The N.C. Department of Labor has cited the Pineville Volunteer Fire Department after investigating the April 30 death of firefighter Richard Sheltra.
Sheltra, who was 20 years old and the department’s Rookie of the Year at the time, died fighting a blaze at the Edwin Watts Golf Store off Pineville-Matthews Road. His death was due to smoke inhalation.
The Department of Labor released a report Wednesday that fined the Pineville-Morrow Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Inc. $6,100 for three serious violations and one non-serious violation.
Pineville VFD fire chief Michael Gerin said the department was still talking to the local branch of the Department of Labor. “We have been in constant communication with them, and I don’t know yet whether we’ll pay the citations,” he said. “That’s an ongoing process.”
The Department of Labor cited the fire department for failure to establish and implement a written respiratory protection program, failure to send Sheltra in alongside another firefighter who would be in voice contact with him, failure to have at least two employees outside the store to provide assistance or emergency rescue, and failure to maintain forms from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for three years.
The VFD has 15 days to contest the fines or request a conference with the Department of Labor to dismiss them. If the fines are paid, the money will go into the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund, which is then distributed to public school systems.
Lawrence Toppman: 704-358-5232