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Career officer injured during a live fire evolution at a training academy dies two days later - Pennsylvania.

NIOSH 2007 Aug; :1-17
On October 23, 2005, a 47-year-old male career Captain (the victim) was severely burned during a live fire training evolution in the burn building at the State Fire Academy. The victim was an adjunct instructor at the Academy in addition to being a career fire officer. The Academy was teaching an Suppression Instructor Development (train the trainer) course when the incident occurred. The victim was in the basement of the burn building adding pallets to the fire prior to the last evolution of a 5-day training course. Three students in the course found the victim on the floor in the burn room as they were advancing a hose line during their evolution. The students immediately carried the victim outside where emergency medical care was administered. The victim was transported via ambulance to a community hospital were he was stabilized prior to transport via helicopter to a regional trauma/burn center. The victim died from his injuries on October 25, 2005. The NIOSH investigator concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments and training academies should: 1. ensure that two training officers are present with a charged hoseline during the ignition or refueling of a training fire in accordance with NFPA 1403; 2. determine the minimum amount of flame, heat and/or smoke required during live fire evolutions to perform the training while ensuring fire fighter safety; 3. use the minimum fuel load necessary to conduct live fire training; 4. have a written respiratory protection program and ensure that self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs) facepieces are properly inspected, used, and maintained; 5. have burn rooms with at least two exits; and, 6. avoid having basement burn rooms. Additionally training academies should consider: 1. installing instrumentation within live fire training structures to record information such as heat, the effects of suppression and the byproducts of combustion; 2. installing a ventilation system within the burn structure; 3. having a qualified engineer evaluate fuel loads, heat retention, and the instrumentation and ventilation systems of live fire training facilities.
Region-3; Accident-analysis; Accidents; Accident-prevention; Injury-prevention; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Fire-fighters; Emergency-responders; Safety-practices; Training; Ventilation; Ventilation-systems; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Respirators; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Fire-fighting-equipment; Surveillance
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health