Line of Duty Deaths 2002

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December 13. Firefighter Shawn Espinoza, 29, of the Ranger Fire Department, Ranger, TX, died of an apparent heart attack while attending training.

December 12. Firefighter Jonathon Lanphear, 23, of the Boyd Fire Department, Boyd, MN, died of injuries sustained as the result of a traffic accident while responding to a fire call in his personal vehicle.

December 7. Chief Henry Wissel, 55, of the Heidelberg Fire Department, Carnegie, PA, collapsed while operating the water pumps at a fire that destroyed an automotive garage and residence. Death has been attributed to a heart attack.

December 5. Captain Michael DePauw, 51, of the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, Dallas, TX, died of an apparent heart attack while on duty. Official cause of death is pending the ruling of the Medical Examiner.

December 5. Firefighter Dennis Harris, 43, of the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department, Tellico Plains, TN, died of cardiac arrest while operating a pumper to fight a house fire.

December 4. Firefighter Kerry Neis, 31, of Fort Rucker DPS-Fire and Emergency Services, Fort Rucker, AL, was participating in a training incident related to extinguishing aircraft type fires when he was struck and killed by fire apparatus.

November 25. Lieutenant Randall Carpenter, 46, of the Coos Bay Fire Department, Coos Bay, OR, died as a result of an explosion and subsequent roof collapse while working a fire at an auto body shop in downtown Coos Bay.

November 25. Firefighter/Engineer Jeffrey Common, 30, of the Coos Bay Fire Department, Coos Bay, OR, died as a result of an explosion and subsequent roof collapse while working a fire at an auto body shop in downtown Coos Bay.

November 25. Firefighter/Engineer Robert Hanners, 33, of the Coos Bay Fire Department, Coos Bay, OR, died as a result of an explosion and subsequent roof collapse while working a fire at an auto body shop in downtown Coos Bay.

November 18. Chief Bruce Fletcher, 50, of the Ashford Volunteer Fire Department, Ashford, CT, died from an apparent heart attack shortly after returning to the fire station from an ambulance call.

November 12. Firefighter Patrick Brooks, 38, of the West Hartford Fire Department, of West Hartford, CT, was on duty at Station 5 when he suddenly became ill. He was transported to Hartford Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Cause of death is yet to be determined.

November 10. Firefighter Robert Poore, 71, of the Briceville Volunteer Fire Department, Briceville, TN, died from an apparent heart attack while performing removal of debris and clean-up after a tornado.

November 4. Firefighter Edmund Malinski, 39, of the Northern Wayne Fire Company, Lakewood, PA, died while conducting interior operations at a structure fire in the community of Lakewood. Cause of death was from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning due to Smoke Inhalation.

November 1. Lieutenant Timothy DiOrio, 36, of the Maine Fire Company of the Coal Township Fire Department, Coal Township, PA, became trapped under debris from a collapsed wall at a residential structure fire in Trevorton Borough at approximately. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

October 24. Firefighter Rupert "Junior" Fuller, 76, of the Darlington-Gaskin Fire Department, Westville, FL, had responded to an emergency medical call (head injury) and soon after arrival on scene complained that he was not feeling well. Fuller was rendered aid by an ALS unit and transported to the hospital where was treated for an aneurysm and died several days later.

October 24. District Fire Chief Gerald Nadeau, 51, of the Fall River Fire Department, Fall River, MA, suffered inhalation of toxic and noxious gases and fumes while working as incident commander at a major structure fire under heavy smoke conditions on 09/19/2002. He complained of breathing difficulties and visited medical professionals for care. The condition worsened and he was admitted to the hospital where he died of acute respiratory distress syndrome.

October 9. Captain Kenneth Taylor, 49, of the Madisonville Fire Department, Madisonville, KY, died in the hospital from a heart attack he had suffered two days earlier while working an apartment building fire.

October 1. Assistant Engineer George Batelli, 55,, of the Garfield Fire Company #1, Garfield, NJ, died while enroute to a structure fire from an apparent heart attack.

September 30. Captain Ralph Stott, 50, of the Terre Haute Fire Department, Terre Haute, IN, was fighting a fire at a garage and auto body shop when there was a large explosion causing debris and a facade to collapse forward on several firefighters, including Stott, who was trapped under large cement blocks killing him.

