NIOSH Releases LODD Reports

Two investigative reports involving separate fatal incidents in Texas were released by NIOSH on Wednesday.

One deals with the 2005 crash of a tanker in a rural community, while the other involved a firefighter crushed by an awning.

On Nov. 22, 2005, Clint Rice, 28, a member of Carlton Volunteer Fire Department, was killed after he was ejected from the tractor-trailer tanker he was operating on a rural road.

He landed in the middle of the road, and was pronounced dead at the scene. He died of an open fractured skull.

NIOSH investigators noted that the driver had experience in driving the rig.

Among their recommendations are:

* Ensure that water tankers are operated within safe weight restrictions that comply with the specific vehicle characteristics

* Ensure that all fire apparatus meet the requirements of NFPA 1901 Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus

*Ensure that drivers of fire department vehicles receive training at least twice a year on each vehicle that they may be called upon to operate

* Develop and enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) that require mandatory use of seat belts in all vehicles

* Develop a comprehensive apparatus maintenance program that includes regularly scheduled inspections, documentation, and procedures for removing apparatus from service when required.

The report can be viewed at NIOSH

The other investigation involved the death of a firefighter crushed by an awning that fell from a single-story building. The chief was hurt in the same incident.

It took other firefighters about 10 minutes to extricate Phillip Townsend and Chief Gordon Wager.

Following the investigation, NIOSH officials made the following recommendations:

* Establish and monitor a collapse zone for structures that have become unstable due to fire damage

* Train all fire fighting personnel in the risks and hazards related to structural collapse

* Conduct pre-incident planning and inspections of buildings within their jurisdictions to facilitate development of safe fire ground strategies and tactics

* Ensure that adequate numbers of staff are available to immediately respond to emergency incidents

This report is available at NIOSH