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March Line-of-Duty Deaths
Seven firefighters died in March. Three volunteer firefighters and four career firefighters died in seven separate incidents. Five deaths were health related, one death was the result of fireground operations and one death resulted from an accident.
FIRE CHIEF NOLAN ERVIN PITTMAN, 46, of the Centreville, MS, Volunteer Fire Department died on March 4. While operating at the scene of a residential structure fire, Pittman became ill and went to a hospital emergency room. His condition worsened and he died at the hospital. Pittman was a 25-year veteran of the department.
LIEUTENANT/EMT JAMISON KAMPMEYER, 34, of the Colby, WI, Fire Department died on March 4. While performing interior firefighting operations at the scene of a mutual aid structure fire at a theater in Abbotsford, Kampmeyer and two other firefighters became trapped inside when the roof partially collapsed. Firefighters had been ordered to evacuate the building when the collapse occurred. The injured firefighters were rescued and transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield. Kampmeyer died at the hospital from his injuries. Investigators determined the fire started in the lobby of the theater and was accidental in nature. Damage was estimated at $300,000. Kampmeyer was a 10-year member of the department.
LIEUTENANT MARK W. MORRISON, 53, of the St. Lucie County Fire District in Port Saint Lucie, FL, died on March 4. Morrison was found unresponsive in quarters after responding to several emergency calls. Immediate aid was given and he was transported to a hospital, where he died. Morrison was a 25-year veteran of the department.
SENIOR CAPTAIN THOMAS DILLION, 49, of the Houston, TX, Fire Department died on March 14. Dillion collapsed at the scene of a cooking fire at the Jade Stone apartments. He was treated at the scene and transported to West Houston Medical Center where he died. Dillion was a 22-year veteran of the department.
CAPTAIN DONALD L. JONES, 56, of the Jacksonville, AR, Fire Department died on March 19. Jones was operating at the scene of an accident involving a vehicle and a gas main when another vehicle left the roadway and struck him, another firefighter and a police officer. Jones died on impact. The other firefighter and the police officer were transported to a hospital. The driver of the vehicle that struck the emergency personnel was charged with second-degree murder and two counts of criminal intent to commit second-degree murder. Jones was a 31-year veteran of the department.
FIREFIGHTER JONATHAN D. MYERS, 54, of the Norfolk, VA, Fire-Rescue Department died on March 19. Myers was found unresponsive on the floor of the fire station’s bunk room. Immediate aid was given and he was transported to DePaul Medical Center, where he died. Meyers was a 20-year veteran of the department.
FIREFIGHTER EDWARD RICHARD BERNOSKY, 79, of the Adena, OH, Volunteer Fire Company died on March 20. Bernosky was delivering water to a remote camping area when he suffered an apparent heart attack. Immediate aid was given, but he did not respond. Bernosky was a founding member, former chief and a 50-year veteran of the department.
—Jay K. Bradish
NVFC Honors Rockefeller
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) named Senator Jay Rockefeller 2012 Legislator of the Year for his leadership in introducing and passing legislation to create the first-ever nationwide broadband communications network to connect public safety officials and first responders during emergencies. Rockefeller’s public safety spectrum bill, S. 911, included in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, was enacted earlier this year and had been a top legislative priority for the NVFC. It will prevent the kind of communications failures that occurred during rescue efforts at Ground Zero on 9/11 and at the Upper Big Branch mine disaster in West Virginia in 2010.