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Volunteer fire chief dies in motor vehicle incident while responding to a fire alarm - Maryland.

Braddee R
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 F2009-12, 2010 Mar; :1-17
On April 15, 2009, a 41-year-old male volunteer fire chief (the victim) was fatally injured when the vehicle he was driving skidded off the highway and struck a tree. He was driving the fire department's response vehicle (pick-up truck) to a fire alarm when a car pulled out of an intersecting roadway to his left and across the path of his vehicle. The victim tried to maneuver his vehicle around the car, but his vehicle turned sideways and skidded down the highway. The vehicle then went off the highway and struck a tree. An eyewitness to the incident called 911 and reported the crash. Emergency medical services arrived shortly thereafter, evaluated the victim's condition and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Key contributing factors identified in this investigation included vehicle speed, wet roadways, operating the vehicle without the use of a siren, and an obstructed view at the intersecting roadway. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1. follow the department's written and adopted standard operating guidelines (SOGs) for apparatus/driver safety; 2. review, revise as necessary, and enforce standard operating guidelines (SOGs) to include specific procedures for emergency response; 3. train all apparatus driver/operators on defensive driver techniques. Additionally, governing municipalities (federal, state, regional, and local) should ensure that adequate line-of-sight is maintained at roadway intersections, with an emphasis on routes routinely traveled by responding emergency vehicles/apparatus.
Region-3; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Emergency-responders; Equipment-operators; Fire-fighters; Injury-prevention; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Training; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Motor-vehicles; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
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Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Services: Public Safety
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division