Firefighter dies following ice rescue drill in Canada
POINT EDWARD, Ont. — A member of the Point Edward Volunteer Fire Department who became trapped under the ice during an ice water rescue drill has died of his injuries.
Lambton County OPP say Gary Kendall, 51, from Point Edward near Sarnia, was taking part in the ice water rescue training session Saturday afternoon when he became trapped.
Other members from the fire department pulled him from the water and he was taken to the Bluewater Health hospital by emergency services.
Police say he succumbed to injuries early this morning.
The Lambton OPP crime unit and the provincial police forensic identification unit are investigating and the Ministry of Labour was contacted after the incident.
City, Fire Chief & Training Officer charged in firefighters death
Point Edward, fire chief charged in firefighter's death
by: TARA JEFFREY
POINT EDWARD — The Village of Point Edward, its fire chief, and a training officer have been charged in the death of a firefighter who was trapped under ice during a rescue training exercise on Lake Huron in January.
The Ontario Ministry of Labour laid a total of 11 charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, court documents show.
Fire chief Doug MacKenzie, the village, and Terry Harrison, of Georgetown, Ont., are each charged with "failing to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for protection of a worker."
Volunteer firefighter Gary Kendall, 51, died following a water training exercise conducted at the shoreline of Lake Huron, where the lake enters the St. Clair River.
"I can confirm that charges were laid against the Village and the other named employee defendant," Point Edward Mayor Dick Kirkland said in a statement, Monday.
"As the matter is before the court, out of respect for the court proceedings, our employees, and all other individuals affected by the tragic events, it would be premature and inappropriate to comment.
"The Village has been, and will continue to be committed to health and safety in the workplace," Kirkland added.
Members of the Point Edward fire department were conducting ice water rescue training in the water on Jan. 30, when a large ice flow came down the river, trapping Kendall beneath it, a ministry spokesperson said at the time.
The 17-year veteran of the service was pulled from the water but died the following day in hospital.
No other firefighters were injured in the incident.
The court document, signed by labour inspector Ron Elliott, states the three defendants are charged with failing to ensure that an adequate number of rescuers were on shore at the time of the incident, along with failing to provide adequate equipment, and failure to appoint a safety officer.
The village and MacKenzie — identified as employer and supervisor respectively — have also been charged with failing to ensure that adequate prerequisite training had been completed and/or confirmed.
MacKenzie faces an additional charge of failing to ensure an adequate safety plan was present, and/or failing to review an adequate training plan.
Harrison, listed as a supervisor, is also charged with failing to ensure an adequate pre-training hazard assessment was conducted, and failing to have an adequate training plan and/or adequate pre-training briefing.
A court date has been set for Sept. 10.