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Recreational vehicle fire claims the life of one fire fighter and injures two other fire fighters - Arkansas.

Pettit-PA; Schmidt-ER
NIOSH 2000 Mar; :1-9
On August 8, 1999, three volunteer fire fighters were burned, one (the victim) critically, while trying to control a Recreational Vehicle (RV) fire beside a single-family dwelling. The victim died 8 days later due to full thickness burns (third degree) over 96% of his body. Two volunteer fire departments responded to this incident: Volunteer Fire Department #1 (VFD #1) with Engine 1, staffed by a river/operator; and Volunteer Fire Department #2 (VFD #2) with Engine 2, staffed by a driver/operator and one fire fighter (the victim) who rode as the passenger in the cab of Engine 2. Another fire fighter from VFD #2 responded to the scene in a privately owned vehicle (POV). Engine 1 arrived on the scene and was positioned in the driveway of the dwelling. The driver/operator used the booster line to protect the exposed side of the dwelling and then tried to control the RV fire. Engine 2 arrived less than 5 minutes later and also took a position in the driveway. While fire fighters from Engine 2 attempted to place in service the pre-connected 1 and a half inch attack line from the rear hose bed of the apparatus, the RV's gasoline tank ruptured, releasing about 50 gallons of gasoline. The gasoline ignited, and the burning fuel spilled down the inclined driveway. All three members of VFD #2 suffered thermal injuries. None of the fire fighters were using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or wearing protective clothing at the time the gasoline tank ruptured. NIOSH investigators conclude that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: Develop and implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) that consider the available fire fighting equipment, staffing and resources within a community. Develop and implement a policy requiring the use of Personal Protective Equipment and protective clothing. Additionally, State and Local governments should consider: Providing adequate financial support and administrative leadership for fire departments, thus ensuring that adequate training and equipment are provided for fire fighters.
Fire-fighters; Personal-protective-equipment; Training; Fire-fighting-procedures; Region-6; Gasoline-fire;
Publication Date
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Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health