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    Default Girls Dies after being strruck by hose

    ARTICLE


    Girl Injured By Fire Hose Has Died


    POSTED: 6:12 p.m. EDT August 19, 2004
    UPDATED: 7:41 p.m. EDT August 20, 2004


    Story by The Pittsburgh Channel

    CORAOPLIS, Pa. -- One of the girls hit by a fire hose in Coraopolis on Thursday afternoon has died.

    The Allegheny County coroner's office reports that Erin Schmidt, 10, has died of her injuries.

    On Thursday, Schmidt and her friend Joey Jeffress were struck by the fire hose that came off a fire truck responding to a fire in Coraopolis.


    According to police, the accident happened on Mount Vernon Avenue around 2:30 p.m. while the truck was responding to a dryer fire.

    Jeffress remians in Children's Hospital in fair condition Friday night.
    Rest in Peace.........
    Last edited by firenresq77; 08-20-2004 at 08:49 PM.

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    PREVIOUS ARTICLE


    Hose Injures Two Girls At Fire Scene
    Victims Flown To Hospital

    POSTED: 5:05 p.m. EDT August 19, 2004
    UPDATED: 5:06 p.m. EDT August 19, 2004


    Story by wpxi.com

    CORAOPOLIS -- A fire truck hose severely injured two young girls Thursday who were near a fire scene.

    Two 10-year-old girls were standing on a street corner in Coraopolis watching fire crews battle a blaze.

    When a fire truck was leaving the scene along Mount Vernon Avenue, a hose pulled loose and hit everything in its path.

    The hose reportedly lifted the back end of a car, knocked over items in nearby yards and hit the girls in the head.

    Witnesses described the scene as horrific.

    The victims were flown to a local hospital.

    One of the girls is said to be in critical condition.

    Their conditions and names are not known.

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    LOCAL ARTICLE


    2 girls severely hurt in freak accident
    Coraopolis firefighters seek to learn how truck hose became a giant whip
    Friday, August 20, 2004

    By Joe Fahy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



    Two Coraopolis girls suffered severe head injuries yesterday when they were struck by a fire hose that apparently came loose from a truck as firefighters responded to a nearby house fire.


    Bill Wade, Post-Gazette
    Coraopolis VFD Chief Larry Byrge shows where the firehose came out of its compartment on the Coraopolis Pumper One truck. Earlier yesterday, a firehose from the pumper whipped loose and hit two girls.
    Click photo for larger image.

    Erin Schmidt and Joey Jeffress, both 10, were standing on the sidewalk in the 500 block of Mount Vernon Avenue when a truck from the Coraopolis Volunteer Fire Department passed by and they were injured by the hose's nozzle.

    Erin was in critical condition and Joey in serious condition last night at Children's Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.

    Coraopolis Fire Chief Larry Byrge said four firefighters and a driver were in the cab of the pumper truck, which was heading to a fire in the 400 block of Mount Vernon about 2:30 p.m.

    He said the firefighters had on air masks and the truck's siren was blaring. They did not notice that the hose had come loose and was whipping around.

    "It's a very unfortunate accident, very tragic," he said, saying firefighters on the pumper only learned of the injured girls after they extinguished the fire. The fire began in a dryer of the home and no one was injured, he said.

    Byrge said he had no idea how the hose, stored in an open box mounted on the side of the truck, came loose. He said hoses are typically folded and stored in the boxes and that the department has never had one come loose before. The nozzle, much larger than one on a garden hose, weighs several pounds.

    Allegheny County homicide detectives were investigating.

    Neighbors said the accident occurred as the girls were standing in front of Erin's home on the sidewalk with her mother, who suffered minor injuries.

    Sarah Long, 21, said she was sitting on her fiance's porch steps next door to Erin's home when she saw the truck head up Chess Street, then turn right on Mount Vernon.

    She said she saw a hose trailing out of the truck get caught underneath a parked car, lifting it slightly, and strike some bushes and a birdbath before it passed by, barely missing her.

    She said she heard screams and then saw the two injured children on the ground.

    "When I saw it was unraveling, it was like, 'Oh, my God,' " she said. "There was no way they could have gotten out of the way."

    Her fiance, Jason Coley, 20, said he saw the hose nozzle strike both children and called 911.

