Cohnway Matthew Johnson
USFA releases 2014 Firefighter Fatality Statistics
Ninety-one firefighters died while on-duty in 2014, 16 fewer firefighters than the previous year’s total. The 2014 total includes 24 firefighters who died under circumstances that were part of inclusion criteria changes resulting from the Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefit Act, the highest total in any year since the act was signed into law. When not including these fatalities for the purposes of a trend analysis, there were 67 non-Hometown Hero firefighter fatalities in 2014, the second lowest annual total since 1977 when USFA began this study.
Firefighter fatalities included 30 career firefighters, 56 volunteer firefighters, and five part-time or full-time members of wildland or wildland contract fire agencies. Of the 91 firefighters who died while on-duty in 2014, 89 were male and two were female. The 91 deaths in 2014 resulted from a total of 89 fatal incidents including two multiple firefighter fatality incidents (the fewest in 25 years), taking respectively the lives of two firefighters each.
In 2014, 11 firefighters were killed during activities involving brush, grass or wildland firefighting. This total includes part-time and seasonal wildland firefighters, full-time wildland firefighters, and municipal or volunteer firefighters whose deaths are related to a wildland fire. There were two firefighter fatality incidents from aircraft crashes related to wildland firefighting, taking the lives of two firefighter pilots.
Activities related to emergency incidents resulted in the deaths of 42 firefighters in 2014. This includes all firefighters who died responding to an emergency or at an emergency scene, returning from an emergency incident, and during other emergency-related activities. Nonemergency activities accounted for 49 fatalities. Nonemergency duties include training, administrative activities, performing other functions that are not related to an emergency incident, and post-incident fatalities where the firefighter does not experience the illness or injury during the emergency. Fireground duties are the most common type of duty for firefighters killed while on-duty.
Nine firefighters died while engaged in training activities. All nine firefighters died from heart attacks. Twenty-five firefighters were killed during fireground operations. There were 20 fatalities where firefighters became ill or injured while on the scene of a structure fire. Thirteen firefighters, all volunteers, died or experienced onset of symptoms while responding to or returning from 13 emergency incidents. Eight of the firefighters died while responding to incidents, and five died while returning from an incident. Nine firefighters were killed where the type of emergency duty was not related to a fire. The response calls included three motor vehicle accidents, one EMS call, three technical rescue calls, one weather related incident, and one search for a missing person incident.
Firefighting is extremely strenuous physical work, and it can be one of the more physically demanding of human activities. This information and additional information is provided by the US Fire Administration. Please visit their website @ www.usafema.gov.
Cosmo Paris, 59 of Cliffside Park, New Jersey 01-01-14
Firefighter Paris and the members of his fire department responded to an automatic fire alarm in a building. A fire watch was ordered and was in effect for 16 hours. Firefighter Paris participated in the fire watch until it was concluded. As he drove home, Firefighter Paris suffered a heart attack. He was discovered by police, treated, and transported to the hospital but he could not be revived. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Paris family.
Christ Kasseen Swan, 57 of Marietta, Georgia 01-10-14
Firefighter Swan and the members of his fire department responded to an activated fire alarm in a building. While on-scene, Firefighter Swan suffered shortness of breath and went into cardiac arrest. Other firefighters treated Firefighter Swan and he was transported to a hospital. His death was caused by a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Swan family.
James “Doc” Delbert Brooks, 61 of Largo, Maryland 01-15-14
On Monday, January 6, Firefighter/EMT Brooks, a member of the Prince George’s Volunteer Marine Fire Rescue, was winterizing the boats and station in preparation for record low temperatures forecasted for the following day. Shortly after midnight, while still at the Marina located in Fort Washington, he experienced difficulty breathing and called 911. Firefighters and paramedics arrived to find Brooks in cardiac arrest and immediately began pre-hospital care. He was transported to a nearby medical care facility and subsequently relocated to a regional medical care facility in “critical” condition. Firefighter/EMT Brooks died on January 15, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Brooks family.
Gregory J. Hennessey, 49 of Rancho Santa Margarita 01-20-14
Fire Engineer Hennessey was found by his colleagues in cardiac arrest at Orange County Fire Authority Fire Station 45 in Rancho Santa Margarita. Other on-duty firefighters immediately began lifesaving treatment and he was transported to a local hospital. Despite all efforts, Fire Engineer Hennessey was pronounced dead approximately 40 minutes later due to a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hennessey family.
James Allen Dickman, 31 of Toledo, Ohio 01-26-14
Firefighter Dickman and Firefighter Machcinski were assigned as a part of a 4 person crew on Engine 3. At 1445hrs, Engine 3 and other units were dispatched to a report of a structure fire in an apartment building. A responding command officer reported smoke showing during his response. Engine 3 was the first to arrive and reported smoke and fire showing from the second floor of the structure.Engine 3 arrived at 1453hrs. Firefighter Dickman and Firefighter Machcinski were ordered to advance a handline and attack the fire. They gained access to the second floor over a ground ladder and entered the structure. The firefighters reported applying water to the fire at 1502hrs. Shortly thereafter, fire conditions changed dramatically. At 1503hrs, Firefighter Machcinski called a Mayday and the officer of Engine 3 also called a Mayday. The incident commander ordered an evacuation of the structure. A Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) was activated to search for the missing firefighters.Firefighters discovered Firefighter Dickman at 1520hrs and removed him from the structure. He was transported to the hospital but was pronounced dead at 1540hrs. Firefighter Machcinski was also discovered a short time later by firefighters and transported to the hospital. He was pronounced dead at 1545hrs. Both firefighters died as the result of thermal burns and exposure to carbon monoxide. The cause of the fire was incendiary. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dickman family.
Stephen Arthur Machcinski, 42 of Toledo, Ohio 01-26-14
Firefighter Dickman and Firefighter Machcinski were assigned as a part of a 4 person crew on Engine 3. At 1445hrs, Engine 3 and other units were dispatched to a report of a structure fire in an apartment building. A responding command officer reported smoke showing during his response. Engine 3 was the first to arrive and reported smoke and fire showing from the second floor of the structure.Engine 3 arrived at 1453hrs. Firefighter Dickman and Firefighter Machcinski were ordered to advance a handline and attack the fire. They gained access to the second floor over a ground ladder and entered the structure. The firefighters reported applying water to the fire at 1502hrs. Shortly thereafter, fire conditions changed dramatically. At 1503hrs, Firefighter Machcinski called a Mayday and the officer of Engine 3 also called a Mayday. The incident commander ordered an evacuation of the structure. A Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) was activated to search for the missing firefighters.Firefighters discovered Firefighter Dickman at 1520hrs and removed him from the structure. He was transported to the hospital but was pronounced dead at 1540hrs. Firefighter Machcinski was also discovered a short time later by firefighters and transported to the hospital. He was pronounced dead at 1545hrs. Both firefighters died as the result of thermal burns and exposure to carbon monoxide. The cause of the fire was incendiary.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Machcinski family.
