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Career fire fighter dies after falling from aerial ladder during training - Florida.

Wertman SC; Bowyer M
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 F2012-01, 2012 Jun; :1-13
On January 6, 2012, a 49-year-old male career fire fighter (the victim) died from injuries sustained after falling from the tip of a 105-ft aerial ladder during training. The aerial ladder was set up behind the victim's fire station so that personnel could climb the ladder for training. Fire fighters were dressed in station or exercise attire. All fire fighters, including the victim, were wearing ladder safety belts as they ascended and descended the ladder. Some personnel included the ladder climb into an exercise routine. Prior to the victim's second climb, he complained of his legs being wobbly and feeling out of shape. After reaching the tip of the ladder on his second climb, the victim failed to immediately come back down. The fire fighters on the ground did not think anything of it until they heard a noise and looked up to see the victim tumbling down the rungs of the ladder. The victim tumbled out of the protection of the ladder rails and struck the passenger side rear outrigger. Lifesaving measures were taken by fire fighters on scene, but the victim succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. Contributing Factors: 1. Aerial apparatus standard operating procedures not fully developed and implemented to include measures to protect training participants from inadvertent falls and the safe and proper use of aerial apparatus. 2. Apparatus used as part of an unstructured training evolution and circuit training exercise. 3. Possible unknown medical problem experienced by the victim. Key Recommendations: 1. Fire departments should ensure that standard operating procedures regarding proper use and operation of aerial apparatus are developed, implemented, and enforced. 2. Fire departments should ensure that a "safe discipline" is maintained at all times, including training. 3. Fire departments should consider adopting a comprehensive wellness and fitness program, including annual medical evaluations consistent with NFPA standards and performing annual physical performance (physical ability) evaluations for all fire fighters.
Region-4; Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Emergency-responders; Fire-fighting-equipment; Accidents; Injuries; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Training; Fall-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Protective-measures; Safety-equipment; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-F2012-01; B08012012
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Public Safety
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 17, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division