    Moments before the accident, Long said, Erin's mother called to the children, who had been at the corner as the siren sounded.

    She told them to move back as the fire truck passed, Long said.

    Sophie Spencer, who also lives in the 500 block of Mount Vernon, said she was sitting on her front porch when she saw the truck round the corner.

    The dangling hose caught on her car, lifting it up, knocked over a pot of flowers and broke the pedestal of her concrete birdbath in two before it injured the children, she said.

    Spencer said Erin and Joey, who lives a block away on Seventh Avenue, are close friends.

    "This has just devastated us," she said as rain poured outside her home last evening. "It was a nice afternoon; the kids were out. If it had been raining like this, they would have been inside."

    Neighbors said Erin lives with her mother and older sister and that both she and Joey attend Cornell Elementary School.

    Mary Lee Smith, 55, who lives across the street from the Jeffress family, said Joey has an older sister and brother.

    "We're just totally devastated," she said of the accident. "I can't believe what's happened."



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (Joe Fahy can be reached at jfahy@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1722.)

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    Sorry about the title. I thought the original article said it was a coupling that struck her. Now it sounds like it may have been the nozzle from one of the crosslays.........

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    I just looked at the Post website..........it was a crosslay......Rest in Peace little child.
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    Ditto to Josh's comments.

    Also,

    There are a couple of threads with references to this topic, but this one has the most detail so I'll add my two cents here.

    It was mentioned (and briefly rebutted) in the thread about the news stories that this was a "freak accident". I certainly agree that fatalities from falling equipment is not terribly common, but we all have stories of hose or gear being strewn across the roadway. I would definitely not consider falling items a "Freak" occurance. Rather this seems to me to be a foreseeable and preventable all-too-common occurance.

    We just took delivery of a new engine, and I was surprised that no one seems to order hose bed covers anymore. We are going to get one made, primarily to protect the hose and gear from our abundant snowfall, but I wonder why tarps or other restraint devices are not used in hose beds anymore. In fact, a local dept recently picked up a similar engine to ours, and in the first month of operation, they accidentally payed out 500 feet of LDH along the highway. Tell me a 5" Storz wouldn't do some damage if it came through your windshield at 150 kph closing speed.

    Our old truck looked like a bloody chia pet with all the junk we had to hang off it, but since that was our only engine (and way too small), it was a necessity. We have committed to ensuring everything on the new engine is secured in a compartment, or in a properly designed rack or mounting device (the old truck will be cleaned up too).

    With this accident in mind, I think I'll have a second look at how the crosslays are restrained as well. I'm sure there has to be a simple and convenient way to hold that hose in place, that would eliminate the threat of another accident like this.
    Last edited by mcaldwell; 08-21-2004 at 08:28 PM.
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    This is why hosebed covers should be an NFPA requirement for a truck. This is disgustingly preventable. Things like this happen in our area all the time. For example, a neighboring company layed 2,000 feet of 5 inch going up the steepest hill in town. Why? The wind got underneath their 4" because they lacked a tarp. Easily preventable. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but they spent nearly an hour repacking it, closed down a major roadway, and generally looked STUPID.

    mcaldwell: Crosslays can be easily secured with a near foolproof method: Cargonets. Clasp them to the top two corners of the crosslay storage areas, and the botton two. When we decided to do this(in the early 90s) on all of our trucks, some people complained that 'It'll slow down how fast we can pull the mattydale off...'

    I've done it hundreds of times, and if you're not a bumbling idiot, you can disengage an undamaged cargonet's clasps in about 1/2 of a second. And it offers loads of safety.

    OR

    on either side of the pump panel, you have mounting brackets for the nozzles themselves. They sort of look like giant cups. Drape a couple feet of hose off and put the nozzle in there. To deploy, pick up the nozzle, drape it over your shoulder, and pull the remainder of the crosslay. This works because most of the time, it's the nozzle that will provide the initial momentum that will cause the line to deploy. If the nozzle doesn't move, the crosslay usually won't. And if by some chance it DOES, it won't be as violent.


    Just some ideas that we use on both of our engines to prevent this.

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    mcaldwell, SpartanGuy:

    EXACTLY, EXACTLY, what I feel. I apologize that I was too worked up in personal things to communicate it that way.