Ricky Lee Winkles, Sr. 53 of Trumann, Arkansas 01-28-14
Chief Winkles responded to the report of a wildland fire at 1214hrs. He was first on the scene and found that the fire had spread to a residence. While he waited for an engine to arrive on the scene, he fought the fire on the exterior of the structure. When the engine arrived, he donned an SCBA and attacked the interior fire along with another firefighter. After approximately 15 minutes, Chief Winkles exited the structure when his low air alarm sounded. He reported feeling sick and contacted the EMS director. He was advised to go to the EMS headquarters for as assessment.
At EMS headquarters, Chief Winkles was found to be suffering an acute heart attack. He was transported by ambulance to a local hospital and suffered cardiac arrest during the transport. He was treated in the ambulance and in the hospital but suffered another heart attack after approximately one hour in the hospital’s intensive care unit. He was later pronounced dead. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Winkles family.
Jacob “Jake” T Harrell, 33 of Little Rock, Arkansas 01-31-14
Pilot Harrell was assigned to perform a fire detection flight near Glenwood, Arkansas. He was the sole occupant of a Cessna 210E aircraft. The flight departed at 1240hrs and Pilot Harrell reported his progress to a dispatch center.
At 1303hrs, Pilot Harrell reported that he was returning to base due to reduced visibility. There were no further radio transmissions from the plane. Approximately 20 minutes later, the dispatch center reported that the aircraft was overdue. Search efforts for the aircraft were hampered by bad weather over the next 11 days. The wreckage was discovered on February 11, 2014. The aircraft impacted trees on a ridgeline at an elevation of 1,473 feet. Pilot Harrell was killed in the crash. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Harrell family.
Michael Dale Garrett, 28 of Nutter Fort, West Virginia 01-01-14
A maintenance crew was working on a 343 foot tall radio tower, removing and replacing structural members. A collapse occurred, killing 2 maintenance workers and injuring 2 others. The collapse also damaged and partially collapsed a second radio tower. Both injured workers were unable to extricate themselves from the hazard area. Firefighter Garrett and the members of his fire department were dispatched to the scene on a request from the Incident Commander for mutual aid resources. Due to road conditions, Firefighter Garrett and his crew staged at the base of a hill upon their arrival. Firefighter Garrett and other responders rode a brush truck to the top of the hill and the incident scene. Firefighter Garrett and 3 other firefighters were called to assist with the removal of one of the injured workers from the collapse zone. As Firefighter Garrett assisted with dragging the injured worked, the second tower began to collapse. Firefighter Garrett attempted to run to safety but was struck by the second tower. He was immediately removed from the scene and transported by ambulance to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. His death was caused by blunt trauma. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Garrett family.
Dwight Reid Hilton, 57 of Liberty, Mississippi 02-01-14
At 1249hrs, Firefighter Hilton reported a wildland fire in the area covered by the Liberty Rural Volunteer Fire Department. When the Liberty fire truck arrived on the scene, Firefighter Hilton assisted with fire control and advanced a hose line.
Based on a report of fire threatening a nearby hay barn, Firefighter Hilton and the Liberty firefighter pickup up their hoseline and relocated to protect the hay barn. The firefighters extinguished the fire that was advancing toward the hay barn and again stowed their hose line. The apparatus was repositioned to attack another front of the fire. Upon arrival at the new location, it was determined that the fire was being controlled by other firefighters. Firefighter Hilton climbed to the top of the Liberty fire apparatus to finish stowing hose. The Liberty firefighter noticed that the hose had stopped moving and climbed to the top of the apparatus. He found Firefighter Hilton unconscious.
At approximately 1342hrs, the Liberty firefighter radioed for assistance and began CPR. The Chief of the East Central Volunteer Fire Department arrived at the scene in his truck and transported Firefighter Hilton to an ambulance. Firefighter Hilton was transported to the hospital but was pronounced dead due to a heart attack. The initial wildland fire was incendiary. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hilton family.
Thomas Gerald Lee, 67 of Four Oaks, North Carolina 02-01-14
At 1033hrs, Firefighter Lee responded to his fire station for a response to a motor vehicle crash. When he arrived at the fire station, he was told to stand by in case additional assistance was required at the scene. The incident was concluded without the need for additional assistance and Firefighter Lee returned home. The next morning at 0741hrs, Firefighter Lee complained to his spouse that he was aching all over and suddenly collapsed. EMS responders found him in cardiac arrest and transported him to the hospital. Despite resuscitation efforts, Firefighter Lee was pronounced dead at 0822hrs due to a heart attack.
Firefighter Lee was also a member of the Blackmon's Crossroads Fire Department and was a former chief of the Four Oaks Fire Department. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lee family.
Bruce Arthur Stayner, 49 of Ostrader, Ohio 02-04-14
Lieutenant Stayner responded with members of his fire department to a mutual aid structure fire the evening of February 3, 2014. The incident occurred at 1855hrs. The next morning, Lieutenant Stayner went to work at 0630hrs. He suffered a heart attack at approximately 1230hrs and was pronounced dead at a local hospital a short time later. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Stayner family.
James Joseph Knesek, Sr., 59 of Munster, Indiana 02-08-14
Chief Knesek responded with other members of his fire department to a motor vehicle crash. Within hours of returning home, Chief Knesek suffered a fatal heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Knesek family.
James C. Wilber, 58 of Franklin, New York 02-09-14
Assistant Fire Chief Wilber suffered a heart attack while responding to an emergency. He was transported to a local hospital but died as a result of his illness. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wilber family.
Dennis Channell, 55 of Poyen, Arkansas 02-10-14
Captain Channell suffered a Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA) while on the scene of an EMS incident with his fire department. He was transported to the hospital but died as a result of the stroke the next day. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Channell family.
