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January Line-of-Duty Deaths
Ten U.S. emergency service personnel died in January. Five volunteer firefighters, two career firefighters, one part-time firefighter and two civilian employees died in 10 separate incidents. Six deaths were health related and four resulted from accidents.
INMATE FIREFIGHTER CRISANTO LEO LIONELL, 54, of the California Department of Corrections died on Jan. 4. Lionell was participating in a training exercise at Camp San Luis when he lost consciousness. Immediate care was given and he was transported to a hospital, where he died.
FIREFIGHTER WILLIAM ELLIOTT, 49, of Pompano Beach, FL, Fire Rescue died on Jan. 6. While participating in aerial ladder training, Elliott fell from a position near the top of an extended 100-foot aerial ladder. Elliott was a 23-year veteran of the department.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN TIMOTHY SOUTHERN, 21, of Priority Patient Transport in Harrisonburg, VA, died on Jan. 6. Southern was driving an ambulance transporting a patient when the ambulance crossed the center line of Route 20 in Buckingham County and collided with a cement truck. The patient died later at UVA Medical Center from injuries sustained in the collision. Another EMT in the ambulance was injured in the crash.
CHIEF SAMUEL BUTLER, 52, of the Evans Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department in Maxton, NC, died on Jan. 8. Butler was responding to a motor vehicle accident in his private vehicle when he attempted a U-turn at the end of the eastbound I-74 on ramp at Cabinet Shop Road. According to reports, his vehicle was T-boned by a tractor-trailer. He was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and was killed instantly. Butler was a 21-year veteran of the department.
FIREFIGHTER DAVID CRENSHAW, 63, of the Anderson County, SC, Fire Department died on Jan. 9. Crenshaw was operating at the scene of a motor vehicle accident with injuries at Porter Road and Highway 88 when he suffered a medical emergency and collapsed. He was treated at the scene and transported to AnMed Health Medical Center, where he died.
FIREFIGHTER III DUANE IBARRA, 50, of the Maui County Department of Fire and Public Safety in Kahului, HI, died on Jan. 18. Ibarra was found unresponsive in the fire station workout room by fellow firefighters. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. Ibarra was a 20-year veteran of the department.
FIREFIGHTER BRANDON LITTLE, 19, of United Hook and Ladder Company 33 in New Oxford, PA, died on Jan. 18. While responding to a structure fire in his personal vehicle, the vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree. Reports indicate that he was ejected from the vehicle and that speed was a factor in the crash.
FIREFIGHTER BRUCE TURCOTTE, 58, of Hopelawn, NJ, Engine Company 1 died on Jan. 19. Turcotte became ill while establishing water supply to interior crews at the scene of a fatal residential structure fire. He was found a short time later by fellow firefighters at the rescue truck. Immediate care was give and he was transported to JFK Medical Center in Edison, where he died from cardiac arrest.
CAPTAIN WALTER C. SUMNER, 49, of the Cranesville, PA, Volunteer Fire Department died on Jan. 24. On Jan. 21, Sumner responded to a transfer assignment in Edinboro and within 24 hours, he suffered a heart attack. He died from complications from the heart attack. Sumner was a 19-year veteran of the department.
PARAMEDIC SARAH NODURFT, 27, of the Boone County Ambulance Authority in Racine, WV, died on Jan. 25. While returning from a routine transfer, Nodurft suffered a medical emergency and died.
—Jay K. Bradish
Injured Firefighter Glad to Be Home
West Haverstraw, NY, firefighter Ken Patterson is on the road to recovery after being thrown by a natural gas explosion in January. After spending a week at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY, he was transferred to his hometown Helen Hayes Hospital for rehabilitation.