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Safety violations filed against Greenport FD have been dismissed

The Public Employees Safety and Health Bureau violations brought before the Greenport Village Fire Department last year have been dismissed, Mayor George Hubbard confirmed Thursday.

The mayor said the village, which oversees the fire department, has not been fined for the eight health and safety violations established after a July 2019 inspection at the Third Street firehouse.

“Everything has been taken care of, it’s all been ratified, finalized,” he said.

According to public Occupational Safety and Health Administration records, the inspection case was closed Jan. 10, 2020.

PESH, which was created in 1980 to enforce safety and health standards promulgated under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, requested certain documents at the time of the inspection. However, the department did not have that paperwork immediately available when the inspector was present, according to previous reports.

The eight violations addressed issues with the following: written respiratory protection program and procedures for respirator use; training for use of those respirators; a mandated Exposure Control Plan and bloodborne pathogen training, designed to minimize employee exposure to blood or other potentially harmful materials; information and training on the risks of workplace violence; and risk assessments related to firefighter safety.

To prepare for the upcoming inspection, Mr. Hubbard said, some fire department members have already completed necessary training sessions.

The fire department hosted multiple training sessions Sunday, Jan. 19, on bloodborne pathogen sensitivity, workplace violence and hazardous materials. Roughly 55 out of 85 firefighters attended the class, he said. 

“January isn’t even over, and we’re already halfway through all of [the requirements],” he said. 

The department’s chief position remains vacant since former department chief Jeffrey Weingart was removed from his position near the time of the PESH evaluation. The position could be filled during fire department elections in early April. Wade Manwaring has since been appointed first assistant chief of the department.