NIOSH Releases Report on FDNY Deutsche Bank LODDs

The National Institute for Occiupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a report on the deaths of two Fire Department of New York (FDNY) firefighters during an incident at the Deutsche Bank building in Lower Manhattan near Ground Zero. As the report notes in the summary of the August 18, 2007 incident, Firefighters Joseph Graffagnino and Robert Beddia "became trapped in the maze-like conditions of a high-rise building undergoing deconstruction. The building’s standpipe system had been disconnected during the deconstruction and the partitions constructed for asbestos abatement prohibited fire fighters from getting water to the seat of the fire."

Among the recommendations the report makes to avoid similiar deaths is that departments should review and follow their existing standard operating procedures on high-rise firefighting; be prepared to use alternative water supplies in case a structure's standpipe system is compromised; develop risk-management policies during complex high-rise incidents; and ensure crew integrity in maintained during such incidents, as well as others.

The complete report, which includes full information on the incident, a list of contributing factors to the line-of-duty deaths, and recommendations for fire departments to prevent similar occurences, can be downloaded at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/reports/face200737.html

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