Ind. FD, members accused of cheating on EMS certification tests
The NREMT and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security are investigating Muncie Fire Department staffers
By Leila Merrill
MUNCIE, Ind. — The Muncie Fire Department is facing scrutiny following allegations of widespread cheating on certification exams.
The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security have launched investigations into claims that firefighters and EMTs were given test questions and answers before or during their certification exams, 13News reported.
Muncie Fire Department Chief Robert Mead confirmed the allegations and said he was notified by the NREMT that they were opening an investigation into several members of the department.
“I hope the allegations come back as unfounded, that we are exonerated from this. But if it goes the other way, we’ll deal with it as whatever the outcome is,” Mead said.
Indiana State EMS Director Kraig Kinney said his office is also investigating both individuals and the department as a whole. Indiana State Fire Marshal Steve Jones said two Indiana Department of Homeland Security investigators have been assigned to examine allegations of cheating at the Muncie Fire Department.
If the allegations are proven to be accurate, the state has legal authority to impose discipline actions against the offenders. This could include placing an EMT or paramedic on probation, revoking their EMT certification for up to seven years, or imposing a $500 civil penalty per occurrence. The state also has the option to take action against an entire department, including revoking its certification to conduct training.
Mead has encouraged members of his department to cooperate with investigators. He said the allegations are just that at this point and until something is proven, the department will continue to do its best to serve the people of Muncie.
Four current and former members of the Muncie Fire Department spoke to 13 Investigates about the allegations of cheating. All said they were aware that cheating had taken place, and three staff members said they had personally witnessed certification exam cheating facilitated by another member of the Muncie Fire Department.