Three

 

Firefighters killed while “advancing hoselines”

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One day after updating the count of firefighters killed while advancing hoselines, inside burning structures [1], the fire service experienced another on-duty death that brought a pair of ramifications to the discussion.

On 19 December a 19-year old volunteer, elected captain, responded with his fire department to a mutual aid chimney fire.  The victim and members of his department entered the basement of the structure to extinguish the fire.  During this action the victim became separated from the other firefighters.  Once located, he was removed to the outside and determined to be unresponsive.  Paramedics on the scene began treatment and transported the victim to a local hospital where despite all efforts he succumbed to his injuries [2].

The cause and nature of death are currently unknown.

Little else is reported about the incident.  Local news coverage all state that the young volunteer firefighter was inside the structure and allegedly experienced some kind of distress causing separation from other firefighters and unresponsiveness.  There is really very little need for us to have immediate information as to what happened; we will find out soon enough when any investigations are completed and the details released.

Two points about the victim have been the source of consternation in the fire service, his age and his elected position. He joined the department at the age of 16, not uncommon in the volunteer fire service, and in three years was elected to the position of captain [3].  Elected operational and administrative positions are nothing new in the fire service despite the conflict between popularity and qualification.  It exists and survives in some departments due to the dynamics of their culture.

In regards to our fatality data, this recent death raised the number of firefighters killed while advancing hoselines, inside structures, to three:

 

11 February, Lieutenant Randy Parker (Career)
Macon, Georgia
Age: 46
Caught in a floor collapse at a residential structure fire
Activity Type: Advancing Hose Lines/Fire Attack
Nature of Death: Burns

 

12 April 2015, Firefighter Steven Ackerman (Volunteer)
Valley Springs, South Dakota
Age: 38
Died of injuries sustained (cause and nature unknown) at a residential structure fire. Victim is believed to have been in a floor collapse or fell through a hole in the floor.
Activity Type: Advancing Hose Lines/Fire Attack
Nature of Death: Unknown

 

19 December 2015, Captain Jack H. Rose (Volunteer)
Saugerties, New York
Age: 19
Died of injuries (cause and nature unknown) at a residential structure fire. Victim reportedly became separated from other firefighters and experienced some type of distress.
Activity Type: Advancing Hose Lines/Fire Attack
Nature of Death: Unknown

 

As of 26 December the U.S. fire service has experienced a total of 83 on-duty deaths [4].

 

References

1. “Advancing Hoselines, Updated” Carey, www.backstepfirefighter.com 18 December 2015
2. Jack H Rose, Mount Marion Fire Department, USFA
3. “Huge turnout expected for firefighter killed in house fire” Pauline Liu, Times Herald Record 22 December 2015
4. Firefighter Fatalities in the United States 2015, United States Fire Administration

 

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BillCareyBioPicBill Carey is the online public safety news and blog manager with PennWell Public Safety, or more specifically FireRescue Magazine/FirefighterNation.com, JEMS.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 was nominated for a 2014 Neal Award for Best Subject-Related Series.

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1 Comment

  • Ric Jorge says:

    More concerning is the classification of how he died.

    It’s tragic enough that we lost another young brother, but describing how he died is not accurate and leads to a false accounting of our history of LODD’s.

    Great article Bill, thank you …again.

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