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Seven Cobb firefighters were demoted or suspended after sharing answers on a state certification exam


Seven Cobb County firefighters have been disciplined after an internal investigation revealed they cheated by working together on a state certification exam in May.

Following an internal investigation, it was discovered that the firefighters had engaged in improper collaboration on answers in a proctored exam setting.

As a result of their actions, four firefighters were demoted from Lieutenant to Engineer, while three others (two Engineers and a Firefighter) received suspensions without pay.

Fire Chief William Johnson expressed deep disappointment in the poor judgment displayed by these firefighters. The department promptly initiated the investigation upon learning of the accusation, and those involved cooperated, recognizing their significant mistake. 

While the punishment is severe, it aims to send a strong message that ethical breaches will not be tolerated within the department.

The firefighters had participated in a course to become instructors on specific fire apparatus operations, and Chief Johnson emphasized that the department will review how such courses are handled in Cobb County, collaborating with the state to implement any necessary changes. 

Despite the regrettable incident, Chief Johnson highlighted that the disciplined individuals had otherwise maintained spotless records. 
Johnson said, “The discipline rendered hopefully reinforced all the values that the department embraces.  It is regrettable, but it shows we will handle these situations appropriately, knowing the department’s reputation is on the line.”


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