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Fire department paramedic dies after falling from helicopter during a retrieval operation in California.

Public Health Institute
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 93CA002, 1993 Sep; :1-3
A 28-year-old white male fire department paramedic died after falling approximately 50 to 75 feet from a helicopter during an attempt to retrieve medical equipment in a state park. The victim worked in the air operations division of the county fire department. The victim was using a tether strap harness and carabineers to secure himself to the helicopter. This was a routine operation procedure for personnel in the air operations division. The restraining system failed causing the victim to fall. Upon recovery, there were no emergency medical kits on board to begin first aid. The CaFACE investigator concluded that, in order to prevent similar future occurrences, employers should: 1. have a standard operating procedure (SOP) stating that coworkers double check each other's equipment before attempting rescue operations 2. have a standard operating procedure (SOP) stating that a certain number of emergency medical kits and life support equipment items are kept on board all rescue helicopters.
Region-9; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; First-aid; Fire-fighters; Emergency-responders; Paramedical-services
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-93CA002; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division