April 2014 On-Duty Deaths in Detail

April has the lowest number of fatalities of the year so far

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Only three fatalities are recorded for the month of April. Victims in West Virginia, Texas and Kentucky all succumbed to heart attacks through stress/overexertion. The average age was 56. Two of the victims were fire chiefs.

Data in Detail

(Number in parentheses is YTD as of posting)

Deaths involving Disorientation: 0

Deaths involving Building Collapse: 0

Deaths involving Flashover, Backdraft, Explosive Incident: 0 (4) (Toledo: 2) (Boston: 2)

Boston “became trapped by fire conditions”

Deaths in 1- and 2-Family Dwellings: 0

Deaths in Multi-Family Dwellings: 0 (4) (Toledo: 2) (Boston: 2)

Deaths in Educational, Institutional, Commercial and Industrial Occupancies: 0 (New Jersey) (1)

1: Fall from roof of restaurant while performing ventilation (New Jersey)

Deaths in Vacant/Abandoned Structures: 0

Multi-Fatality Incidents: 0 (2)

Boston, MA: 2 victims

Toledo, OH: 2 victims

Nature of Death

Asphyxiation: 0

Burns: 0 (2)

Cerebrovascular Accident: 0 (1)

Crushed: 0 (1)

Drowning: 0

Exposure: 0

Heart Attack: 3 (20)

Not Stated: 0 (1)

Other: 0 (1)

Trauma: 0 (4)

Unknown: 0 (5)

Cause of Death

Assault: 0 (1)

Caught/Trapped: 0 (4)

Collapse: 0

Exposure: 0

Fall: 0 (3)

Lost: 0

Other: 0

Stress/Overexertion: 3 (22)

Struck by: 0 (1)

Trauma: 0

Vehicle Collision: 0 (2)

Unknown: 0 (2)

Average Age: 56

Youngest: 52

Oldest: 64

Firefighters 65 years old or older at time of death: 0 (2)

Volunteer firefighter 19-years old or younger who died responding to alarm or station: 0

Volunteer: 3 (22)

Career: 1 (18)

(1 victim listed as Wildland Full-Time)

Rank/Position

Fire Chief: 2 (6)

Assistant Chief: 0 (3)

Battalion Chief: 0

Major: 0

Captain: 0 (4)

Lieutenant: 0 (5)

Firefighter: 1 (15)

1: Wildland Full-Time

Firefighter/Ranger/Wildfire Contracted: 0

Pilot: 0 (1)

Recruit/Trainee: 0

Driver/Operator/Engineer: 0 (1)

Fire-Police: 0

Department of Defense: 0

Chaplain: 0 (1)

Deaths involving lack of seatbelt use: 0

Deaths Involving Apparatus Accidents: 0 (1)

Fireground Assignment/Activity at Time of Death

Incident Command: 0 (1)

(Brush/Grass or Other Outdoor Fire (excluding Wildland): 1)

Fire Attack: 0 (1)

Advancing Hoseline: 3 (3)

2: During residential fire (Boston)

(1: During outdoor fire)

Search: 0 (3)

Deaths where occupants were known to be out of fire structure: 0

(1: Victim killed in secondary collapse while evacuating occupants)

Extrication: 0 (1)

Vent (Roof): 0 (1)

(1: Commercial structure (restaurant))

Pump Operations: 0 (1)

Water Supply: 1 (1)

Overhaul/Salvage: 0

On Scene: 1 (2)

1: Victim suffers heart attack during localized flooding

Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus: 0

Death As a Result of EMS Exposure: 0

Deaths Which Occurred During Training: 0 (3)

Department of Defense, Military fire-service LODDs: 0

Deaths Linked to 11 September 2001: 0

Deaths Which Occurred Outside the “Traditional” Line of Duty Definition: 1 (16)

1: Victim suffers fatal heart attack several hours after MVA involving a department member.

 

It is always important to reiterate that the discussion of the details in the reporting of these deaths is not meant to diminish the loss. Each number is a person mourned by a family, friends and coworkers. What is intended in this and related writing is that it is important for the fire service to be aware of the details in our on-duty death numbers. Blindly saying that 100 or so firefighters die each year, as well as saying “we’ve lost too many” each time a fatality occurs is turning a blind eye to the data. By understanding the details in the recording we can be more aware of trends, both good and bad, in our efforts to reduce these fatalities

 

Related

January 2014 On-Duty Deaths in Detail

February 2014 On-Duty Deaths in Detail

March 2014 On-Duty Deaths in Detail

 

 

 

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BioPicBill Carey is the online public safety news and blog manager with PennWell Public Safety, or more specifically FireRescue Magazine/FirefighterNation.com, JEMS.com, LawOfficer.com and FireEMSBlogs.com. Bill started in the fire service, as a third generation firefighter in 1986, on the eastern shore of Maryland and then continued after moving to Prince George’s County. He served as a volunteer sergeant and lieutenant at Hyattsville. Bill’s writing has been on Firehouse.com, Fire Engineering, FireRescue Magazine, FirefighterNation.com, the Jones and Bartlett 2010 edition of “Fire Officer: Principles and Practice”, The Secret List and Tinhelmet.com. His recent writing on firefighter behavioral health has been nominated for 2014 Neal Award for Best Subject-Related Series.

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