September 23. Firefighter Casandra Billings Powell, 32, of the McLeansville Fire Department, McLeansville, NC, was involved in routine duties, enroute between stations when the vehicle she was driving ran off the right side of the road. As the vehicle was steered back onto the road it overturned, pinning the victim in the cab. The accident resulted in severe trauma to the head and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

September 14. Firefighter Michael Kruse, 53, of the Muscatine Fire Department, Muscatine, IA, became trapped while operating at the scene of a structure fire when a structural collapse of the roof occured. Firefighter Kruse was recovered and transported to the hospital where he later died.

September 10. Assistant Chief Roger McMillan, 44, of the Martin Volunteer Fire Department, Martin, SD, was overcome by toxic fumes (later found to be hydrogen sulfide) while trying to rescue a worker at a feed mill who had fallen face down into a soybean molasses vat. Rescuers were unable to revive McMillin. He was transported to the hospital where both he and the worker he was attempting to save were pronounced dead.

September 5. Firefighter Jason Hampton, 19, of the Almaville Volunteer Fire Department, Smyrna, TN, was killed while operating a tanker truck in response to a brush fire when the apparatus left the roadway and crashed.

September 3. Firefighter Joseph Craft, 33, of the Penn Hills Universal Volunteer Fire Department, Penn Hills, PA, died of heart failure (a congenital heart defect, tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia) after returning from a call.

August 30. Fire Police Captain Harold Coons, Jr., 76, of the South Schodack Fire Department, Castleton on the Hudson, NY, was assisting with traffic and the set up of a medevac landing zone at the scene of a major traffic accident when he collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack.

August 17. Assistant Chief William Goodrich, Jr., 56, of the North Hampton Volunteer Fire Department, Allison Park, PA, Goodrich collapsed at the scene of a residential structure fire from an apparent heart attack. He was treated at the scene and transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

August 12. Captain Roger "Mikey" Dunn, 48, of the Clute Volunteer Fire Department, Clute, TX, collapsed and died from a cause still to be determined while working on the fireground of a residential structure fire.

August 12. Firefighter Travis Lyn Wiens, 28, of the Wichita West Volunteer Fire Department, Wichita Falls, TX, was operating at a brush fire riding in a cage on the front bumper of a brush truck with a hose to fight the flames. Another vehicle traveling in low visibility conditions due to smoke from the fire struck the brush truck causing Weins to fall out of the cage and under the wheels of the apparatus killing him instantly.

August 6. Firefighter David Martin, 48, of the Opal Volunteer Fire Department, Opal, SD, was severely burned and died from injuries sustained when he fell off the back of a firefighting vehicle into a prairie fire.

July 30. Pilot Leonard Gordon Knight, 52, of the USDA Forest Service, Arapaho and Roosevelt National, , Fort Collins, CO, was the only person on board of a helicopter being used to drop water on hotspots of a recently controlled 4,400-acre fire near Rocky Mountain National Park. Due to a cause still to be determined the aircraft crashed killing him.

July 30. Firefighter Dallas Begg, 20, of Osceola County Fire-Rescue, Kissimmee, FL, was killed during a live-fire training exercise. Details of the incident are pending a full investigation.

July 30. Lieutenant John Mickel, 32, of Osceola County Fire-Rescue, Kissimmee, FL, was killed during a live-fire training exercise. Details of the incident are pending a full investigation.

July 28. Firefighter Heather DePaolo, 29, of the USDA Forest Service, Klamath National Forest, Yreka, CA, was killed while monitoring a 500-acre backfire when the wildland fire crew's crew-cab pickup equipped with a 500-gallon water tank left the roadway and rolled 800 feet down a steep.

July 28. Firefighter Steven Oustad, 51, of the USDA Forest Service, Klamath National Forest, Yreka, CA, was killed while monitoring a 500-acre backfire when the wildland fire crew's crew-cab pickup equipped with a 500-gallon water tank left the roadway and rolled 800 feet down a steep.

July 28. Firefighter John Self, 19, of the USDA Forest Service, Klamath National Forest, Yreka, CA, was killed while monitoring a 500-acre backfire when the wildland fire crew's crew-cab pickup equipped with a 500-gallon water tank left the roadway and rolled 800 feet down a steep.

July 18. Pilot Rick Schwartz, 57, of the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center, Lakewood, CO, had just begun a run to drop slurry on the Big Elk Fire in Colorado when there was an explosion aboard the four-engine PB4Y-2 air tanker causing it to break apart and crash to the ground, killing him.