William Scott Tanksley, 40 of Dallas, Texas 02-10-14
Fire Rescue Officer Tanksley and his engine company were dispatched along with other Dallas Fire Rescue Department to reports of vehicle crashes on a bridge. Road conditions were icy due to low temperatures and precipitation. Upon their arrival, the engine was staged approximately 150 feet short of the incident scene to block. The officer of the engine company requested sand for the bridge and then requested that the roadway be shut down due to conditions. The officer communicated by radio with Firefighter Tanksley as he checked on the condition of drivers in other cars.
Fire dispatch contacted the engine officer and asked if he could confirm accountability for his crew, the dispatch center had received a report of a firefighter falling from the bridge. A Personnel Accountability Report (PAR) was conducted and Firefighter Tanksley could not be found.
Firefighter Tanksley was located on a flyover bridge below the original incident scene. He was transported to the hospital but did not survive. A driver lost control on the bridge and struck Firefighter Tanksley. He fell approximately 56 feet to a lower bridge and sustained fatal injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Tanksley family.
Randall “Randy” Ray Pogue, 49 of Maumelle, Arkansas 02-19-14
Chief Pogue was responding to a motor vehicle crash in his fire department pickup. He lost control in icy conditions and crashed. Although he was conscious and alert following the crash, he developed medical complications in the hospital and was placed in a medially-induced coma. On February 19, 2014, Chief Pogue died as the result of complications from injuries received in the crash. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pogue family.
Bruce E. Britt, 48 of Columbia, Missouri 02-22-14
Lieutenant Britt and his Snozzle company were dispatched along with other fire department and law enforcement units to the report of a building collapse in a residential building on a local college campus. When they arrived on the scene, firefighters did not see any signs of a collapse and began to search the incident building and nearby buildings. As Lieutenant Britt walked along an elevated exterior walkway attached to the building, a structural failure occurred and the walkway collapsed. Lieutenant Britt fell to the ground and was crushed by debris from the collapse. Lieutenant Britt was extricated from the collapse after about 11 minutes of effort by firefighters using airbags and cribbing. He was transported to a hospital but died of compression asphyxia. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Britt family.
Homer “J.R.” William Harrell, 45 of Orange City, Florida 02-24-14
Lieutenant Harrell suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after coming off-duty. The 24-hour shift included extrication tool training and three emergency responses, one of which was after midnight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Harrell family.
Ross E. Huffner, 66 of Nesconset, New York 02-27-14
Firefighter/EMT Huffner responded to an EMS incident with his fire department. The incident concluded at approximately 1930hrs. He was found in cardiac arrest by his wife at 0230hrs that night. He had suffered a fatal heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Huffner family.
Gregory “Barney” D. Barnas, 57 of Wallington, New Jersey 02-28-14
Firefighter Barnas suffered a heart attack and fell from the roof while performing ventilation duties on the roof of a burning restaurant. He was treated at the scene and while enroute to the hospital but did not survive. Firefighter Barnas had also served as a Fire Captain with the Jersey City Fire Department. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Barnas family.
Steven Joseph Knaus, 47 of Willowick, Ohio 02-28-14
Firefighter Knaus completed a 24-hour work period at noon on February 28, 2014. The shift had included response to numerous fire and emergency medical incidents. At 2044hrs Firefighter Knaus was found unconscious by the side of his personal vehicle in the driveway of his home. He was treated and transported to the hospital but did not survive. His death was caused by a heart attack. Firefighter Knaus was also a Cleveland firefighter. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Knaus family.
Jerry Campbell, 61 of Nashville, Tennessee 03-01-14
Firefighter Campbell and the members of his wildland fire fighting team were activated for a response to a wildland incident at 2302hrs on February 28, 2014. Firefighter Campbell reported to his facility and was making preparations for response.
Firefighter Campbell reported feeling unwell to his supervisor. EMS responders were called and found that Firefighter Campbell was suffering a heart attack. He was transported to a hospital where he died as a result of his illness. He was pronounced dead at 0145hrs on March 1, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Campbell family.
Kevin J. Bristol, 48 of Peekskill, New York 03-03-14
Firefighter Bristol and the members of his department responded to a kitchen fire at 0557hrs. The incident was concluded and Firefighter Bristol returned to quarters. He went off-duty at 0700hrs. At approximately 1400hrs, Firefighter Bristol’s spouse found him unconscious and not breathing.
EMS responders treated him and transported him to the hospital but he could not be revived. The cause of death was a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bristol family.
Jamie Angelo Peite, 43 of Ironwood, Michigan 03-05-14
Chief Peite and the members of his fire department participated in pump operations training during the evening of March 4, 2014. At the training, Chief Piete complained of shoulder pain and feeling uncomfortable.
The next day, at approximately 1445hrs, Chief Peite called 911 and requested an ambulance. Initially, he was conscious and able to walk to the ambulance under his own power but his condition deteriorated rapidly. He went into cardiac arrest in the ambulance and could not be revived. Chief Peite’s death was caused by a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Peite family.
Jeffery E. Bayless, 51 of Anchorage, Alaska 03-07-14
Captain Bayless and other firefighters were participating in “rules of air management” training. After an hour of classroom instruction, firefighters donned full structural protective clothing and Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA).
Captain Bayless carried a 50-foot section of rolled 2-1/2 inch hose and climbed the stairs of a training tower to the 5th floor. He descended the stairs and climbed back to the 5th floor of the tower. As he descended a second time, he paused and allowed other firefighters to pass him. Captain Bayless exited the tower, walked a short distance, and collapsed.
His collapse was witnessed by another firefighter and treatment began immediately. Captain Bayless was treated and transported to a nearby hospital. Despite the efforts of firefighters and hospital staff, Captain Bayless died as the result of a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bayless family.
Robert “Bobby” Joseph Mollere, 61 of Star Valley, Arizona 03-08-14
At 0730hrs, Lieutenant Mollere arrived at the Hellsgate Fire District fire station to participate in the mandated U.S. Forest Service Arduous Duty Work Capacity Test (WCT), also known as the “Pack Test”. Seven other firefighters were also scheduled to take the test at the same time. Successful completion of the pack test is required to be eligible to work at state and federal wildland fires.
While at the station Lieutenant Mollere retrieved equipment necessary for the test, including weighted vests and cases of bottled water. Mollere and his crew departed the fire station for a local high school track where the test was being administered. Once at the high school, participants were briefed on the components and requirements of the test, drank water, donned weighted vests, and stretched. The training officer began the test at approximately 0800hrs.
