The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released a line-of-duty death report on a young Louisiana firefighter’s death in a 2011 crash.
On September 3, 2011, a 22-year-old male volunteer firefighter was fatally injured when the fire department service truck he was driving en-route to a medical assistance call crashed. The Victim was traveling alone on a narrow, unmarked, asphalt road that had a bend to the right at the bottom of a slight grade. While attempting to negotiate the bend, the victim lost control of the truck which, was equipped with a slip-on unit, ran off the left side of the roadway and landed in a ditch embankment against a tree. The slip-on unit detached from the truck bed and landed near the front of the truck. Fire department personnel arrived quickly on the scene and began preparing the truck to remove the Victim who was alert and communicating. However, once extricated and transported to a local hospital, he succumbed to his injuries.
The NIOSH report listed the following contributing factors in relation to this LODD:
- Narrow, unmarked, rural roadway
- Rain and poor visibility.
The report made several recommendations, including:
- Develop, implement, and enforce written standard operating procedures for all operations.
- Ensure that all fire service vehicles are operated safely taking into consideration road and weather conditions, and in accordance with department emergency response protocols.
- Ensure that vehicle/apparatus maintenance programs comply with applicable National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and that all maintenance and repairs are performed by qualified technicians.
- Provide initial and refresher training to all drivers on each vehicle they may be called upon to operate.
- Ensure that seatbelts are properly worn at all times by drivers and occupants of all department vehicles.
- Ensure that all vehicle modifications are completed by a qualified source and are designed and installed within the manufacturer’s specifications and NFPA guidelines.
Download the entire report at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/reports/face201121.html.
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