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    Unhappy Airbag incident kills kentucky firefighter

    A pike county kentucky fire chief killed after being struck by airbag during lift operations on fire truck.The accident occured on Dec.23,2004.Details to follow.The fire chief was 31 years old.
    Last edited by coldfront; 12-26-2004 at 11:29 AM.

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    How very sad My sympathies for their loss to the Chief's family and the Pike County fire department.
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    Default From the "Secret List" from Billy Gee

    Elkhorn City Fire Chief Killed In Accident

    Associated Press 12-25-04

    ELKHORN CITY, Ky. - The fire chief of a small town in Pike County was killed during a training exercise to place snow chains on a fire truck. Todd Rowe, 30, chief of the Elkhorn City Fire Department, was pronounced dead Thursday at Pikeville Medical Center. Rowe was raising the truck with several 3-foot-square inflatable rubber cushions so chains could be put on the rear tires, Elkhorn firefighter Jack Stalker said. A wedge that prevents the tires from rolling came loose and caused the truck to roll forward. That caused the air bags to shift with the force of the truck and strike Rowe in the head. Rowe was knocked unconscious and died about 20 minutes later at Pikeville Methodist Hospital, said Stalker."It's basically just a freak accident," said Elkhorn assistant fire chief John Moore. Elkhorn City firefighter George Anderson said Rowe was "just a great kid." Rowe became a firefighter at age 18, in 1992, and had been a junior firefighter since he was 14, said Anderson. Rowe was the public relations official for the Pike County Firefighters Association. He is survived by his mother and brother Robbie, who is flying home from his military station in South Korea to attend the funeral. Arrangements were pending at Bailey Funeral Home in Elkhorn City.
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    Default UPDATE

    Elkhorn City fire chief killed in accident

    Associated Press


    ELKHORN CITY, Ky. - The fire chief of a small town in Pike County was killed during a training exercise to place snow chains on a fire truck.

    Todd Rowe, 30, chief of the Elkhorn City Fire Department, was pronounced dead Thursday at Pikeville Medical Center.

    Rowe was raising the truck with several 3-foot-square inflatable rubber cushions so chains could be put on the rear tires, Elkhorn firefighter Jack Stalker said.

    A wedge that prevents the tires from rolling came loose and caused the truck to roll forward. That caused the air bags to shift with the force of the truck and strike Rowe in the head.

    Rowe was knocked unconscious and died about 20 minutes later at Pikeville Methodist Hospital, said Stalker.

    "It's basically just a freak accident," said Elkhorn assistant fire chief John Moore.

    Elkhorn City firefighter George Anderson said Rowe was "just a great kid."

    Rowe became a firefighter at age 18, in 1992, and had been a junior firefighter since he was 14, said Anderson.

    Rowe was the public relations official for the Pike County Firefighters Association.

    "He was community-oriented," Pike County Coroner Russell Roberts said. "Anything that enhanced the community he lived in, he would lend a hand."

    Rowe's body was sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Frankfort for an autopsy, because the incident occurred on government property, Roberts said.

    He is survived by his mother and brother Robbie, who is flying home from his military station in South Korea to attend the funeral.

    Arrangements were pending at Bailey Funeral Home in Elkhorn City.

    ---

    Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com


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    So it wasn't the airbag that killed him....
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    Default Chains

    My condolences to all involved, another tragic accident.
    Im just curious how many departments put chains on by using airbags? I assume they were doing a little training with the airbags and decided to put the chains on while doing so. Of all my years putting chains on vehicles, trucks whatever I have never heard of doing it this way, has anyone else?
    burn
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    My condolences to the Rowe family and the Elkhorn City FD. May he rest in peace.

    I also ask that all departments using airbags review their SOPs for safety.

    South Dakota had a similar incident involving an airbag demo with fatal results. The salesperson who was also a firefighter was demonstrating the use of the bags by using a loader. The bags come loose during deflation and struck him in the head. Check the NIOSH web site for th report.

    Stay Safe

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    Ray,there was a whole chain of events on that one.Read the complete Niosh report on it,there is a lot of useful info we can learn from.Now on a side note:I HATE chains,unless they are "insta" chains.When we used to use them,we had a special notched platform you parked the rear wheels on that made installing/removing the chain set painless.My sympathys to the family and Dept members.And let this be a reminder to the rest of us to always expect the unexpected so this tragedy doesn't repeat itself.Flat bags really shouldn't be used over two high and great discretion should be used whenever you approach 50% or more lift on a two bag system(flat bag).T.C.

