The Second 10

A look at the second 10 line of duty deaths in 2011.


From 20 January to 17 February another ten firefighters died in the line of duty as listed by the United States Fire Administration. The average trend is eight deaths a month considering all the deaths to date. Notable among the second ten are:

An 80-year old volunteer captain who died of a heart attack during a response to structure fire [1]. This is the second fatality where the the victim is over the age of 65. Among the second ten is the second of the youngest deaths. A 26-year old volunteer firefighter died of a medical emergency after a fire [2]. This is the second 26-year old victim for 2011.

A 38-year old recruit died of a heart attack during a training evolution [3]. The recruit was participating in a follow the hoseline evolution when he went in cardiac arrest. Paramedics on the scene quickly performed CPR and delivered ALS measures, unfortunately the recruit died.

A career firefighter became ill while on duty, and left for a doctor’s appointment. He collapsed while enroute and later died [4].

Outside of the recognition of ‘traditional line of duty deaths’ a volunteer assistant chief died of heart attack while doing paperwork [5].

Since the USFA and NFFF announced the recognition of Department of Defense line of duty deaths, an airman assigned to Kadena Air Base, Japan was killed. He was backed over by fire apparatus [6]. This is the first military-related line of duty death for 2011 and the only one at this time.

Considering deaths which occurred during a rescue attempt, a volunteer firefighter drowned while attempting water rescue which he responded to [7].

To date, the average age of all victims is 49. The average age of the second 10 is 44.

Department type of the second 10 deaths is six volunteer firefighters and four career firefighters. Command ranks of the victims are:
1 Chief
1 Assistant Chief
1 Battalion Chief
1 Captain
For the year to date, 14 of the total number of victims are listed as ‘Firefighter’ or another comparable rank. 10 are listed as line or chief officers. For the purpose of these statistics, the death of the fire recruit is counted as ‘Firefighter’ and in a ‘Career’ department, as news reports about the fatality indicated.

Related
“The First 10″ Backstep, January 2011
Fire Service “Sabremetrics” Backstep
2011 Firefighter Fatality Notices, U.S. Fire Administration

Photograph courtesy of author.



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“To provide a point of critical thought about certain acts and events in the fire service while incorporating behavioral education and commentary in a referenced format.”
Comments
Ben Waller
Women and Children First by Dave LeBlanc
Actually, the "Women and children first" idea cane from the sinking if the HMS Birkenhead. Now known as "The Birkenhead Drill", this stemmed from the ship beginning to sink, an inadequate number of lifeboats, and the Royal Marines and soldiers on board being called to formation and standing in ranks while the ships crew put…
2014-08-21 11:25:14
Ron Ayotte
Women and Children First by Dave LeBlanc
Bing-freaking-o!
2014-08-21 02:49:30
Brian Gary
Women and Children First by Dave LeBlanc
Very well written. I couldn't agree more with your statements. The problems are many, but they perpetuate and increase with every new class of recruits that are poisoned with the idea that anyone who feels unsafe has a responsibility to act and stop whatever is going on. When I came on, my instructors told me…
2014-08-21 02:04:23
Ric Jorge
Women and Children First by Dave LeBlanc
Atta boy David, customer service or customer satisfaction? The line is fine, and more often than not we can accomplish both with action, and a kind demeanor.
2014-08-21 01:41:12
Dave
The Discussion EVERY Shift MUST HAVE
Thanks for having the stones to put this info. out there. If through your efforts and others we can save one brother or sister then you have made a positive change in the fire service and that is really what we should all aspire to do in one way or another.
2014-08-13 14:00:30
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