July 18. Pilot Milt Stollak, 56, of the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center, Lakewood, CO, had just begun a run to drop slurry on the Big Elk Fire in Colorado when there was an explosion aboard the four-engine PB4Y-2 air tanker causing it to break apart and crash to the ground, killing him.

July 5. Firefighter Barry Dockter, 44 of the Anamoose Fire Department, Anamoose, ND, was working with the Anamoose Fire Department at the Drake Centennial fireworks show when he was struck by an errant fireworks shell and died the following day from the injuries he sustained.

July 4. Firefighter Thomas G. Stewart, 30, of the Gloucester City Fire Department, Gloucester, NJ, was trapped in a collapse at a residential structure fire.

July 4. Chief James E. Sylvester, 31, of the Mt. Ephraim Fire Department, Mt. Ephraim, NJ, was trapped in a collapse at a residential structure fire.

July 4. Deputy Chief John D. West, 40, of the Mt. Ephraim Fire Department, Mt. Ephraim, NJ, was trapped in a collapse at a residential structure fire.

July 3. Firefighter Recruit Andrew James Waybright, 23, was with 12 other firefighter recruits on their 3rd day of training and had completed a jog, performed calisthenics, and was on a return jog to the training facility when he collapsed and soon thereafter died. The state medical examiner's office determined that the cause of death was heat exposure.

July 2. Firefighter Alan Wayne Wyatt, 51, of the United States Forest Service, Columbine East Ranger District, Bayfield, CO, died from injuries received when a green tree fell and struck him while he was in the process of cutting "hazard trees."

July 1. Captain Kim Alan Granholm, 29, of the Esko Volunteer Fire Department, Esko, MN, was fatally injured while working a vehicle fire with his wife who is also a member of the department. An inattentive driver, who left the scene and was later arrested, triggered the chain-reaction accident by striking from behind several emergency and private vehicles on the right shoulder of Interstate 35 killing Granholm.

June 30. Firefighter Trainee/MRT Richard Alan Cusson, 32, of the South Killingly Fire Department, Danielson, CT, was killed while driving to the South Killingly firehouse to get his gear when he lost control of his privately owned vehicle and broadsided a telephone pole.

June 21. Firefighter Bartholomew Bailey, 20, of Grayback Forestry, Inc., was one of five contract wildland firefighters killed and six injured when one of the vans carrying employees of Grayback Forestry Inc. left the roadway and rolled over several times while on Interstate 70 in western Colorado.

June 21. Firefighter Jake Martindale, 20, of Grayback Forestry, Inc., was one of five contract wildland firefighters killed and six injured when one of the vans carrying employees of Grayback Forestry Inc. left the roadway and rolled over several times while on Interstate 70 in western Colorado.

June 21. Firefighter/Crew Chief Daniel Rama, 28, of Grayback Forestry, Inc., was one of five contract wildland firefighters killed and six injured when one of the vans carrying employees of Grayback Forestry Inc. left the roadway and rolled over several times while on Interstate 70 in western Colorado.

June 21. Firefighter Retha Shirley, 19, of Grayback Forestry, Inc., was one of five contract wildland firefighters killed and six injured when one of the vans carrying employees of Grayback Forestry Inc. left the roadway and rolled over several times while on Interstate 70 in western Colorado.

June 21. Firefighter Zachary Zigich, 18, of Grayback Forestry, Inc., was one of five contract wildland firefighters killed and six injured when one of the vans carrying employees of Grayback Forestry Inc. left the roadway and rolled over several times while on Interstate 70 in western Colorado.

June 17. Engineer Michael Harlow Davis, 59 of the U.S. Forest Service, Minden, NV, died when the C-130 air tanker owned by Wyoming-based Hawkens and Powers Aviation Inc. and under contract to the U.S. Forest Service broke apart in flight and crashed just after the crew had dropped its load of fire retardant on a wildland blaze near Walker, CA.

June 17. Co-Pilot Craig Labare, 36, of the U.S. Forest Service, Minden, NV, died when the C-130 air tanker owned by Wyoming-based Hawkens and Powers Aviation Inc. and under contract to the U.S. Forest Service broke apart in flight and crashed just after the crew had dropped its load of fire retardant on a wildland blaze near Walker, CA.

