'It killed our son. Don't minimize it': Father of fallen Apopka firefighter on reported training deficiencies

 It's been more than five months since 25-year-old Apopka firefighter Austin Duran was killed on the job.

On Wednesday, Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson gave an update on the investigation into Duran's death. According to the city, the State Fire Marshal found the department violated one out of eight possible violations. Mayor Nelson addressed the media about the findings saying the trailer Duran was using on June 30, shouldn't ever have been used.

A 4,500-pound sand trailer fell and pinned Duran down, landing on his legs and abdomen. He later died in July.

Austin's father, Mike Duran, has since been an advocate for better training and safety within the Apopka Fire Department. He was at the news conference Wednesday night, and wasn't happy with the mayor's remarks when the Mayor said the one violation was "just training, training, that simple."


"You were at fault and even your minimization of it was training," Duran said. "It killed our son, don't minimize it."

A committee was formed to look into the improvements but so far, at least one person has resigned claiming pushback from the fire administration was the reason. The mayor was asked about the resignation and doesn't agree that there was any pushback.

"He thinks there's infighting going on, but we're trying to resolve those issues, and there's not in fighting in the department," Nelson said.

Mike Duran however, said if the culture within the fire administration doesn't change, he believes another tragedy could happen again. Right now, the mayor said the department is in the process of training people to learn how to use certain equipment. It's also still in the process of hiring and training 18 additional firefighters to help with staffing.