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Dallas Fire-Rescue chief speaks out on officer shootings

The chief said he was “honored to work with” those who responded to the ambush shooting

DALLAS — Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief David Coatney took office just days after five police officers were killed in an ambush shooting July 7.

“You don’t expect to get hired on the job and have five funerals to attend immediately, and that’s heart-wrenching,” Coatney told WFAA.

Coatney previously served as chief for Round Rock, and previously served in the San Antonio Fire Department for more than 25 years.

Coatney said that following the shootings, the department is discussing whether firefighters should request police escort for certain calls and if EMS and fire personnel should wait for officers to arrive on a scene.

When asked about the team’s response efforts during the shootings, Coatney said, “I’m proud of the work that Dallas Fire-Rescue did, some of our members got into the middle of the event to assist with the rescue and recovery of some downed officers, and did they do it to their own peril? Yes sir, they did. I’m honored to work with these folks.”

The chief has been working to find resources to better protect firefighters and manage budget cuts.

“Our job is to identify the gaps and look for those improvements. And you’re always going to find them, because there’s cutting edge technology that’s always available to us. There’s new training methodology that you want to look at and you want to consider using,” Coatney said.