Father of fallen Apopka firefighter Austin Duran speaks out during city council meeting

Michael Duran told News 6 the fire department has done only the very basic in terms of training

APOPKA, Fla. – Michael Duran, the father of fallen firefighter Austin Duran, spoke during public comment at the Apopka city council meeting on Wednesday.

He told News 6 the department is only doing the very basic in terms of training, rather than taking a deeper dive into training on equipment, including the sand trailer that injured and killed his son.

“This is a matter of life and death due to the foundational and culture issues within this department,” he said.

His son, 25-year-old Austin Duran, was injured on the job while trying to move a sand trailer in July of 2022, later dying from his injuries.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]

The fire department provides monthly updates surrounding fire safety training, but Michael Duran said they are barely scratching the surface when it comes to both.

Wednesday’s meeting saw a fire department presentation that lasted about eight minutes and included discussion of the national fire protection association firefighter fitness, recent training courses on aerial operations, and air care training.

But what wasn’t mentioned was training on equipment such as the sand trailer.

“When is enough, enough? When do we hold this current administration accountable?” Michael Duran asked.

He continued by saying, “Why are we sitting on our hands and not tearing this failed leadership apart so that we can rebuild, reform, and improve the city’s fire services?”

At the time of Austin Duran’s death, his father said the firefighter’s death was a result of a lack of training — something reiterated by Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson, who said an investigation found that same violation.

The city council did not respond to the comments.

According to the city’s website, they have put out a request for proposal that seeks a consultant of health and safety implementation for the fire department.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily: