Speaking of Seatbelts (and vehicle related LODD's)

These are all taken from the secret list from the end of December - the middle of February. A very short time, for this number of incidents. Almost all could have been avoided by more prudent driving, or at least more attention to road conditions, and at the very least by wearing seatbelts.
Becoming part of the emergency helps no one and puts more individuals in danger, civilians and firefighters. Longer response time while more firefighters are dispatched, civilians injured and mostly families suffering the loss of their husband/wife, son/daughter, brother/sister, etc.
Be smart, take an extra second and be the rescuer, not the rescued.

It is with deep regret that we advise you that a FF with the Luminary FD (Tennessee) died while responding to a call. 38 year-old Volunteer Firefighter Theresa Coffman Lynn was responding to a crash reporting a pickup truck rolled over on its side around 0900 yesterday.
FF Lynn's vehicle starting sliding and she hit a tree and was killed about a mile away from her firehouse.

A Firefighter was flown out to a trauma center last night around 2200 hours in Hill County, Texas after several companies responded to a house fire south of the town of Blum. The home was well involved and multiple tankers and other units were dispatched. One incoming unit, an engine company was involved in a roll-over accident on FM 933. Several Firefighters were on board and they were injured in the crash. One Firefighter suffered serious injuries requiring a medical helicopter response to transport him to a trauma center. More details will follow and be posted as we get them.

The Fire Apparatus Driver of the Baltimore City apparatus and the Fire Officer supervising that driver and crew on the rig at the time of the fatal crash earlier this month, were both suspended without pay on Friday. In that crash, 3 civilians were killed. The Fire Apparatus Driver, FF Nathaniel D. Moore, and the Company Officer, Lt. Thomas Moore (no relation), were suspended pending a hearing on administrative charges that will be held soon. Baltimore City Truck 27 was 3rd of 4 fire vehicles responding on Dec. 9 to a report of a fire. The truck company collided with the SUV as the apparatus came through the intersection against the red traffic signal. In Baltimore City, all emergency vehicles responding are required to stop at traffic signals and make sure it is clear before proceeding though.
This is a tough and horrific situation for all affected. Clearly these FF's didn't do this intentionally...but on the other hand, 3 civilians tragically lost their lives.
Drivers-STOP at red lights and stop signs when responding without exception...Officers-supervise your drivers and enforce the policies without exception.

Updating the earlier N.C. LODD information, Oregon Hill Volunteer FF Paul Lewis Ellington, 36, was killed around 0730 this morning while responding to a working dwelling fire. FF Ellington lost control of his pickup truck, it overturned and it went down an embankment...he was pronounced DOA. FF Ellington was reported by investigators as to have not been wearing a seat belt and was exceeding the speed limit.

And in just the last 24 hours, there have been several very serious apparatus related crashes:
NEW JERSEY: Apparatus vs apparatus responding with FF's trapped.
MARYLAND: Overturned rescue truck responding with 1 FF choppered out
VIRGINIA: Apparatus responding crash with several FF's transported

Missouri Volunteer Firefighter Dominic Gillen received a 3 year prison sentence yesterday for a fatal responding traffic crash that happened in November of 2006. Gillen pleaded guilty last summer for voluntary manslaughter for the death of 17 year old Jacob Yeates. The Missouri Highway Patrol estimates Gillen was speeding at 84 mph and he passed a family of four in a no-passing zone on a blind hill on Missouri 76. His car hit head-on a car driven by Yeates, a high school Junior. Gillen, a member of the Goodhope FD, was responding to a brush fire in a POV with no lights or siren. He received minor injuries in the crash.
3 years in prison is what Prosecutors recommended. At the sentencing hearing, the victim's mother gave a victim impact statement and urged the judge not to grant probation.
Take Care-BE CAREFUL. SLOW DOWN.