    " I certainly agree that fatalities from falling equipment is not terribly common, but we all have stories of hose or gear being strewn across the roadway. I would definitely not consider falling items a "Freak" occurance. Rather this seems to me to be a foreseeable and preventable all-too-common occurance."

    Yes, this is why I felt the article was so important!!


    "This is disgustingly preventable. Things like this happen in our area all the time."

    Ditto.


    "This is why hosebed covers should be an NFPA requirement for a truck."

    Exactly my first thought of what we could to prevent remotely similar incidents from occuring in the future.


    "Crosslays can be easily secured with a near foolproof method: Cargonets......OR.......on either side of the pump panel, you have mounting brackets for the nozzles themselves. They sort of look like giant cups."

    ...and exactly the two things I thought of for solutions [Addition to second solution: rubber cups are good, but should also have strap with release secured around neck of nozzle - similar to a Pac-Trac type of clasp].


    Let's face it: beyond being counterproductive, loose equipment is DANGEROUS. It's time that NFPA and other organizations take a serious look at how to address this - on ALL areas of the apparatus. Let's see what we can do to promote this.
    Last edited by HFDCLanger; 08-21-2004 at 09:16 PM.

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    Preventable? Yes. Foreseeable? I don’t know. I’ve laid out more than a few lengths of hose in the past 27 years. Not every one of them on purpose. For the most part, every unexpected lay was pretty humorous. This story brings home the true ramifications of the dangers and possible results.

    Does it belong high up on the headlines of a site committed to the betterment of the fire service? WITH OUT A DOUBT!!!!! All of us need to read this story and make sure it never happens in our district.

    Mr. Langer, you were right on in your assessment.

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    OK. Given where the other thread went, please discuss the issue, not where it was placed on the home page. Its the second most popular story, after all. I don't think there is any question people are reading it.

    Thank you
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    I don't think anyone is going to disagree that equipment should be secured..... Whether it is with straps or the way hose is rebed or hosebed covers, it should be secured.

    As I said before in the other thread. On our engine, I cannot remember a time where we lost crosslays. We did on our Mini-Pumper, but I believe the big player in that was brand new hose. Once it got broken in, it lost the majority of the "slickness" and get's re-bed much tighter now. Doesn't mean I still don't watch for it when I'm driving.


    Another question........

    How many people have "loose" equipment in their compartments (i.e. not strapped in or mounted in a bracket)? How many people have had a compartment door open up on them while driving?

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    Originally posted by firenresq77
    Another question........

    How many people have "loose" equipment in their compartments (i.e. not strapped in or mounted in a bracket)? How many people have had a compartment door open up on them while driving?
    We're guilty of that one. In fact when I opened the compartment yesterday at a call the Pelican cases for the CO detector and the CG meter fell out. One hit me in the helmet and one landed on my boot. Our tool compartment is just as bad, we look like cartoon characters rooting through a closet. We are slowly but surely working on remedying these problems. Like Chief Billy G says: Better to have your engine set up for the fire ground than the parade ground.

    One thing we do have is hose bed covers on both engines. As others have said, this goes a long way in preventing an inadvertant lay-out.

    Edit: Also let me add how bad I feel for this little girl's family and our brothers that were on that rig. What a very tough situation for all involved to have to deal with. Rest in peace Erin and God be with the Coraopolis VFD.
    Last edited by WTFD10; 08-21-2004 at 11:10 PM.
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    We lost a crosslay in 1991 and it hit a car. The hose was new, on our new engine that had different crosslay loads than our older engine, so that may have contributed, but we put the nets on right then and there. The question was 'What if it had gone through the window and hit the driver?'

    I don't know, I'd rather spend the couple hundred bucks then have to constantly worry about whether the hose is flying off if I'm driving(thus distracting me from looking at the road and traffic) or something similar.

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    We had a bad door latch on an engine body compartment and lost a negative pressure (smoke ejector) out of it going on a run. Damaged the fan and hit nothing else.We have hose covers on all our hosebeds, the ladder's 1 3/4 hose it packed so tight that it is safe, the other engine has a set of speedlays and they are not contained per se`.
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    We also have hose bed covers on all apparatus. The one on the Mini-Pumper even gets "locked" where it hangs off the back (which I would rather have a different fastener so it doesn't delay getting hose off. Our crosslays that are open at the top also have canvas covers. Due to issues with the Mini, we haven't had side covers made and sewn to the top on yet, since we probably aren't keeping it anyways......

