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Career fire fighter dies after falling from tailboard and being backed over by engine - California.
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 F2005-01, 2005 May; :1-7
On August 14, 2004, a 25-year-old female career fire fighter (the victim) died when she apparently fell from the tailboard and was backed over by an engine. The victim and her crew had been released from the scene of a residential fire. The road was blocked by other apparatus, so the victim's crew began backing to an intersection approximately 300 feet away in order to proceed forward. The victim took her position on the tailboard as the "Tailboard Safety Member" and signaled the driver to begin backing. A Captain acting as the "Traffic Control Officer" guided the backing operation from the road on the driver's side, behind the apparatus, by using hand signals. When the Captain turned and walked into the intersection to stop cross-traffic, the victim apparently fell from the tailboard and was run over by the engine. Members on the scene provided advanced life support and the victim was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1. Modify existing policies to prohibit members from riding on the tailboard or any exposed position when the vehicle is in motion. 2. Develop, implement, and periodically review standard operating procedures for backing fire apparatus. 3. Consider equipping apparatus with safety equipment such as mirrors, automatic sensing devices, and/or video cameras to assist with backing operations.
Region-9; Fire-fighting-equipment; Fire-fighters; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Monitoring-systems; Engineering-controls; Safety-engineering; Safety-practices
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division