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Female firefighter dies when struck by an out-of-control pickup truck on an icy interstate highway.

NIOSH 2007 Aug; :1-8
On January 7, 2006, a 34-year-old female firefighter was critically injured after being struck by a pickup truck that had lost control on an icy interstate highway. The fire department responded after being coded as a first call response by 911 dispatch that an accident had taken place on a local highway with occupants trapped. An engine was dispatched with three firefighters, the engine driver, lieutenant and the decedent. The incident occurred near a freeway entrance ramp. The entrance ramp was blocked by a car and pickup truck that had been involved in an accident at the ramp junction with the highway. The lieutenant and the decedent exited the engine and walked on the side of the freeway to the accident site while the engine driver repositioned the engine. As they were walking, a pickup lost control on black ice that had formed on the highway surface. The pickup slid out of control and struck the decedent. She was thrown off the highway shoulder onto the grass bank alongside the highway. Other emergency vehicles responded and she was transported to a local hospital. She died one week later from her injuries. After the incident, the fire department developed a standard operating procedure (SOP) for emergency response on roadways that incorporated the first four work practice recommendations listed in the RECOMMENDATIONS section of this report. Recommendations: 1. fire departments develop, implement, and enforce standard operating procedures/guidelines (SOPs/SOGs) regarding emergency operations for roadway incidents and employees should receive training in the proper procedures and the hazards associated with emergency operations for highway incidents. 2. Fire departments ensure that firefighters establish a protected work area on roadways before safely turning their attention to the emergency. 3. Fire departments establish pre-incident plans regarding traffic control for emergency service incidents and pre-incident agreements with law enforcement and other agencies such as highway departments. 4. Fire departments ensure firefighters wear suitable high-visibility apparel meeting American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 107-2004 requirements when working as an emergency responder on a roadway. 5. The State of Michigan should adopt a training module specific to operational practices in or near moving traffic as part of the Office of Fire Fighter Training firefighter training program. 6. Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) should continue expanding the use of a "changeable message sign" to inform motorists of hazardous road conditions or vehicular accidents. 7. The International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) should update the Fire Fighters Training Manual to include a chapter on emergency response vehicle positioning to protect emergency response workers.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Safety-education; Safety-monitoring; Safety-programs; Training; Work-operations; Work-areas; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Emergency-response; Emergency-treatment; Rescue-measures; Rescue-workers; Medical-rescue-services; Emergency-responders; Education; Fire-fighters
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-06MI001; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University