On August 1, 1998, one male volunteer fire fighter died following an apparatus incident in which his right leg was crushed between the pumper on which he was riding and a utility pole (see figure). He was part of a mutual-aid response group that was fighting a 500-acre wildland fire that threatened 13 dwellings and additional outbuildings such as barns and sheds. The fire was also burning beside an interstate highway and was creating a dangerous smoke condition. The engine on which the victim was riding was going from house to house and extinguishing the wildland fire as it approached each dwelling and outbuilding. At the scene of the incident, the fire nearby had been extinguished. After loading the one and a half inch handline onto the hose bed, the victim was standing on the tailboard holding down the hose as the engine backed up in preparation for turning around. As the engine neared the utility pole, the victim tried to warn the driver/operator about the utility pole and apparently slipped off the tailboard. His right leg was crushed between the tailboard and the utility pole and was traumatically amputated at the knee. The victim was treated at the scene and went into cardiac arrest. Resuscitation efforts were begun and the victim was transported to the local hospital by ambulance. Resuscitation efforts were continued at the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the chances of similar occurrences, fire departments should: ensure that fire fighters are trained in the dangers of riding on the back step of fire apparatus ensure that standard operating procedures are developed that address apparatus safety ensure that driver/operators are trained in an approved driver training program ensure that fire apparatus is equipped with a back-up alarm.