According to crew members, Lieutenant Mollere had completed approximately 6 laps (1.5 miles) without obvious difficulty. At 0823hrs, as he began his 7th lap, Mollere stumbled, appeared dizzy, and collapsed. A crew member caught Mollere and assisted him to the ground where he was found to be unconscious. Crew members initially thought he might be suffering the effects of heat exhaustion so they quickly removed his weighted vest, placed him on his back, and elevated his feet. Lieutenant Mollere was found to be unresponsive and not breathing. CPR was initiated while other firefighters retrieved medical equipment from on-site fire apparatus. Simultaneously, an additional Advanced Life Support (ALS) Engine Company and ambulance was requested to respond to the scene.
Lieutenant Mollere was placed in the ambulance and transported to a regional hospital. Resuscitation efforts continued to the emergency department. Lieutenant Mollere was eventually pronounced dead by the attending physician at 0917hrs. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mollere family.
Joseph Edward Bove, III , 53 of Spotswood, New Jersey 03-13-14
Firefighter Bove and the members of his fire company responded to a report a gas leak at a multiple-family dwelling. Firefighters found a gas leak at a meter and Firefighter Bove used tools to shut off the flow of gas. Firefighters returned to the fire station and the incident was concluded at 1255hrs. Firefighter Bove told other firefighters that he was not feeling well and that he planned to go home and rest.
At 1637hrs, EMS and law enforcement officers were sent to Firefighter Bove’s home on the report of a man not breathing. Firefighter Bove had suffered a heart attack. He was transported to the hospital but did not recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bove family.
Wayne Jeffers, 64 of Ramer, Alabama 03-16-14
Captain/EMT Jeffers responded with the members of his department to a motor vehicle crash. The incident concluded at approximately 1348hrs. The next morning at approximately 0830hrs, Captain/EMT Jeffers was discovered deceased at his workplace. His death was caused by a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jeffers family.
Tom D. Stevens, Sr., 59 of Lawrenceburg, Indiana 03-17-14
Within hours of returning from an emergency response to a carbon monoxide alarm activation, Assistant Chief Stevens suffered a fatal heart attack. He became ill at home and was transported to the hospital but could not be revived. Our thougts and prayers are with the Stevens family.
Rickie K. Halcomb, 56 of Dayton, Ohio 03-21-14
Firefighter/Paramedic Halcomb was assigned to Dayton Medic 11 and, on June 6, 2000, responded with other crews to I-75 Southbound at State Route 35 for an accident with a person trapped. After nasally intubating the patient and while assisting crews with patient removal from the wreckage, Halcomb was exposed to the Hepatitis-C virus from the blood at the scene. Firefighter Halcomb suffered the adverse effects of the disease process until he passed away on March 21, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Halcomb family.
Edwin “Lance” Jeffery Wentzel, 57 of Youngwood, Pennsylvania 03-22-14
Firefighter Wentzel was assisting in a search for a missing woman, along with other responders and law enforcement officials. He was searching a narrow area between two tracks under a bridge. A train passed Firefighter Wentzel on one set of tracks and another train approached from the opposite direction. Firefighter Wentzel was struck from behind and killed. A railroad spokesman said that the railroad had not been informed that the search was underway. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wentzel family.
Frank L Obremski,64 of Yaphank, New York 03-23-14
Deputy Fire Coordinator Obremski suffered a CVA several hours after responding to and serving as resource coordinator at a mutual aid incident involving a person struck by a train. He was transported to the hospital where he remained until he died on March 23, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Obremski family.
Mitchell Duane Dobbins, 65 of Hagerstown, Maryland 03-26-14
President Dobbins was driving his personal vehicle to a meeting regarding fund raising equipment for his fire department. A sudden snow squall caused a major chain reaction crash. A total of 41 vehicles were involved in the crash and 2 people, including President Dobbins, were killed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dobbins family.
Michael R. Kennedy, 33 of Boston, Massachusetts 03-26-14
Firefighter Kennedy and Lieutenant Walsh were assigned to Boston Engine 33. Their engine company was the first to arrive at a structure fire in a 4-story residential occupancy. Firefighter Kennedy and Lieutenant Walsh advanced a hose line through the front of the structure and down an interior stairway.
Fire conditions worsened and burned through the hoseline. Fire progress trapped the 2 firefighters in the basement. Lieutenant Walsh called a Mayday but firefighters were not able to reach them in time. Firefighter Kennedy and Lieutenant Walsh died of smoke inhalation.
The fire was caused by welders working at the back of the structure. Fire conditions were exacerbated by a significant wind coming from the rear of the structure. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy family.
Edward J Walsh, Jr., 43 of Boston, Massahusetts 03-26-14
Firefighter Kennedy and Lieutenant Walsh were assigned to Boston Engine 33. Their engine company was the first to arrive at a structure fire in a 4-story residential occupancy. Firefighter Kennedy and Lieutenant Walsh advanced a hose line through the front of the structure and down an interior stairway.
Fire conditions worsened and burned through the hoseline. Fire progress trapped the 2 firefighters in the basement. Lieutenant Walsh called a Mayday but firefighters were not able to reach them in time. Firefighter Kennedy and Lieutenant Walsh died of smoke inhalation.
The fire was caused by welders working at the back of the structure. Fire conditions were exacerbated by a significant wind coming from the rear of the structure. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Walsh family.
George Dillard Underwood, 64 of Lake, West Virginia 04-02-14
Chief Underwood received reports of localized flooding caused by a blocked culvert. He drove a fire department tanker (tender) to the scene and was using a hose line to clear the culvert when he suddenly collapsed. Chief Underwood suffered a fatal heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Underwood family.
Melvin R. Loder, 68 of Elba, New York 04-18-14
Firefighter Loder performed traffic control duties at a mutual aid motor vehicle crash for over 3 hours on April 18, 2014. Later that night he told his spouse that he was not feeling well. Firefighter Loder suffered a fatal heart attack just after midnight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Loder family.
Hugh “Bubba” Ferguson, 52 of Damon, Texas 04-21-14
Chief Ferguson was on the scene of a vacant residential structure fire. Chief Ferguson was attempting to establish a water supply by dragging a 4-inch supply line to a fire hydrant. While attempting to connect to the hydrant, Chief Ferguson collapsed.
Firefighters began CPR and Chief Ferguson was flown by medical helicopter to a regional care facility. Chief Ferguson was pronounced dead at the hospital due to a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ferguson family.
