MILWAUKEE- A new policy is on the way for the Milwaukee Fire Department after the body of a 21-year-old woman went undiscovered in the back of a burning car in January, in what Milwaukee Fire Chief Aaron Lipski called a “mental miss.”
Lipski said the plan of action after a vehicle fire will now be similar to the procedure following structural building fires; meaning several searches from different fire personnel at different times.
“We are going to mimic a building search,” Lipski tells Wisconsin’s Afternoon News. “That’s 3 separate searches that occur over the same geography at different times. It’s conducted by different people with different sets of eyes on an area during different phases of the emergency.”
Lipski added that the fire fighters involved in the initial search will not be punished. During a press conference Tuesday afternoon the fire chief said a mistake like this is better fixed through policy changes, not discipline.
The victim, who’s since been identified as Jenna Reichartz, died after the vehicle she was in crashed into a building near 76th and Green Tree Road on January 9th. Her body initially went undiscovered until the the vehicle was taken to a tow and she was found by an employee there the next day. Her death has been ruled an accident.