Report: Unfamiliarity of Aerial Platform Truck Key Factor in Texas Firefighter Training Deaths

Two Kilgore firefighters were killed on Jan. 25 when they fell eight stories from the elevated aerial platform of a firetruck on the Kilgore College campus.

According to information obtained by NIOSH, Kilgore Fire Department received delivery of the newly manufactured 2008 model, 95-foot mid-mount aerial platform apparatus on Nov. 19, 2008, and each of the three duty shifts -- including the fall victims -- received a factory-authorized training program of approximately eight hours in December.

Fall protection was not used during the training, firefighters interviewed by NIOSH said. Each shift later practiced and drilled with the new apparatus, the report stated.

Prior to the accident, two groups of firefighters had been in the platform and raised it to the roof where they walked around before lowering it.

Republished with permission of The Tyler Morning Telegraph.