Charles “Charlie” Edward Goff, 53 of Falls of Rough, Kentucky 04-27-14
Firefighter Goff had just returned home after responding to and working at the scene of a multiple vehicle crash. He suffered a heart attack and did not survive. The crash involved serious injuries to the wife and child of another McQuady firefighter. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Goff family.
William Morris Thompson, 56 of Fort Worth, Texas 04-28-14
On August 8, 1999, Firefighter Thompson jumped down from a fire truck and stepped onto a lane marking bump that caused injury to his left knee resulting in surgery. He reinjured his left knee a second time on June 14, 2001, and again on May 30, 2002; these re-injuries led to additional surgeries and ultimately a total knee replacement. Firefighter Thompson underwent surgery for a total knee replacement on April 15, 2014. Due to complications from the knee replacement surgery, he was transferred to the intensive care unit, where he passed away on April 28, 2014. The death certificate lists the cause of death as respiratory failure, septic shock and acute renal failure. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Thompson family.
Jeffrey B. Newland, 50 of North Port, Florida 04-30-14
Approximately 4 hours after going off-duty from a shift which included several emergency response calls, Lieutenant Newland suffered an aortic dissection. Newland was treated and transported to a local hospital then flown to a regional care facility for specialized care. He remained there until his death on April 30, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Newland family.
Robert “Bud” Glenn Webster, Sr.,64 of Glencoe, Kentucky 05-06-14
Chief Webster was driving a fire apparatus in response to a motor vehicle crash. The apparatus left the roadway and rolled. He was trapped in the wreckage and sustained a brain injury, from which he died on May 6, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Webster family.
Fred “Freddie” Edwards Jr., 66 of Liberty, New York 05-07-14
Firefighter Edwards conducted driver training on May 7, 2011. The training concluded at approximately 1400hrs. Firefighter Edwards departed the fire station. At 1749hrs, dispatchers received a report of a person down. Responders found Firefighter Edwards suffering a heart attack. He was transported to the hospital but did not survive. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Edwards family.
David W. Millett, 62 of Norway, Maine 05-10-14
Captain Millett and the members of his fire department responded to an early morning structure fire. Later that day, Captain Millett suffered a fatal heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Millett family.
Ted F. Drake, 63 of Newcastle, Wyoming 05-17-14
Fire Crew Supervisor Drake passed away from a reported heart attack while participating in a work capacity (fitness) test for red card certification, part of the wildland fire qualification system used by federal and most state wildland fire management agencies.
Fire Crew Supervisor Drake, a career employee of Wyoming State Forestry Division, supervised and trained inmate firefighters called “Smoke Busters,” well-respected teams utilized to fight wildland fires and complete many other associated projects on both Federal and state lands.
Fire Crew Supervisor Drake was transported to the hospital but did not survive. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Drake family.
David P. Fiori, 59 of New Britain, Connecticut 05-26-14
Deputy Chief Fiori became ill in his fire station while on-duty on May 25, 2014. Firefighter provided treatment and Deputy Chief Fiori was transported to the hospital. Despite treatment in the hospital, Deputy Chief Fiori was pronounced dead at 0330hrs on May 26, 2014. His death was caused by a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fiori family.
Robert William Fogel, III, 58 of Townson, Maryland 05-30-14
Fire Apparatus Driver Operator Fogel went into cardiac arrest during an SCBA maze training exercise at the Baltimore County Fire Rescue Academy in Sparrows Point, Maryland. Fogel was cared for by fellow firefighters and transported to a regional medical center where he was pronounced dead. His death was caused by a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fogel family.
John “Mac” McDonald, 54 of Washington, D.C. 05-30-14
Battalion Chief McDonald became ill and died while on-duty. His death was caused by a heart attack. Battalion Chief McDonald was also a lifetime member of the Stafford County Fire Department in Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers are with the McDonald family.
Donovan Garcia, Jr., 52 of Sparks, Nevada 06-05-14
Assistant Fire Chief Garcia was participating in wildland fire training when he collapsed from an apparent heart attack. Garcia was treated at the scene and then transported to the Northern Nevada Medical Center in Sparks, Nevada, Our thoughts and prayers are with the Garcia family.
Robert “Hawk” Carl Meyer, 54 of Union Beach, New Jersey 06-08-14
Firefighter Meyer was part of an engine crew that advanced a 2-1/2 inch handline into a working commercial structure fire. The incident commander ordered a transition to defensive operations and the line operated by Firefighter Meyer was removed from the structure.
Upon exiting the building, Firefighter Meyer suddenly collapsed. He was treated by on-scene EMS responders and transported to the hospital. He was later pronounced dead due to a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Meyer family.
Michael Charles Kucsma, Jr., 43 of Gorham, Maine 06-16-14
Deputy Chief Kucsma responded to a 3-vehicle rollover motor vehicle crash. He worked on the scene for over an hour. The incident concluded at 1040hrs. Later in the day, Deputy Chief Kucsma was diving with other members of the fire department. At approximately 1540hrs, he had a heart attack and died.
Deputy Chief Kucsma was also a Captain with the Portland Fire Department. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kucsma family.
Todd Allen Rummel, 43 of Three Forks, Montana 06-19-14
Chief Rummel was driving a fire apparatus on a 2002 International Chassis back from recent repairs at a maintenance facility. He was traveling at approximately 55 miles per hour when the vehicle suffered a mechanical failure. Chief Rummel was unable to control the vehicle.
A pickup truck approaching from the other direction attempted to swerve out of the path of the fire apparatus but was unsuccessful. The fuel tank on the fire truck was pierced and fuel was released. Both the fire truck and the pickup caught fire.
The crash resulted in 6 deaths, 5 in the pickup including 3 children, and Chief Rummel.
A recall was issued by Navistar Inc. for International 4800 trucks built between June, 1999 and May, 2002 that are equipped with Fabco TC-200 transfer cases. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rummel family.
Robert Bruce Thomas, 52 of Saline, Louisiana 06-30-14
Captain Thomas was the driver of a 1999 Freightliner fire truck returning from a structure fire response. As the vehicle entered a curve, the wheels drifted off to the right. Captain Thomas overcorrected and the vehicle crossed the center line and entered a ditch. The apparatus rolled over and ejected Captain Thomas, who was not wearing a seat belt. The apparatus crushed Captain Thomas, resulting in fatal injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Thomas family.
