A Hartford deputy fire chief who first ran into trouble last winter has been suspended without pay, the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters have learned.
Deputy Chief James McLoughlin has been suspended without pay for 15 days.
Fire officials say he endangered firefighters under his command in April by sending them into a building that had sustained heavy fire damage.
The department informed McLoughlin of his suspension on Friday, Sept. 4, the day after they held a hearing on the incident.
"We entrust our Deputy Chiefs to make difficult decisions. This is an aberration. It was not what we’d expect from a Deputy Chief or from Deputy Chief McLoughlin, specifically. He has a much better track record in making decisions than what was displayed that day," Interim Asst. Fire Chief Scott Brady told the Troubleshooters.
McLoughlin was the incident commander at last October's fire on Blue Hills Avenue where firefighter Kevin Bell died and four other members of the department were hurt.
As a result of these two incidents, the department issued a written directive on risk management last Friday. The department plans to put all captains and deputy chiefs through follow-up training in the coming weeks.
McLouglin was placed on administrative leave last December but was reinstated shortly thereafter.