Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE F2001-06, 2001 Sep; :1-8
On January 12, 2001, a 21-year-old volunteer fire fighter died from injuries he received when the tanker he was driving struck a utility pole and overturned while responding to a grass fire. The incident occurred while he was responding in Tanker 5 to a call which had been dispatched as a grass fire. En route to the call the tanker was traveling eastbound on a two-lane state road, and after making a moderate curve the tanker drifted off the roadway on the right eastbound lane. The victim lost control of the tanker after he overcorrected to bring the tanker back onto the roadway. The tanker continued to travel across the left westbound side of the roadway, entered a ditch, hit an embankment and struck an utility pole. The tanker overturned completing one revolution then continued to slide on the left westbound side of the roadway, before coming to a rest on the passenger side with the victim entrapped under the tanker. The victim was extricated, pronounced dead on the scene, and removed by the coroner. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar incidents, fire departments should: 1. establish, implement, and enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) on emergency vehicle operation and the use of seat belts in all emergency vehicles; 2. ensure that the apparatus chassis is adequate to carry the weight of the unequipped apparatus, the water and tank, hose load, personnel weight, ground ladders, and the designed miscellaneous equipment allowance; and, 3. establish a vehicle maintenance checklist so that vehicle deficiencies can be identified and ensure that any vehicle found to be unsafe is placed out of service until repaired.