AUGUSTA, Ga. -- An Augusta fire lieutenant is being disciplined for missing a deadline to conduct safety inspections of oxygen tanks used to help firefighters breathe as they battle fires.
The missed April 30 inspection deadline forced Fire Chief Chris James to ask the Army to loan his department 52 air cylinders from nearby Fort Gordon.
James said Friday required inspections for 200 of his department's air tanks "fell through" after an e-mail reminder was sent to a lieutenant who handles maintenance requests. The chief declined to name the lieutenant and did not say specifically how he was being punished.
The air tanks are required to be inspected every five years. Augusta city commissioners and firefighter union officials say the oversight put firefighters' lives at risk.