2021 structure fire where seven firefighters at the scene quote “did not receive initial fire brigade training and education.”

The report also indicates two firefighters did not receive any training for about a year between August 2020 through July 2021. Three other firefighters did not receive quarterly training in that same time period.

Also at that July 30th fire, the report reveals that the fire department quote “did not assure the use of the required protective clothing when two members were performing interior structural firefighting.”

All three violations are listed as serious. The department must fix the problems by February 14, or pay a $200 fine per violation, per day after that.

In a separate report by the State Comptroller, an audit of the Copenhagen Fire Department’s bookkeeping between January, 2019 through June 2020 concludes department officials need to improve internal controls over money going out, showing of the $110 thousand in payments made during the audit, $27,000 didn’t have adequate support that allows officials to determine whether or not the payments were valid.

When it came to collecting cash at fundraisers, the audit says the fire department’s board did not establish adequate controls to ensure that all money received was properly recorded and deposited. They concluding ‘when there is limited accountability for fundraising money, there is an increased risk that funds could be lost or stolen without detection.

The comptroller’s office has made recommendations on how the department needs to make changes.

Now, the report doesn’t say there’s missing money, but reading it, it seems that you can’t be completely sure if every dollar is accounted for.

7 News reached out to Copenhagen Fire Department President James Henry and Village Mayor Mark Souva for comment but did not hear back.

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