June 17. Pilot Steven Ray Wass, 42,, of the U.S. Forest Service, Minden, NV, died when the C-130 air tanker owned by Wyoming-based Hawkens and Powers Aviation Inc. and under contract to the U.S. Forest Service broke apart in flight and crashed just after the crew had dropped its load of fire retardant on a wildland blaze near Walker, CA.

June 14. Firefighter/Engineer, 37,, of the Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis, IN, drowned while participating in water rescue training as a beginning diver enrolled in a six-week course.

June 13. Firefighter/EMT Bridgett Nicole Autry, 18, of the Herring Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., Clinton, NC, died from traumatic injuries sustained after being involved in a motor vehicle crash while responding to a fire alarm. Ms. Aurty was thrown from the vehicle and was later pronounced dead at Sampson Regional Medical Center in Clinton.

June 7. Firefighter Terry Stinson, 44, of the Brown Township Fire Department, Morresville, IN, had just returned to the station from working an EMS call when he collapsed from a heart attack. Co-workers at the station immediately rendered medical aid and Stinson was transported to the hospital where he passed away several days later.

May 31. Firefighter Robert Broussard, 59, of the Sycuan Fire Department, El Cajon, CA, collapsed and died from cardiac arrest while taking the annual Pack Test for wildland firefighting certification.

May 29. Engineer Gerald "Wayne" Allbritton, 45, of the Columbus Fire Department, Columbus, MS, died in his sleep at the fire station soon after returning from an emergency call.

May 22. Firefighter Sekou Turner, 28, of the Alameda County Fire Department, San Leandro, CA, suffered a heart attack while working an EMS incident.

May 14. Firefighter Jeremy Brown, 27, of the Screven County Fire Department, Sylvania, GA, was responding to a call in his private vehicle when he suffered an apparent heart attack and was involved in a one-car accident.

May 8. Firefighter Joseph Michael Tynan, Jr., 55, of the Brookline Fire Department, Brookline, MA, succumbed to complications due to injuries received in the line of duty on November 23, 1982 when he fell from a piece of apparatus while responding to an alarm and sustained a severe head injury.

May 6. Firefighter Thomas W. Kickler, 38, of the Laurens County Fire Department, Laurens, SC, died at his home of a massive heart attack a short time after working a doublewide mobile home fire as a volunteer firefighter with the Laurens County FD. While on the fireground, Kickler mentioned that he didn't feel well and thought he might be sick.

May 5. Junior Firefighter Christopher Kangas, 14, of the Brookhaven Fire Company, Brookhaven, PA, was responding on his bicycle to a fire incident when he was struck by a vehicle and died from injuries sustained, including head trauma, a few hours later.

May 4. Captain Robert Morrison, 38, of the St. Louis Fire Department, St. Louis, MO, died while trying to rescue a trapped firefighter inside of a burning two-story brick refrigeration company building.

May 3. Captain Derek Martin, 38, of the St. Louis Fire Department, St. Louis, MO, died while trying to rescue a trapped firefighter inside of a burning two-story brick refrigeration company building.

April 27. Firefighter/Driver John Nuber, 56, of the City of Erie Fire Department, Erie, PA, reported to the fire department for work and was relieved of duty a short while later when he stated that he was feeling ill. Soon after arriving back home he complained about chest pains and EMS was called, however before they arrived Firefighter Nuber had suffered a cardiac arrest and attempts by EMS personnel to revive him were unsuccessful.

April 13. Firefighter William Tripp, Jr., 28 of the Richford Fire Department, Richford, NY, died at the Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca after he collapsed at the scene of a motor vehicle accident while laying flares to assist with traffic.

April 11. Chief Earl Hemphill, 61, of the Russell City Fire Department, Russell, KS, was struck and killed at the scene of a motor vehicle accident by a piece of fire apparatus that had lost it's brakes.

April 10. Captain William Beard, Jr., 56, of the City of Greensboro Fire Department, Greensboro, NC, collapsed of apparent cardiac arrest while participating in a training exercise.

April 7. Firefighter Kevin Baker, 39, of the Mid-North Johnson County Volunteer Fire Department, Crowley, TX, died from an apparent heart attack while assisting at the scene of a gunshot wound transport.

April 7. Firefighter Edna Faye Bishop, 29, of the Bon Secour Volunteer Fire Department, Bon Secour, AL, died from injuries sustained when while riding in fire apparatus and responding to a brush fire. The vehicle left the roadway and rolled over several times

April 6. Firefighter/EMT Mark Mansfield, 30, of the Overland Park Fire Department, was found dead from a cause still to be determined in his bunk at the fire station.

