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Veteran firefighter battles dismissal
Worker's comp claim at center of testimony
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Forsyth County News


Forsyth County’s civil service board has 30 days to decide whether a firefighter who was terminated last fall should regain his job.

Jeremy Cranford appealed his firing to the board in a hearing that began Thursday morning and ended Friday afternoon.

Cranford, who joined the fire department in 2001, was terminated Oct. 6 for falsifying documents, providing false statements and ethical violations.

According to testimony during the hearing, the former lieutenant filed a worker’s compensation claim stating that on April 3 he had injured his elbow when he fell during ladder training at Station 4. Cranford was treated for the injury.

He also contends that firefighters Kedrick Kenerly and Shawn Corrigan witnessed the event, though neither of them signed the form.

Kenerly and Corrigan testified Thursday that they did not have ladder training on April 3, and neither saw Cranford injure himself at work.

They both said Cranford, who was their supervisor, told them he was filing the claim and what it said.

While they initially decided not to report Cranford, they said they later had a change of heart.

Kenerly said he told Fire Lt. Debbie Lindstrom, an investigator and internal affairs officer with the department, about the situation during a training session on ethics. That was some five months after the incident.

Lindstrom testified that Cranford was placed on administrative leave with pay Sept. 6 while she investigated the matter.

Based on the evidence and interviews she conducted, Lindstrom said she determined the training did not take place.

Lindstrom said she was unable to find a training form, which Cranford told her he had filled out and Kenerly and Corrigan signed, that would have supported Cranford’s claim.

The three-member board scheduled an executive session for Jan. 19, when it likely will discuss the matter.