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    Post "FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS"

    FOR THOSE INTERESTED:


    Jason "Todd" Rowe, 30, Chief of the Elkhorn City, Kentucky Fire Department was killed Thursday evening December 23, 2004, during a training exercise which involved the use of air lifting bags to facilitate the installation of snow chains on fire apparatus during winter weather emergency vehicle operations.

    (See AP article below.)


    The Associated Press

    ELKHORN CITY, Ky. -- The fire chief of a small town in Pike County was killed during a training exercise to place snow chains on a fire truck.

    Jason Todd Rowe, 30, chief of the Elkhorn City Fire Department, was pronounced dead Thursday at Pikeville Medical Center.

    He and other firefighters were conducting a training exercise at using air lifting bags to raise the rear of the fire truck, according to state police, who where called to the scene.

    While they were raising the truck, one of the bags shifted, came loose and propelled toward Rowe. Rowe was struck by the bag, Kentucky State Police said.




    Visitation at the Bailey Funeral Home in Elkhorn City, KY was last evening, and again tonight from 6 PM to 9:30 or 10 PM.


    "Fallen Fire Fighter Services" performed by the Pike County Fire Fighters Association will commence at 1:00 PM, Wednesday 12-29-2004, at the Elkhorn City Elementary School. The funeral procession and burial to follow immediately thereafter.


    Instead of flowers, the Rowe family is requesting that donations be made to the "Todd Rowe Foundation" at Community Trust Bank or the Elkhorn City Fire Department in memory of Chief Todd Rowe.


    F.D. ADDRESS:

    ELKHORN CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT
    395 PATTY LOVELESS DRIVE
    ELKHORN CITY, KENTUCKY 41522




    EEResQ
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    Last edited by EEResQ; 12-28-2004 at 11:24 PM.

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    Originally posted by Rescue101
    And let this be a reminder to the rest of us to always expect the unexpected so this tragedy doesn't repeat itself.Flat bags really shouldn't be used over two high and great discretion should be used whenever you approach 50% or more lift on a two bag system(flat bag).T.C.
    More important, don't get under a load supported only by lifting bags.

    Added for TC:
    I realize that the drop of the load didn't cause his injury, based on what has been shared.If the load had been properly supported, the chance of this would've been reduced. Lifting bags are to lift: you need to support in addition to the bag.

    I'm kind of curious why there was any need to lift the vehicle at all. A preventable death, which is truly a tragedy.
    Last edited by Resq14; 12-29-2004 at 12:31 AM.
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    14,Unless I read it wrong it was a strike by a shifting bag caused by load movement.So as long as you were in the "firing"line,it would have had the same result.I didn't read it as an "under the load"type of situation,perhaps I missed something.A tragedy none the less. T.C.

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    Default CHIEF JASON "TODD" ROWE, ELKHORN CITY, KY

    On a personal note, I have known Todd since he was a young Fire Sciences student at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) in the mid-1990's. Each year he was actively involved with the only university based "Rescue School" in the state: the annual EKU Rescue School.

    Remaining an active member of Elkhorn City's volunteer fire and EMS services during his college years, after graduation Todd returned to his small Eastern Kentucky hometown and eventually assumed the position of fire chief in 1998.

    Todd, like all involved in Eastern Kentucky emergency services will understand, wore more than one hat. It wasn't long before he was asked to be the EMS Director for the Elkhorn City Area Ambulance Service as well. Additionally, Todd served as a part-time Sheriff's Deputy, Fire Service Instructor, as well as the "Public Relations Officer" for the Pike County Fire Fighter's Association.

    As choad33 posted earlier:
    "Todd could have been a firefighter anywhere; but he chose to go home."

    As is far to often the case in Eastern Kentucky, the job didn't pay much. Most of the Kentucky Mountain kids fresh out of college, with a degree and experience, go for the money in the "big city." But to Todd, it was more important that his small town of Elkhorn City, Kentucky (population 1,060) received the benefit of his education.

    With sorrow, I can accept that a duty oriented person like Jason "Todd" Rowe would meet his fate while serving his community. I just would have never guessed that it would have come at the age of 30.