March 28. Firefighter Fred McNeil Johnson, 71, of the Abingdon Fire Department, Abingdon, VA, experienced secondary chest pains and cardiac arrest during a training session.

March 25. Chief Louis Jones, 46, of the Roswell Fire Department, Roswell, NM, received a gunshot wound to the head from a burn victim he and others were attempting to assist at the scene of a house explosion. After 10 days in the hospital he succumbed to complications resulting from the injury.

March 25. Captain Allen Frye, 31, of the Roslyn Rescue Fire Department (Nassau County), Roslyn Heights, NY, was killed and another firefighter injured at a training drill when a private vehicle crossed through road barriers and struck them as they were stowing equipment.

March 20. Firefighter Bernes Schutte, 69, of the Palisade Volunteer Fire Department, Palisade, NE, collapsed on the front lines while battling a wildland fire. He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

March 20. Firefighter Adam Lee Weisenberger, 19, of the Gluckstadt Volunteer Fire Department, Madison, MS, was struck by an automobile while assisting the injured at an accident scene. He died later at the hospital.

March 18. Senior Engine Supervisor Joan Spear, 46, of the MT DNRC Fire & Aviation Management, Dillon Unit, Dillon, MT, was participating in fitness training when she collapsed and died from a cause still to be determined.

March 16. Lieutenant Leo Swank, 50, of the Bellville-Jefferson Township Fire Department, Bellville, OH, died from an apparent heart attack while returning to the station from a residential structure chimney fire.

March 7. Firefighter/Paramedic John Ginocchetti, 41, of the Manlius Fire Department, Manlius, NY, was overcome and died from burns and smoke inhalation after the kitchen floor of a residence collapsed, sending him into the basement.

March 7. Firefighter/Paramedic Timothy Lynch, 28, of the Manlius Fire Department, Manlius, NY, was overcome and died from burns and smoke inhalation after the kitchen floor of a residence collapsed, sending him into the basement.

March 6. Firefighter Joshua Earley, 22, of the Harrisburg Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue, Inc., Harrisburg, NC, died as a result of burns received at the scene of a structure fire when, while advancing a line into the first floor of the house, the wooden floor gave way and Earley fell into the basement.

March 4. Firefighter Richard Dake, 48, of the LaGrange Fire Department, LaGrange, KY, returning to the station as the sole occupant/operator of a tanker, attempted to cross a railroad crossing and was struck on the passenger side by a train, ejecting him from the apparatus.

March 1. Firefighter Shane Murray, 21, of the Jefferson City Fire Department, Jefferson City, TN, died from injuries received while working a house fire. Circumstances related to the fatality and to several other firefighter injuries incurred at the scene of this incident are pending further investigation.

February 18. Chief Ray Ebel, 62, of the Newaygo Fire District, Newaygo, MI, collapsed at the scene of a house fire from an apparent heart attack and died at the hospital a short time later.

February 13. Firefighter Robert Nichols, Jr., 39, of the Loretto Volunteer Fire Department, Cullman, AL, collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack while working traffic control and other support duties at the scene of a water-main break.

February 11. Firefighter Vincent Davis, 42, of the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, Dallas, TX, died from injuries sustained at the scene of an unoccupied apartment building fire when a wall of the building collapsed on him and another firefighter.

February 8. Firefighter Steven Olander, 39, of the Detroit Fire Department, Detroit, MI, died of complications (aneurysm) stemming from traumatic injuries sustained while working on the fireground of multi-story apartment building fire.

February 3. President Lewis Rickards, 55, of the Lewes Fire Department, Inc., Lewes, DE, while en route to a Delmarva Volunteer Fireman's Association Executive Meeting in a fire department vehicle, was killed when it was struck broadside by another vehicle.

January 22. Firefighter Dustin Schwendeman, 26, of the Dunham Township Volunteer Fire Department, was injured and later died when while responding in his private vehicle to a mutual aid call (house fire), the vehicle left the roadway and overturned several times.

January 21. Assistant Chief Thomas E. Anderen, 48, of the Surfside Beach Fire Department, collapsed and died from cardiac arrest while fighting a two-story condominium fire.

January 16. Firefighter Robert Feeney, 41, of the Long Branch Fire Department, collapsed and died from a cause still to be determined while connecting a five-inch supply line at a house fire.

Source: National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Database, United States Fire Administration.

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