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Volunteer fire chief and fire fighter killed when a wildland engine plummeted from a fire-damaged wooden bridge into a dry creek bed - Colorado.

Tarley J
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 F2008-14, 2010 Mar; :1-13
On April 15, 2008, at approximately 1535 hours, a 30-year-old volunteer chief and a 38-year-old volunteer fire fighter died while driving their apparatus through thick black smoke onto a bridge that had collapsed from fire damage caused by a wildfire. They were responding as mutual aid to the wildfire in a neighboring community. Key contributing factors identified in this investigation include: excessive speed for reduced visibility/smoke conditions, lack of traffic control, lack of coordination between responding agencies and departments, and inadequate driver and multi-agency response training. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should ensure that fire fighters receive essential training on the emergencies that they will respond to and how to respond safely. Additionally, fire departments, municipalities, and authorities having jurisdiction should: 1. establish pre-incident plans regarding traffic control for emergency service incidents and pre-incident agreements with public safety agencies, traffic management organizations, and private sector responders; 2. train on utilizing the national incident management system to effectively respond to and manage multi-agency incidents; 3. be aware of programs that provide assistance in obtaining alternative funding, such as grant funding, to replace or purchase fire fighting equipment.
Region-8; Accident-analysis; Accidents; Accident-prevention; Injury-prevention; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Fire-fighters; Emergency-responders; Training; Fire-fighting-equipment; Motor-vehicles; Work-practices; Safety-practices; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
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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