    Todd, we'll all say good-bye to you in person tomorrow.


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    Last edited by EEResQ; 12-30-2004 at 02:31 PM.

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    Post FOLLOW-UP:

    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2004

    Today, in the Elkhorn City Elementary School Gymnasium where he played basketball as a boy, about 600 mourners said good-bye to this local SON, BROTHER, EAGLE SCOUT, COLLEGE GRADUATE, FIRE FIGHTER, EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN, DEPUTY SHERIFF, INSTRUCTOR and FRIEND, who preferred to be addressed as just "Todd." The gathering included family, friends and emergency responders from across Kentucky and adjoining states. Along the funeral procession route, just about everyone else in this small town paid their last respects to the local boy who went off to college, but came back to serve where he knew he was needed most.

    At the small mountainside Wilson Cemetery in Draffin, Kentucky, the narrow two lane US HWY 460 was shut down for over a mile to accommodate the more than 50 emergency vehicles and another 50 POV's that accompanied Todd on his last run. His flag draped "Firefighter's" casket was carried atop the new Elkhorn City VFD pumper that Todd had arranged through a series of successful grant applications in 2003-2004.

    About 300 people climbed the steep hill to stand graveside in support of Todd's grieving family. They listened as the bagpiper played Amazing Grace and trumpets sounded an echoing Taps. After the Preacher read "The Fireman's Prayer" Todd's only brother, Captain Robbie Rowe, US Army Airborne, said a touching final good-bye complete with military salute.

    Finally, the fire and ambulance tones were activated by Pike County 911 Dispatch. Across hundreds of emergency pagers and radios throughout the Eastern Kentucky Mountains
    "Unit 725 -- Chief Todd Rowe" received his final dispatch.

    Good-bye Todd.


    EEResQ
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    Last edited by EEResQ; 12-30-2004 at 03:07 PM.

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    Thank you for sharing that EEResQ. A very moving description.

    Sleep with angels, Todd
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    Can anyone point us to the NIOSH report? Is it on line?
    Luke

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    Default NIOSH Report

    Here is a link to the report.

    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/pdfs/face200334.pdf

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    Post Firefighter Fatality

    As the ink for the NIOSH report on this Firefighter Fatality has not yet begun to flow, I feel that at this time, the information re-printed below is of far more importance.

    Let us all pray that we don't have to ever read a similar story about another young man or woman being escorted out in this fashion.

    ****************************

    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2004

    Today, in the Elkhorn City Elementary School Gymnasium where he played basketball as a boy, about 600 mourners said good-bye to this local SON, BROTHER, EAGLE SCOUT, COLLEGE GRADUATE, FIRE FIGHTER, EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN, DEPUTY SHERIFF, FIRE SERVICE INSTRUCTOR, FIRE CHIEF and FRIEND, who preferred to be addressed as just "Todd." The gathering included family, close friends, college buddies and fellow emergency responders from across Kentucky and adjoining states. Along the funeral procession route, just about everyone else in this small town paid their last respects to the local boy who went off to college, but came back to serve where he knew he was needed most.

    At the small mountainside Wilson Cemetery in Draffin, Kentucky, the narrow two lane US HWY 460 was shut down for over a mile to accommodate the more than 50 emergency vehicles and another 50 POV's that accompanied Todd on his last run. His flag draped "Firefighter's" casket was carried atop the new Elkhorn City VFD pumper that Todd had arranged through a series of successful grant applications in 2003-2004.

    About 300 people climbed the steep hill to stand graveside in support of Todd's grieving family. They listened as the bagpiper played Amazing Grace and trumpets sounded an echoing Taps. After the Preacher read "The Fireman's Prayer" Todd's only brother, Captain Robbie Rowe, US Army Airborne, said a touching final good-bye; complete with a crisp military salute as only a member of our nation's finest could deliver during these troubling circumstances.

    Finally, the fire and ambulance tones were activated from the Pike County 911 Emergency Dispatch Center. Echoing across hundreds of emergency pagers and radios throughout these Eastern Kentucky Mountains, we all quietly listened as
    "Unit 725 -- Chief Todd Rowe" received his final dispatch.

    Good-bye Todd.


    EEResQ
    KY
    Last edited by EEResQ; 01-09-2005 at 02:27 AM.

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