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    Originally posted by HFDCLanger
    loose equipment is DANGEROUS. It's time that NFPA and other organizations take a serious look at how to address this - on ALL areas of the apparatus. Let's see what we can do to promote this.
    Agreed. I'm sure many of us have witnessed or experienced that sinking feeling of unexpected hose deployment. And like e229lt, it is usually a running joke for months on end when it happens here.

    I guess I never considered what might happen if the hoze/couplings/nozzle hit a person. We're usually more concerned with the damage done to the hose/couplings/nozzle.

    Just last month while bringing a truck up I-95 for service, twenty-ish feet of 1.75" deployed off a rear hose bed. I had no idea until I pulled into the lot that it was out, nor did I consider what might've happened if it had hit someone. I was only concerned with some vicious "road rash" on a coupling.

    This has opened my eyes for sure.
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    I haven't seen a crosslay go since the 80s when my father's department had one come off and go through a car windshield. Driver was charged with unsafe load.

    I've paid out 700 feet of 5-inch at 120 kph before, when it was bedded backwards (with the open end facing forward). A car struck a coupling while we were trying to get it off the road (at midnight)... I don't recall him stopping or ever coming back to claim damages.

    We now run hose bed tarps on both our pumpers and webbing similar to those webbed pickup truck tailgates on all our crosslays (2 pumpers, tanker, and bush buggy).
    --jay.

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    I have to kinda agree with 14;

    Not that we haven't ever laid out hose or dropped equipment, but I guess I never connected the possibility of civilian injury to it.

    Most of our in compartment stuff is secure, and on our new engine the crosslays have nozzle holders to keep from speedlaying. That still leaves a bunch of hose ready to fly. Something to look at tommorrow at work.

    On a related note, but more relative to us.....how many secure your stuff in cab? While not a huge issue here, another issues when it comes to apparatus accidents.

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    Last edited by hfd66truck; 08-22-2004 at 08:39 AM.

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    1 time I can remember, during a Northeaster, we had 20' of 5" get caught by the wind and come off the back of the truck. I watched our other company in town drop their whole hose bed when a humat valve fell off the back, even though they have a hose bed cover. I helped pick up 800' of 5" that fell off the back of a Sutphen ariel that got dropped, even though they had a hose bed cover. Pack it well, pack it low, keep it safe.
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    Random Thoughts:

    1. Yep, I've noted the incredible disappearing hosebed covers.

    We used to have plywood covered with a Hypalon cover, and the Mattydales were had diamond plate covers.

    Our 1995 Engine-Tank came w/o hose bed covers, and our 1978 Engine-Tank we removed them when it switched from 4" to 5" hose. I'm thinking hose bed covers became less practical with LDH -- at least the "tight" fitting hard covers. (Always thought the old FDNY "tent" over the hose beds looked cool!)

    That's not to say hose covers are impractical with LDH -- we've just got to give it a little bit more room for the 4" or 5" to clear.

    To date I don't recall us ever losing hose on the road (knock on wood), probably for no good reason other than luck.

    Hydraulics power the main primer & reel on our Engine though...a stuck valve once resulted in 2000' of 5" being spun off while the operator was trying to prime the pump

    2. Securing Doors...
    I'm a big fan of roll up doors. When they do "open" they usually only open partially. I've had to flag down trucks more than once going to calls to close flapping compartment doors...and once witnessed a near miss MVA in another town when their Rescue had a big spring-loaded door pop open into the oncoming lane of traffic and a car had to swerve to avoid it -- that Rescue had already travelled a good 3+ miles on smooth state highways from their firehouse before the door decided to pop.

    3. Securing Equipment...
    Even with roll up doors, equipment should be secure -- lips, cargo nets, bungees...doesn't have to be complicated.

    4. General "What were you thinking?"-ness...
    Somebody once thought it would be a good idea to store air packs (in cases) on top of the 5" on our 1978 ET...anybody wanna guess what happened next time the truck laid a line at a fire?
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    One of the departments in our county is always haveing stuff come off their brush trucks.

