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Compton Fire Department continues to battle its own blazes

Probe ongoing in Department's non-compliant use of defibrillators.  COMPTON (MNS) — Compton Fire Department Chief Jon Thompson has been placed on leave pending an investigation into compliance in the use of defibrillators by members of the department. Deputy Fire

Probe ongoing in Department’s non-compliant use of defibrillators. 

COMPTON (MNS) — Compton Fire Department Chief Jon Thompson has been placed on leave pending an investigation into compliance in the use of defibrillators by members of the department.

Deputy Fire Chief Bryan Batiste, who has assumed Thompson’s responsibilities on an interim basis, says the removal of four of the key lifesaving devices from the department’s trucks and ambulances shouldn’t worry residents.

Batiste said county regulators ordered the removal last week after fire officials couldn’t provide documentation showing some firefighters had been properly trained to use them.

“We have identified where the breakdown was in terms of the training and the continuing [education] and so the county and Department of Public Health … is working with us,” he said, adding, “Since we’ve taken them off, there hasn’t been any type of calls where we would have used them within the last week or so.”

Fire Capt. Rick Roman said that paramedics carry defibrillators for treatment of cardiac-arrest patients. The device can deliver different voltage to restart a patient’s heart that has stopped functioning.

Thompson was placed on administrative leave at the June 30 City Council meeting.

Trouble at the department under Thompson appears to be a recurring theme. Ex-battalion chief Marcel Melanson was indicted in April 2012 for arson, embezzlement; and theft and destruction of 200 city-owned police radios valued at more than $1 million.

After stealing the equipment from an indoor racquetball at the city’s fire station No. 1 court, Melanson ignited a fire to cover up the theft.

He is currently serving 40 months in state prison.

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.

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