Chief Halton explains decision to pull Lt. McCormack video
By Jamie Thompson
Chief Bobby Halton says an "oversight" on his part was behind the decision to pull the Fire Engineering video of Lt. Ray McCormack's speech at FDIC.
Chief Halton said he failed to inform speakers at the conference that if they chose to present in uniform, they had to ensure their speech was consistent with the policies, procedures and positions of their organizations.
FDNY Lt. McCormack was in uniform when he delivered a keynote speech in Indianapolis last month on safety in the fire service.
In a video message, Chief Halton, editor-in-chief of Fire Engineering and education director of FDIC, said "Upon review of Lt. McCormack's video, it was clear to me that Ray was expressing his own individual opinions and not that of the FDNY.
"It was for that reason and that reason alone that I chose to take the video down."
FDIC presenters at future conferences choosing to wear their uniform must ensure that their words convey directly the policies, procedures and directives of their organization, he added.
Chief Halton went on to read a letter from the FDNY Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano, who said that the speech "undermined a message we have worked hard to communicate to members of our department — the importance of firefighter safety."
Chief Cassano added in the letter that the department worked with the NFFF last year to develop a training video — Everyone Goes Home — specifically targeted at its 11,500 members.
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