Remember the fallen with the lessons learned
NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program
On March 4, 2002, a 22-year-old male career fire fighter (the victim) was injured and subsequently died and a 25-year-old male Captain was injured when the floor collapsed while they were fighting a residential fire.
The Captain was transported by ambulance to an area hospital where he was admitted overnight for first- and second-degree burns.
The victim was conscious and was transported by medical helicopter to a State medical center where he died 2 days later.
NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should
- ensure that each Incident Commander conducts a size-up of the incident before initiating fire-fighting efforts, after command is transferred, and continually evaluates the risk versus gain during operations at an incident
- ensure fire fighters are trained to recognize the dangers of searching above a fire
- ensure that an Incident Safety Officer, independent from the Incident Commander, is appointed
- ensure that ventilation is closely coordinated with fire attack
- ensure that a Rapid Intervention Team is established and in position immediately upon arrival
- ensure that adequate numbers of staff are available to operate safely and effectively