Firefighters More Reluctant to Assume Leadership Roles in Wildfires - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Firefighters More Reluctant to Assume Leadership Roles in Wildfires

KENNEWICK, Wash.- Surprising results from a survey of wildfire firefighters.

Just months after the indictment of Ellreese Daniels, firefighters say it's affecting the way they handle their jobs.

More than a third of wildfire firefighters now say that they're having second thoughts about becoming supervisors.

In December, crew boss Ellreese Daniels was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors say he was negligent during the 2001 30-mile fire near Winthrop, leading to the death of four firefighters on his watch.

Now, 36% of firefighters surveyed say they're more reluctant to take charge.

"Does it make me nervous, yes, it makes me nervous about making decisions on the fireground.  I have talked to myself about it, as have many other people talked to themselves about it, and we've talked to each other," said Bob Gear, Chief of Benton County Fire District 1.

Many firefighters don't think they should be held criminally liable for some of the split second decisions on the firelines.

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