Gordon “Matt” Matthew Ambelas, 40 of Brooklyn, New York 07-05-14
Lieutenant Ambelas and members of his ladder company responded to a working fire on the 19th floor of a residential high rise. Lieutenant Ambelas became trapped while searching a burning apartment and suffered multiple injuries, including burns.
He was removed from the structure and transported to the hospital but did not survive. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ambelas family.
Daniel D. Groover, 46 of Houston, Texas 07-09-14
Firefighter Groover and the members of his company were the first on-scene of a working fire in a vacant 2-story residence. Firefighter Groover advanced a handline into the structure and fought fire on the second floor.
The company officer from Firefighter Groover’s engine told the incident commander that he had lost contact with Firefighter Groover. When calls to Firefighter Groover on the radio were not answered, a RIT was activated to search for Firefighter Groover on the second floor.
An engine crew gained access to the second floor through a balcony and arrived at Firefighter Groover at the same time as the RIT. Firefighter Groover was removed from the structure to the balcony. He was moved to the ground over ladder, treated at the scene, and transported. Despite all efforts, Firefighter Groover was pronounced dead at the hospital. His death was caused by asphyxiation (smoke inhalation). Our thoughts and prayers are with the Groover family.
Richard Lee Marchman, 66 of Ward, Colorado 07-09-14
Firefighter Marchman participated in the rescue of a hiker who had broken an ankle on a trail. The hiker was carried to a landing zone and evacuated by helicopter. As Firefighter Marchman walked to the trailhead after the rescue was completed, he collapsed due to a heart attack. Firefighter Marchman was approximately one mile from the trailhead when he became ill. Rescuers treated Firefighter Marchman and he was transported to the hospital but did not survive the heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Marchman family.
Billy Glen Norris, Sr., 62 of Lecompte, Louisiana 07-21-14
Fire Chief Norris responded to a medical emergency incident with members of his fire department in the early morning hours of July 21st. Upon completion of the run, Norris complained to fellow firefighters of not feeling well with some pain in one of his shoulders and then left the station for home. A short time later Chief Norris suffered a heart attack and was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injury. The cause of death was a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Norris family.
Matthew David Goodnature, 21 of Lakeview, Oregon 07-29-14
Firefighter Goodnature was assigned to the Launch Fire near Four Mile Lake in south central Oregon. During a break from fire fighting duties, Firefighter Goodnature experienced an accidental fall. When Firefighter Goodnature did not appear for a head count, other firefighters searched for him. He was found, deceased, laying over a log on his back. Firefighter Goodnature fell in such a way that he broke his neck on impact. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Goodnature family.
James “Jamie” C. Middlebrook, 41 of New Carlisle, Indiana 08-04-14
Chief Middlebrook and the members of his fire department responded to the scene of a working fire in a commercial storage building. Firefighters arrived on the scene at 2105hrs and began operations. The incident presented water supply, equipment, and communications technology issues. Assistant Chief Middlebrook was attempting to set up an unstaffed monitor inside of the building.
At 2144hrs, a collapse occurred and trapped Assistant Chief Middlebrook and another firefighter. A RIT team was able to remove the firefighter but could not locate Assistant Chief Middlebrook. Additional collapses were occurring so the decision was made to halt rescue attempts and control the fire.
Assistant Chief Middlebrook was recovered. The cause of death for Assistant Chief Middlebrook was multiple blunt trauma and burns. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Middlebrook family.
Douglas James Casson, 46 of Vaughn, Montana 08-06-14
Safety Officer Casson died of a heart attack approximately 4 hours after participating in training at his fire department. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Casson family.
Jonathan Eric French, 25 of Glendale, Kentucky 08-06-14
Firefighter French and other firefighters were working at the side of a highway fighting a fire in a 15-passenger van. As the firefighters worked, an 18-wheeler truck passed into the scene and struck 2 firefighters, killing Firefighter French. The truck then struck and damaged both of the department’s fire apparatus.
The other firefighter injured in this incident is Firefighter French’s mother. Our thoughts and prayers are with the French family.
Darrell D. Parker, 56 of Fairbury, Nebraska 08-13-14
Chaplain/Firefighter Parker was responding to a hay bale fire incident in his personally operated vehicle, a Ford pickup truck. As he responded, his vehicle left the right side of the roadway, went through a ditch, and collided with a brick barrier and trees. The vehicle finally came to rest at a row of trees. Firefighter Parker was found unconscious inside of the vehicle. Firefighter Parker suffered a heart attack and became unconscious as he responded. Firefighter Parker was transported to the hospital and treated for a heart attack. He died on August 13, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Parker family.
Dave “Chief 5” Anderson, 66 of Fort Shaw, Montana 08-25-14
Chief Anderson was driving a tanker (tender) to a wildland fire. He was involved in a collision with a brush truck responding to the same incident. The tanker rolled on its side as a result of the crash and Chief Anderson had to be extricated. He was transported to the hospital then to a regional care facility specializing in traumatic brain injuries. Chief Anderson died as a result of his injuries on August 25, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Anderson family.
Kevin J. Ollier, 60 of Anderson Township, Ohio 09-05-14
Firefighter Ollier died from a sudden illness that struck several hours after he responded to a report of smoke odor in a nursing home. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ollier family.
Richard L Choate, 68 of Andover, New Jersey 09-08-14
The Byram Township Fire Department responded to an activated fire alarm incident. Firefighter Choate responded and drove the department’s tanker (tender) apparatus to the scene, where he stood-by while personnel investigated. The fire department cleared the scene shortly thereafter, and he fueled the apparatus upon returning to quarters.
Members later reported that Choate appeared tired, but did not express any complaints. Approximately 5 hours later, he was found unresponsive inside his personal vehicle, which had run off the road into a wooded area. Police and EMS responded, finding him in cardiac arrest. He was transported to a local hospital with CPR and AED use in progress. He was subsequently pronounced dead at 1303hrs. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Choate family.
William “Uncle Will” Russell Wiita, 47 of Kalkaska, Michigan 09-08-14
Assistant Chief Wiita responded to an EMS incident with other members of his department. He stood by on the scene and drove the department’s rescue truck. As they returned to the station at the conclusion of the incident, Chief Wiita told other firefighters that he was not feeling well. The incident concluded and Assistant Chief Wiita left the fire station for home at approximately 1700hrs.
