For the Record 6/22

June 20, 2022
Rosenbauer America Names New Chairman/CEO

Rosenbauer America Names New Chairman/CEO

Rob Kreikemeier is the new chairman and CEO of Rosenbauer America. He replaces John Slawson, who left the company.

Kreikemeier has more than 50 years of manufacturing and operations experience, including founding R.K. Aerials in 1988. He joined the Rosenbauer family in 2000. His extensive experience in operations execution, manufacturing and consistent leadership well positions Rosenbauer America for continued growth, the company said, while keeping safety, productivity, quality and on-time deliveries top priorities.

For more information, visit

Cancer Protection for Federal Firefighters on Track to Become Law

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Federal Firefighter Fairness Act (HR 2499), which provides workers’ compensation benefits for federal firefighters who develop cancer.

The House’s actions are the most significant step that Congress has taken in more than 25 years to address this issue. Once passed by the Senate, the bill will allow federal firefighters who have at least five years of service to automatically receive workers’ compensation benefits if they are diagnosed with one of several types of cancer that are listed in the bill. Additionally, the bill creates a process whereby the Secretary of Labor can add other medical conditions to the list of covered illnesses in the future.

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Darley Offers Grant Support for VR Training Technology

Darley launched a new grant support program in partnership with to help fire departments to find grants to support the purchase of virtual-reality (VR) training technology. This support can help departments to meet both current and long-term training goals and to keep their capital freed up for other budgetary demands.

Darley’s grant consultants provide support throughout the entire process, including in regard to researching grants that are available, understanding requirements, monitoring timelines and submitting applications.

For more information, visit

New Reports on Search and Rescue Tactics

UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) released three research reports that are based on the findings and tactical considerations from the “Study of Fire Service Residential Home Size-up and Search and Rescue Operations.” The FSRI team conducted 21 full-scale fire experiments (11 bedrooms, eight kitchens and two living rooms). Across this series of experiments, the effect of isolation of fire and nonfire compartments, the timing of search actions that are relative to suppression actions, and the influence of isolation, elevation and path of travel during rescue were examined with respect to firefighter safety and occupant tenability. 

The first two reports provide a detailed overview of the experimental series, and the third report provides evidence-based concepts in the form of tactical considerations for the fire service. The nine tactical considerations were developed based on the research findings in conjunction with the fire service technical panel. These can be leveraged by firefighters, along with their current training and experiences, to increase their efficiency and effectiveness on the fireground during search and rescue.

For more information, visit

Line-of-Duty Deaths

11 U.S. firefighters recently died in the line of duty. Four firefighters were killed in motor vehicle accidents, three died during fireground operations, three died from health-related incidents and one was killed in a weather-related accident.

FIREFIGHTER/EMT BRENDAN BESSEE, 24, of the Salt River Fire Department in Scottsdale, AZ, died on April 8. Bessee was driving an ambulance in response to a 9-1-1 call when the ambulance was hit by a semitrailer. Bessee was pronounced dead at the scene. A coworker who also was in the ambulance was rushed to the hospital and was listed in critical condition. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

LT. PHILIP M. WIGAL, 35, of the Town and Country Fire District in West Salem, OH, died on April 11. Wigal responded to the scene of a motor vehicle accident on I-71. While on scene, Wigal was completing documentation for the accident report when a commercial vehicle struck the left rear of the fire apparatus, a patrol vehicle and the vehicle that was involved in the initial crash. Wigal was pronounced dead at the scene. 

CHIEF ISAAC DAVID HASSEN SR., 69, of the Hope Fire Company in Northern Cambria, PA, died on April 15. Hassen responded to an EMS call at a residence. After arriving home, he experienced a medical emergency and was taken to the hospital. He died the next morning from cardiac-related issues. 

FIREFIGHTER RORY “BUD” SWANSON, 70, of the Lower King & Queen Fire-EMS in Shacklefords, VA, died on April 20.  Swanson was out working on fundraising efforts for the department when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Initial reports are that he suffered a medical emergency, which resulted in the accident. An investigation into the incident continues.

FIRE MARSHAL STEPHEN SMITH, 47, of the West Douglas County Fire Protection District in Sedalia, CO, died on April 23. Smith responded to a residence after a 9-1-1 call that reported that an electrical box blew off of the house. After the crew confirmed that there were no injuries and that no fire occurred, Smith returned to the station and then went home. Minutes later, firefighters were dispatched to a medical emergency where they found Smith unconscious in his car. He was rushed to Castle Rock Hospital but couldn’t be revived. He died from an apparent heart attack.

FIREFIGHTER TIMOTHY KLEIN, 31, of FDNY, died on April 24. Klein responded to a three-alarm fire and was critically injured while he fought the fire. He was removed from the building and taken to the Brookdale University Hospital Center, where he died from his injuries.

FIREFIGHTER JOHN DEAN FORBUSH, 24, of the Gassaway, WV, Volunteer Fire Department, died on May 1. Forbush responded to the scene of a motor vehicle accident at the Elk River in Braxton County. While he attempted to rescue a mother and daughter after their SUV was driven into the water, Forbush was caught in the current and drowned. The motor vehicle accident is being reported as a murder-suicide. An investigation into the incident continues.

WILDLAND FIREFIGHTER DARIN BANKS, 26, of Firestorm Wildland Suppression, died on May 6. Banks was assigned to a Type II initial attack hand crew that was working to prepare an area for a prescribed burning in Tuolumne County, CA. While he worked the area, he was hit by a falling tree. He was transported down the hill to the medics where CPR was performed. He was pronounced dead on scene.

CAPT. JASON SMITH, 43, of the Balko, OK, Fire Department, died on May 8. Smith and Firefighter Tyler Morris were burned when their truck rolled over in a ditch. The two were operating at the Beaver River Fire in Beaver County. Both were treated in the burn unit at the University Medical Center in Lubbock, TX. Smith was released from the hospital on April 19 and had a checkup on April 27. He took a turn for the worse and died from the burn injuries that he sustained at the incident. 

FIREFIGHTER SEAN PATRICK MCADAM, 49, of the Louisville, KY, Fire Department, died on May 11. While on-duty at the fire station on May 9, McAdam suffered a medical emergency. He was transported to the University of Louisville Hospital, where he died from an apparent cerebrovascular accident.

FIREFIGHTER RYAN LEIF ERICKSON, 63, of the Blomkest, MN, Fire Department, died on May 12. Erickson was paged to respond to a weather watch because of impending violent storms. As he left his farm, Erickson was struck and killed by a grain bin that was lifted off of its foundation.

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