Internal report shows images that led to captain’s demotion

In this still frame of video taken by Capt. Eric Chandler, the hose can be seen dragging along the ground as the fire truck drives away.
In this still frame of video taken by Capt. Eric Chandler, the hose can be seen dragging along the ground as the fire truck drives away.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A month after KXAN first reported on professional conduct allegations against a local EMS captain, we are now seeing the images that led to his demotion.

KXAN obtained the images through an internal investigation report on Capt. Eric Chandler.

Austin-Travis County EMS says Chandler used his personal cell phone to take videos, one of a colleague to see how fast he could eat a taco, and another of an Austin fire truck losing its hose during a 911 call in September.

Chandler deleted the second video, but not before an investigator captured screen grabs.

In the 1 minute, 8 second video posted on Facebook, a five inch wide line falls off at the Austin State School.

The hose drags on the ground for several feet and at one point appeared to be dragging about 20 feet behind the truck.

All the while, a professional standards captain who watched the video says, Chandler was laughing and “egging on.”

Investigators say Chandler didn’t radio the fire truck until it had already reached the emergency call.

Chandler’s colleague who originally complained about the video said “the Captain was setting an example that that was unacceptable behavior.”

His colleague went on to say Chandler didn’t acknowledge that there was a potential risk to the public, the department’s property, or even the five inch fire hose.

Chandler was demoted from captain to Medic II, but he’s appealing that decision. The EMS workers union expects that appeals hearing in May.

The chief who heads up the Austin Fire Department fleet tells KXAN the end of that hose was secured properly, but the soft, flexible part of the hose came loose somehow.

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