NIOSH has recently posted their investigation reports for two of the more well known firefighter death incidents, the Father's Day 2001 deaths of 3 firefighters in New York City, and the May 2002 deaths of 2 St. Louis firefighters, the links to the reports are below.
St. Louis http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/face200220.html
New York City http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/face200123.html
There are numerous other LODD reports available on the NIOSH website, they can be useful as a training tool. The homepage is:
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03-06-2003, 09:18 PM #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2002
NIOSH LODD Reports for NYC and St Louis Deaths
11-11-2004, 05:59 AM #2
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The widow of one of two firefighters who
asphyxiated during a smoky 2002 blaze has sued the maker of her
late husband's breathing gear, alleging it malfunctioned and killed
Angela Martin, whose husband Derek Martin died with Robert
Morrison in the May 3, 2002, fire seeks "fair and reasonable"
compensation from Survivair Inc., its French parent company and
Colt Safety, Fire & Rescue, the gear's St. Louis-based distributor.
The lawsuit, filed in St. Louis Circuit Court, alleges that a
different failure of identical gear contributed to Morrison's
Officials have said both men died of smoke inhalation and
asphyxiation after Morrison vanished inside the flaming building
and Martin went in search of him, only to see his air tank run out.
Jerome Schlichter, the attorney for Martin's widow and her three
children, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a story in
Wednesday's editions that Martin's Survivair air tank and mask
"failed to provide him the protection he needed when he went back
in to rescue his fellow firefighter, and because of that this
terrible event occurred."
Messages left late Tuesday by The Associated Press with
California-based Survivair and its corporate parent, Bacou-Dalloz
Inc., were not immediately returned.
Christine Bierman, Colt's founder and chief executive officer,
declined comment on the lawsuit she said she had not seen. She did
say that she had helped train Morrison and Martin and was
"devastated" by their deaths.
The lawsuit alleges that Morrison collapsed and fell on his
stomach, blocking the sound from a speaker on his Survivair gear
that was to emit an alarm if he went motionless. The equipment's
design, the lawsuit claims, should have taken that into account.
While Martin searched for Morrison, according to the lawsuit, a
mask valve designed to expel exhaled breath got stuck closed, and
Martin would have had to take off the mask to fix it. The design
should have had redundancy, the lawsuit said.
It also alleges that Martin's death was "a direct and proximate
result" of the failures of low air warning signals and other
features of the breathing device.
St. Louis Fire Chief Sherman George said Tuesday the department
has more than 600 Survivair units with no unusual problems.
The department and the National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health have said contributing factors in the deaths were
accidents and mistakes that included the lack of proper ventilation
of smoke, firefighters working in the building without partners and
using air tanks less than full.
The NIOSH report said it was not possible to determine if issues
with Martin's breathing equipment occurred before his fatal
injuries, during his rescue or when it was shipped for testing.
In the wake of the reports, the St. Louis Fire Department made
policy, equipment and training changes, including posting a
rapid-intervention team of rested firefighters with full air tanks
outside a fire in case rescues are needed.
George said Morrison's widow has hired her own lawyer and was
preparing a lawsuit.
On the Net:
St. Louis Fire Department,
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
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