Canadian Firefighter Dies at Indy Competition

The International Extrication Challenge was being held at the training academy in Indianapolis.


WAYNE TOWNSHIP, Ind. -- A Canadian firefighter collapsed and died here Friday morning moments after participating in an international extrication competition.

Wayne Topping, 48, of the Burlington Fire Department, was one of 150 people participating in the International Extrication Challenge being held at the training academy in Indianapolis.

The ALS crew on standby at the competition immediately went to the firefighter's aid, said Wayne Township Capt. Mike Pruitt. "There was no shortage of help."

Topping was taken to Clarian West Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"His team had just completed its scenario," Pruitt said, adding that the incident occurred about 9:30 a.m.

The remainder of the expo that involves personnel from the United States, Canada and Sweden has been canceled.

"Our main concern now is helping the teams and family. We're making sure they are taken care of," Pruitt said, adding that grief counselors are available.

The event started on Monday, and featured seminars as well as practical evolutions.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.