Senseless in Indiana

How's that pledge thing working out for you?

Earlier this week an Indiana volunteer firefighter was killed in a apparatus crash while responding to a brush fire [1].

26-year old Mark Haudenschild II, of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department, was driving his department’s tanker on Sunday evening when water inside the tank reported shifted while the apparatus was making a turn.

Landing on the driver side the tanker slid/rolled over several feet (100, according to The Journal Gazette [2]) and struck three utility poles before coming to rest. WISH reported that the Haudesnchild was trapped inside [3], but the official report from the U.S. Fire Administration has said otherwise.

“Haudenschild was reportedly not wearing seat restraints and passed away at the scene of blunt force trauma due to the motor vehicle crash.” [4]

The Journal Gazette adds that Haudenschild, while ejected from the tanker during the rollover, was an Assistant Chief Engineer in his five years with the department and was experienced at driving the tanker, according to Washington Township Fire Chief Brian Gillet. [5]


So, how is that seat belt pledge doing? In Indiana only nine departments are listed.

Seat belts will always be one of the banes of fire service arguments. If you believe that a single piece of paper will change your department’s culture, then the link to the pledge is here. Good luck. Obviously the message isn’t getting through.

1. “Indiana Firefighter Killed in Tanker Rollover” FireRescue Magazine/
2. “Firefighter dies in tanker rollover” Archie Ingersoll, The Journal Gazette
3. “Firefighter dies after tanker crash” WISH
4. “USFA: Indiana On-Duty Death” USFA
5. “'We lost one of our brothers'” Archie Ingersoll, The Journal Gazette


Bill Carey is the daily news and blog manager for Elsevier Public Safety (FireRescue Magazine/Firefighter Nation, JEMS and LawOfficer sites.) Bill also manages the network and is a former volunteer lieutenant with the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County, Maryland.

We encourage and support constructive dialogue and debate. View our comment policy.

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