    They have custom built beds on them tha have nice tool boxes except for one thing...

    They are always coming open!

    I think part of it has to do with the twisting of the chasis. When off roading they seem to pop open a lot, I think the bed flexes and the latch comes undone.

    Bumpy rural roads seem to do the same thing.

    If you are following one of their brush trucks you can add to your tool collection...

    They have tried new latches and such, no luck. I think those beds will be that way until they are taken out of service or a very positive tool box lock is used.

    We havent had much hose come loose. The ocassional hose reel played out, one time some hose form the bed of the pumper. That one was easily explainable. For some reason one of the FFs straped his helmet to the 2.5 inch hose for the ride back home...the wind caught it...and sruck out 2 sections and skipped the helmet along the highway. The helmet is now a nice wall hanging to remind all of things not to do.
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    We use bungee straps placed across the ends of the crosslays. That keeps the nozzles from coming off the trucks. The hose will not becuse its a pretty tight fit.


    Samson, mentioned compartment doors. Our ladder truck did that for awhile and we tried a couple of things. I happened to be watching 9/11 again and I noticed FDNY put pin locks on their compartments. We did the same and have not had a problem since.
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    Although I myself have never been personally involved in one of these incidents I have seen it happen many time including when a neighboring department dropped 1000 ft of 2 1/2 in our town on their way to a call. Personally I feel that there is NO excuse for this we are all supposed to be professionals and when this happens we look like idiots. All hose on a truck should be secure and I have seen one department in our area use a 5 inch ldh clamp on the rear running board to prevent such an injury. Our chief is a stickler for everything being secure and he is rightfully so. If a hose falls off of any fire truck it is either the fault of the people that loaded the hose or the driver. The driver has a responsibility to check his unit before responding. But that is just my 2 cents worth.
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    Default Very Lucky This Time

    RITTMAN, OH - A firefighter’s routine trip to the city garage to fill a pumper’s tank with gas was anything but when a hose came loose and its coupling knocked out a car window, uprooted a mailbox and damaged vehicles.

    Kyle McDonald of the Rittman Fire Department left the station on North State Street around 4:40 p.m. Jan. 28, and as he was turning Engine No. 58 west on East Ohio Avenue, the hose could be seen dragging behind the truck.

    When Diane Johnson of This ’N’ That looked through the window, she immediately summoned her husband, Leroy Johnson, to look at the situation unfolding, she said.

    Leroy Johnson, who is a councilman, told her to call the police to see if a dispatcher can get the truck stopped.

    As McDonald made his way down East Ohio Avenue, the Johnsons watched the brass coupling on the hose smash out the passenger-side window of their vehicle.

    The Johnsons’ vehicle was on the north side of East Ohio, and when the fire truck turned south onto South Main Street, the hose worked itself under a vehicle parked on the south side of East Ohio and dragged it out of its spot.

    After dislodging from the parked vehicle, the hose caught a U.S. Post Office mailbox in front of The AmBilt Corp. at 8 S. Main St. The hose uprooted the mailbox from its cement base and dragged into the northbound lane of South Main Street.

    Eva Marrs of South State Street and Sheila Wyatt of Sterling Avenue were in their vehicles and stopped for the traffic light at the intersection of Main Street and Ohio Avenue when the fire truck and its hose passed, cracking Marrs’ windshield and scuffing the paint and denting both vehicles.

    Once on South Main Street, McDonald reported he felt the truck shuddering and stopped by the old Premier Pontiac dealership.

    The damage to the fire truck is about $6,200 to $7,000, city Manager Robert Kellogg said. About 600 to 800 feet of hose were lost. He estimated the damage to all of the other vehicles probably will be more than $10,000.

    “It’s a freak accident, that’s all you can say,” Leroy Johnson said.

    “It’s an unfortunate situation,” Kellogg said. “Fortunately no one was hurt. It could have been significantly worse than it turned out.”

    Had it been an hour earlier, Leroy Johnson said many schoolchildren would have been crossing at the intersection.

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    Rittman Ohio --- I used to be a member there! I hope the damaged hose was the old "green wheenie" stuff that he cursed everytime we had to reload it!

    To add to this, Leroy Johnson was formerly a firefighter at Rittman as well. A bit ironic that of all cars, his would be one to be damaged.
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