When he failed to show up at another firefighter’s home later in the day, the firefighter went to Assistant Chief Wiita’s house to check on him. The firefighter discovered Assistant Chief Wiita dead in his house. He had been dead for some time so there was no chance for resuscitation.
The medical examiner concluded that Assistant Chief Wiita’s death was from a heart attack that had started earlier in the day. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wiita family.
John Derek Gupton, 24 of Spring Hope, North Carolina 09-16-14
Firefighter Gupton was driving the department’s 2,500 gallon tanker (tender) to a fire alarm incident. The apparatus left the roadway to the right and went into a ditch. The apparatus struck a culvert and rolled over. Firefighter Gupton, who was wearing a seat belt, was killed in the crash. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gupton family.
Anthony “Tony” Lynn Grider, 41 of Campbellsville, Kentucky 09-20-14
Captain Grider and another firefighter were in the platform of a ladder truck participating in an ice bucket challenge event with a local marching band. Power from nearby electrical lines arced to the platform. Both firefighters in the platform were injured as well as 2 other firefighters.
Captain Grider was transported to the hospital for treatment. He did not recover and died of his injuries on September 20, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Grider family.
Carlos Carraquillo Pizarro, 61 of San Juan, Puerto Rico 09-23-14
Firefighter Pizarro was transporting a fire department (Cuerpo de Bomberos de Puerto Rico) tanker (tender) between fire stations. For an unknown reason, the tanker left the roadway, descended a slope, fell off a cliff, and crashed below. Firefighter Pizarro was killed in the crash.
Firefighter Pizarro was posthumously promoted to Sergeant. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pizarro family.
Allen R. Westby, 67 of East Islip, New York 09-23-14
Firefighter Westby responded to an automatic fire alarm incident with his department that concluded at 1721hrs on September 22, 2014. He was found deceased at home at 0900hrs the next day. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Westby family.
J. B. Hutton, Jr., 77 of Dermott, Arkansas 10-01-14
Assistant Chief Hutton responded to a wildland fire with members of his fire department. The fire was nearly extinguished when Assistant Chief Hutton bent over to move a hose line. He collapsed and was found by other firefighters to be unconscious.
Firefighters called for an ambulance and Assistant Chief Hutton was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hutton family.
Kevin Lamont Bell, 48 of Hartford, Connecticut 10-07-14
Firefighter Bell and other firefighters were battling a working fire in a residential occupancy. Firefighter Bell was advancing a hoseline. An incident occurred that resulted in fatal injuries to Firefighter Bell. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bell family.
Geoffrey “Craig” Hunt, 62 of Sacramento, California 10-07-14
Pilot Hunt and his aircraft were assigned to the Dog Rock fire. The aircraft had completed one fire retardant drop and was in the process of making a second drop when it crashed. Pilot Hunt was killed on impact. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hunt family.
Paul Franklin Walters, II, 55 of Wheeling, West Virginia 10-11-14
Chief Walters responded as part of an ambulance crew to a medical emergency as a result of a motor vehicle crash at 0249hrs on September 30th. Later in the day while taking his EMT recertification exam at the Valley Grove Fire Department, he became ill and was transported by ambulance to the Wheeling Medical Park, where he underwent an emergency heart catheterization.
On October 1st, Chief Walters underwent another heart procedure and was then flown to a regional hospital with further heart surgeries on October 2nd and 3rd. He remained hospitalized until his death on October 11th, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Walters family.
Eddie Joe Johnson, Jr., 45 of Alton, Missouri 10-20-2104
Chief Johnson was responding in a command vehicle, a 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer, to a report of a fully involved residence. During the response, Chief Johnson passed traffic on the left. The wheels of his vehicle left the roadway and struck a driveway or culvert. The command vehicle rolled several times and Chief Johnson was ejected. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Johnson family.
Christi Marie Rodgers,26 of Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania 10-24-14
Firefighter Rodgers and the members of her fire department were dispatched to a residential structure fire. As she prepared to respond, Firefighter Rodgers suffered a fatal heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rodgers family.
Malcolm Wright Jenkins, 60 Of Louisville, Kentucky 10-30-14
Major Jenkins was on-duty and completed his annual physical demand screening. The screening includes the performance of 10 work-related tasks. As he drove back to the fire station, Major Jenkins felt ill and called 911. Major Jenkins told the 911 operator that he did not need assistance. After he completed the discussion with the 911 operator, Major Jenkins received a call from another firefighter at about 1050hrs. No further calls were answered or placed by Major Jenkins. When he did not report to the station or home, his family used a telephone application to locate his phone. Family members found him deceased in his vehicle at an abandoned gasoline station at approximately 2157hrs. The cause of death was listed as a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jenkins family.
Donald “Pete” F Martin,84 of Sanborn, New York 10-30-14
Firefighter Martin reported to the fire station for regular weekly training. The start of training was delayed and Firefighter Martin told other firefighters that he did not feel well and wanted to go home. He refused a medical evaluation and firefighters dropped him off at home. A short time later, Firefighter Martin suffered a fatal heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Martin family.
Kellen Andrew Fleming, 29 of Spartanburg, South Carolina 11-01-14
Firefighter-Paramedic Fleming suffered a heart attack in the bunkroom of the firehouse in the early morning hours of November 1st. Fleming was treated immediately by a fellow paramedic and other responders at the station and was then transported to the hospital where he went into cardiac arrest. Despite efforts to revive him, Fleming succumbed to his injury. Firefighter-Paramedic Fleming had responded to several emergency incidents and worked fire prevention activities in the hours leading up to his fatal injury. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fleming family.
James E. Bethea, 62 of Baltimore, Maryland 11-12-14
Lieutenant Bethea was dispatched to a working structure fire in his role as an on-duty safety officer. He operated on the scene of the fire for some time. The fire was extinguished and firefighters left the scene. The last apparatus left the scene at approximately 0220hrs.
Beginning at 0643hrs, calls were received reporting a fire department vehicle still parked at the scene of the earlier structure fire. After determining which vehicle was on-scene, a fire company was sent to investigate. At 0845hrs, Lieutenant Bethea was found in the basement of an exposure building from the earlier fire. He was deceased. At autopsy, the level of carboxyhemoglobin in Lieutenant Bethea's blood was 73.5%. The cause of death was listed as smoke inhalation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bethea family.
