Firewire: August Line-of-Duty Deaths

Fourteen U.S. emergency services personnel died in August. Four career firefighters, five volunteer firefighters and five civilian employees died in 12 separate incidents. Two deaths was the result of fireground operations, five were due to accidents and seven deaths were health related.

FIREFIGHTER JEFFERY ALAN COCKE, 59, of the Altavista, VA, Fire Department died on Aug. 4. Cocke suffered a pulmonary embolism on Aug. 1 after responding to an outdoor fire and a residential structure fire. He was treated and released from the hospital. Two days later, he returned to the hospital suffering from the same symptoms. He died later in the hospital. Cocke was a 39-year veteran of the fire service.

FIREFIGHTER/EMT TIMOTHY R. WHITE, 50, of the Cedar Lake, IN, Fire Department died on Aug. 5. On July 17, White suffered a heart attack while participating in technical rescue training. He was also a member of Indiana District 1 Urban Search and Rescue/Technical Rescue Team. White was a 20-year veteran of the department.

CAPTAIN KYLE KING, 53, of the Perry, OK, Fire Department died on Aug. 7. On July 29, King collapsed while fighting a grass and abandoned structure fire. Fellow firefighters initiated CPR and transported him to Perry Memorial Hospital. He was later transferred to Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where he died. King was a 23-year veteran of the department.

EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN CHARLES BLACK, 54, of Superior Ambulance Service in Highland, IL, died on Aug. 10. Black suffered a fatal heart attack while on a patient transport.

FIREFIGHTER TRAMPUS HASKVITZ, 23, of the South Dakota Wildland Fire Suppression Division in Rapid City died on Aug. 11. Haskvitz and two other firefighters were overrun by fire while operating at the Coal Canyon fire nine miles north of Edgemont. The three firefighters were forced to deploy their emergency shelters after trying to attack a spot fire that had started behind them. The fire moved uphill quickly, trapping them. Both of the other firefighters suffered burns. The Type-6 firefighting vehicle they were operating was destroyed in the fire.

LIEUTENANT LARRY GALE NELSON, 61, of the Val Verde County Rural Fire Department in Del Rio, TX, died on Aug. 12. Nelson fell from a small step ladder while performing routine station duties.

LIEUTENANT TODD W. KRODLE, 41, of the Dallas, TX, Fire Department died on Aug. 14. While performing vertical ventilation at a multiple-alarm fire at a two-story apartment building, Krodle fell through the roof into the involved attic. Krodle was removed from the building by firefighters and medics and transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he died. Krodle was a 17-year veteran of the department.

CHIEF DENNIS J. CAUTHEN, 54, of the Elgin Fire Department in Lancaster, SC, died on Aug. 16. While at the scene of a working structure fire, Cauthen complained of not feeling well. Shortly after returning to the fire station, he collapsed. Cauthen was transported to Springs Memorial Hospital, where he died. Cauthen was a 31-year veteran of the department.

Three employees of Air Methods Corp. in Englewood, CO, died in a medical helicopter crash in Mosby, MO, on Aug. 26. PILOT JAMES FREUDENBERG, 34, FLIGHT PARAMEDIC CHRIS FRAKES, 34, and FLIGHT NURSE RANDY BEVER, 47, died when the helicopter crashed while transporting a patient from Harrison County Community Hospital in Bethany, MO, to Liberty Hospital in Liberty, MO. The patient also died in the crash.

FIRE MARSHAL STEVE COX, 55, of the South Davis Metro Fire Agency in Bountiful, UT, died on Aug. 28. While participating in a skills fitness test, Cox became ill and was transported to Lakeview Hospital. On Aug. 27, his condition worsened and he was flown to the University of Utah Medical Center, where he died. Cox was a 22-year veteran of the department.

EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN MICHAEL KENWOOD, 39, of the Princeton, NJ, First Aid and Rescue Squad died on Aug. 28. During Hurricane Irene, the department’s swiftwater rescue team was dispatched at 4 A.M. to investigate a submerged car. Kenwood and another team member entered the water, but the swift current was too strong and the men tried to return to land. They came free from their safety line and Kenwood was swept away. He was recovered by the backup team and transported to University Medical Center in Princeton, where he later died.

FIREFIGHTER ANTHONY QUINTEN MEYERS, 38, of the Angelina River Volunteer Fire Department in Jasper, TX, died on Aug. 28. While operating an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) at the scene of two grass fires, Meyers lost control of the ATV and was struck by a Texas Parks and Wildlife truck. Authorities believe both fires were intentionally set.

—Jay K. Bradish