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Junior volunteer fire fighter dies and three volunteer fire fighters are injured in a tanker crash - Alabama.

NIOSH 2007 Apr; :1-15
On July 26, 2006, a 17-year-old female volunteer junior fire fighter (the victim) died after the tanker truck she was riding in went off a narrow one-lane bridge. The tanker was enroute to a structure fire and failed to negotiate a sharp curve at the approach to the bridge. The tanker crashed through the bridge's guardrail and landed upside down below the bridge. The driver and two other fire fighters riding in the tanker were injured in the incident. The victim was extricated by emergency personnel and pronounced dead at the scene. NIOSH investigators concluded that, in order to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1. ensure that fire fighters are always seated in an approved riding position any time the fire apparatus is in motion; 2. ensure that all fire apparatus are equipped with seat belts and that fire fighters always wear seatbelts; 3. ensure that tankers are operated at a safe and reasonable speed; 4. provide initial and refresher training (at least twice annually) to driver/operators as often as necessary for the safe operation of fire tankers; 5. develop and enforce written policies, procedures, and/or guidelines that identify the permissible and non-permissible tasks and activities of junior fire fighters; 6. establish an effective preventive maintenance program for all fire apparatus; 7. establish and develop written standard operating procedures for all fire fighting operations; and, 8. avoid using former fuel trucks as water tankers, if at all possible. Additionally States should: 1. consider developing a State-endorsed junior fire fighter program that addresses the tasks that minors are permitted to perform in the fire service; and, 2. consider requiring vehicle safety inspections for fire apparatus.
Region-4; Fire-fighters; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Emergency-responders; Fire-fighting-equipment; Motor-vehicles; Drivers; Age-factors; Children; Safety-practices; Work-practices; Surveillance
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health