Richard Donald Weisse, Sr., 59 of St. James, New York 11-15-14
Firefighter Weisse was the leader of his department’s junior firefighter program. On the morning of November 15th, Firefighter Weisse was supervising the junior firefighter’s annual food drive. He responded to a fire alarm in a local school and then returned to continue work on the food drive. As he worked, Firefighter Weisse suffered a fatal heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Weisse family.
Alejandro Castro, 40 of Brownsville, Texas 11-16-14
Pump Operator/Paramedic Castro was found unresponsive while on-duty inside of Brownsville Fire Station 8. The cause of death was a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Castro family.
Christopher James Hunter, 38 of Cinnaminson, New Jersey 11-16-14
Lieutenant Hunter was on-duty on November 14, 2014. At 0305hrs, he and his crew responded to a carbon monoxide alarm in a residence. The crew metered the home and found the source of the gas. The incident concluded at 0425hrs. Lieutenant Hunter went off-duty at 0800hrs.
At 0152hrs the next day, Lieutenant Hunter suffered a cardiac arrest at home. He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. His death was caused by a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hunter family.
James Steven Foote,57 of Summit, New York 11-18-14
Firefighter Foote was participating in a work detail at the fire station; he was cutting down 2 dead trees on fire department grounds. Upon entering the fire station to warm up, Firefighter Foote suddenly collapsed. Other firefighters provided medical aid and he was transported to a local hospital. Despite the efforts of firefighters and hospital staff, Firefighter Foote died of a heart attack.
Firefighter Foote was a past Fire Chief and currently served as a Fire Commissioner for the Summit Fire Department. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Foote family.
Arthur “Art” E. Treon, 62 of Cape May Court House, New Jersey 11-19-14
County Fire Coordinator Treon responded to a working multi-family dwelling fire. While operating as fire coordinator, Treon began experiencing chest pains and difficulty breathing. He was transported by EMS to a local hospital for a suspected heart attack. Fire Coordinator Treon was admitted for possible pneumonia but subsequently passed away at approximately 2230hrs on November 19, 2014. The cause of death was listed as acute respiratory failure following exposure to carbon monoxide at a fire scene. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Treon family.
Samir “Sam” P. Ashmar, 51 of Allenton, Pennsylvania 11-20-14
Fire Marshal Ashmar responded to an emergency medical incident that occurred at 1221hrs. The incident concluded and Fire Marshal Ashmar went about his day. At 1947hrs, firefighters were called to Fire Marshal Ashmar’s home, he was suffering a heart attack. He was treated and transported to the hospital but did not survive. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ashmar family.
Darryl Wayne Frost, 48 of Duncan, South Carolina 11-20-14
Firefighter Frost responded to 3 fire incidents on November 19 and 20, 2014. The last incident, a fire alarm, concluded at 1135hrs. At 1303hrs, firefighters and emergency medical responders were dispatched to a person not breathing. Firefighter Frost was discovered unconscious in the front yard. An AED was connected and delivered 2 shocks. Paramedics arrived to continue treatment and Firefighter Frost was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead. His death was caused by a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Frost family.
Stephen “Brad” Bradley McCoy, 36 of Topton, North Carolina 11-21-14
Firefighter McCoy was at home with his family. He was alerted to a fire in the home. He carried one of his children out and went back in to rescue his wife and another child, not knowing that they had escaped. He was unable to exit the structure and died as the result of asphyxiation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the McCoy family.
James “Tom” Thomas Rhamey, 71 of Lakeville, Ohio 11-29-14
Firefighter/EMT Rhamey drove a tanker (tender) to a mutual aid structure fire. Upon the arrival of the tanker on-scene, firefighters observed Firefighter/EMT Rhamey experiencing a medical emergency. He was removed from the tanker and emergency medical treatment was initiated.
Firefighter/EMT Rhamey was experiencing a heart attack. He was transferred to an ambulance and CPR and Advanced Life Support (ALS) treatment protocols were delivered. He arrived at the hospital but did not recover. He died on November 29, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rhamey family.
John Morgan Burns, 60 of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 12-03-14
Lieutenant Burns was on-duty in his fire station. He was discovered deceased in the morning by other firefighters. His death was caused by a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Burns family.
Joyce M. Craig-Lewis, 36 of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 12-09-14
Firefighter Craig-Lewis and members of her fire department were dispatched to a fire in a residential occupancy. Firefighter Craig-Lewis and her crew were advancing a hoseline into the basement of the structure when fire conditions changed rapidly. Firefighter Craig-Lewis was trapped in the building. She was rescued by other firefighters but suffered fatal burns.
Firefighter Craig-Lewis was the first female firefighter to be killed in the line of duty for the Philadelphia Fire Department. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Craig-Lewis family.
Gus Losleben, 69 of Savannah, Tennessee 12-09-14
Lieutenant Losleben was driving a 2,000 gallon fire department tanker (tender) in a non-emergency mode to a structure fire incident. The tanker entered a sharp curve and crossed the center line of the roadway into oncoming traffic.
Lieutenant Losleben attempted to correct by steering but the back end of the tanker came around. The tanker struck or was struck by an oncoming fully loaded log truck.
Lieutenant Losleben and the driver of the log truck were killed in the crash. A passenger in the log truck received serious injuries. All 3 vehicle occupants required extrication. The speed at which the tanker was being operated was cited as a factor in the law enforcement report. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Losleben family.
Ricky Wooten Doub, 61 of Yadkinville, North Carolona 12-16-14
Chief Doub responded to an EMS incident and a fire incident earlier in the day on December 16, 2014. He was found deceased at home by his wife at approximately 1700hrs. His death was caused by a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Doub family.
Joseph “Junior” Sanford Jr., 43 of Inwood, New York 12-23-14
Firefighter Sanford succumbed to injuries sustained several days after being rescued from the basement of a burning residence in Woodmere, New York. He was removed from the basement by fellow responders and transported to the hospital.
Sanford, a former assistant fire chief with the Inwood Fire Department, was reported to have been one of the first firefighters on the scene when he became separated from others and fell through the first floor of the home into the basement. He died as a result of his injuries on December 23, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sanford family.
James Joseph Woods, II, 44 of Jersey City, New Jersey 12-26-14
Firefighter Woods and the members of his engine company ran several calls during the night shift December 24-25, 2014. The last incident involved extended CPR by Firefighter Woods and concluded at 0607hrs. Firefighter Woods went off-duty shortly thereafter.
Later in the day, Firefighter Woods was visiting family and told others that he was tired. He laid down to rest and was discovered deceased due to a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Woods family.