Firefighter testing halted as state probes possible cheating

May 10, 2011

A state agency that certifies firefighters across Colorado is investigating whether a test proctor helped firefighters cheat on their exams.

All testing through the Colorado Division of Fire Safety has been suspended while the agency investigates the allegations, according to a release issued Tuesday by the fire safety division.

Specifically, investigators suspect a test proctor handed out advance copies of exams, including those for HAZMAT, firefighter and fire instructor certifications, the release said.

Fewer than 100 people are believed to have received the advance copies, which appear to have been handed out sometime in the last three years.

The firefighters who might have received the advance copies hail from multiple jurisdictions across the state, the safety division said.

In a Twitter message Tuesday evening, the Colorado Springs Fire Department said its firefighters are certified through an independent agency rather than Colorado Division of Fire Safety.

State Division Director Kevin Klein said in the release that his agency is working with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and local prosecutors to determine whether to pursue criminal investigations.

Klein also said other steps may be taken to change the testing procedures.

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