BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An investigation is underway into the cheating scandal that has temporarily shut down all EMS training for Baltimore City firefighters.

Derek Valcourt reports state officials say they found fire cadets cheating on their EMS test.

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Those cadets apparently had copies of some of the testing materials in advance of the exams.  Now the city fire marshal’s office is trying to find out who is responsible.

In order to become a city firefighter, you have to go through two sets of training.  One is to learn how to fight fires and the other is how to save lives as a paramedic, or EMT.  But that life-saving training has now been halted while the city investigates allegations that fire academy cadets at the Public Safety Training Facility cheated on a practical exam on June 14. 

It’s disappointing to Fire Chief James Clack, who launched an investigation.

“We don’t know the answers to who or what or when or any of those issues.  We’re going to find out,” Clack said.

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The city fire marshal spent Tuesday securing documents at the EMS training facility and creating a list of the people they’ll need to interview, including cadets, instructors and officers who oversee the academy as they try to determine how fire academy EMS students obtained some of the confidential test material before their exams.

Fire officials say none of the cadets in question have been out working on the streets yet and say all of them will be retested before they can be certified. 

It’s not the first time the fire department has dealt with allegations of cheating on exams.  In 2007, an investigation found cheating on promotional exams for candidates to become fire department captains or lieutenants.  This report from the office of the city’s inspector general “found substantial information was shared by a few individuals.”  That same report also found some of the candidates had copies of a test given in prior years. 

This time around, the city’s fire marshal says he’s looking not only at the recent cheating allegations but the integrity of the entire EMS testing process.

A fire department spokesman says serious disciplinary action will be taken against anyone implicated of wrongdoing in the cheating scandal.

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The fire chief says he expects the investigation will take two weeks.