We regret to advise you that a 20 year old Volunteer Firefighter from Cambria (WI) was killed in the Line of Duty yesterday afternoon when his car crossed into opposing traffic and collided with two semi-trucks on the scene of a previous incident.
Firefighter Ryan Jones, a 2005 Cambria-Friesland H.S. graduate and "star running back" in his community was killed almost instantly after crashing with first one, then the other truck just after 1400 hours.
The drivers of the two semi-trucks were not injured. FF Jones was traveling west on the highway when, without warning, Jones's car crossed the center line and collided head-on with an eastbound semi-truck, which veered off into a ditch.

SCOTLAND APPARATUS LODD: FF John Noble, 46, of the Central Scotland Fire and Rescue Service was killed in the Line of Duty when the fire apparatus he was riding in left the roadway about 1330 GMT today and struck a tree. The Firefighters had been responding to an automatic fire alarm at a school after a smoke alarm activated. Firefighter Alan Robertson was also seriously injured in the crash and two others suffered minor injuries. FF Noble had more than 20 years' experience as a firefighter. He leaves a wife and two kids.

A Firefighter from Colleton County (S.C.) Fire Rescue was responding (reported to be alone on the apparatus) to a wildland fire this afternoon when, for an unknown reason, the apparatus he was riding in/driving, rolled over. He was severely entrapped but has now been removed in critical condition to a hospital

A Firefighter from Concord (N.C.) was killed in the Line of Duty yesterday when he lost control of the truck he was driving, while responding. Firefighter James Earl Arthur, 19, was responding as a member of the Coldwater VFD around 1930 hours when he ran off the road on the left after rounding a sharp curve. FF Arthur overcorrected and lost control of the 2003 Ford pick-up truck, which began overturning. He was reportedly not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the truck. Our sorrow goes out to all affected.

There have been several serious "clueless civilians vs fire apparatus" crashes of note.
A woman was injured when she pulled out in front of responding apparatus in Tucson on Monday. The fire apparatus was responding to a chest pains run. The engine had the green light and was responding with lights and siren on when the woman pulled out against a red light and was struck, several witnesses told police. No one on the engine was injured, but the civilian was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Everyone was wearing their seat belts.

A Bayou Cane Fire-Rescue (LA) unit responding to an emergency crashed into a taxi cab at a busy intersection in Terrebonne Parish on Friday night, and the crash left the car’s driver dead. The Bayou Cane VFD apparatus was on its way to another wreck, its lights flashing and siren on when it struck the cab at the intersection. Police said the fireman driving the vehicle, identified as Cody Hebert, 23, was driving when he saw that traffic at the intersection was backed up.
One witness stated that "The fire truck was moving really fast. It nailed him". Both said they thought the cab was trying to move out of the fire truck’s way when it was struck. The impact smashed much of the driver’s side of the vehicle into the car, killing the cab passenger, who was seated in the rear passenger side of the vehicle with her seatbelt on, farthest away from the impact of the crash.

RESPONDING FIREFIGHTER CHARGED IN DEPUTY SHERIFF DEATH: A responding MO. Volunteer Firefighter involved in the October crash that killed Greene County Deputy Sheriff Gary McCormack, has been charged in the accident. FF Joshua C. Douglas, 25, was arraigned yesterday on a misdemeanor charge of careless and imprudent driving resulting in an accident. He pleaded not guilty. In late November, a Missouri Highway Patrol report found the Ebenezer volunteer Firefighter at fault in the Oct. 6 accident that killed McCormack, the first on-duty death of a Greene County deputy in 40 years. When the crash occurred, both FF Douglas and Deputy McCormack were responding to a crash with “unknown injuries” shortly after 0400 hours. FF Douglas was driving toward his fire station as Deputy McCormack, traveling more than 90 mph, was speeding to the accident scene. Both men had on emergency lights and sirens. At the intersection, FF Douglas faced a stop sign. Deputy McCormack did not.
As the report stated, this crash occurred as a direct result of FF Douglas not stopping or slowing for the stop sign.

We regret to advise you that a Fire Captain (age 34) with the Ault-Pierce Fire Protection District (Colorado) rolled their apparatus this morning and was killed in the Line of Duty on a rural road. The Firefighter was responding to a medical emergency around 0630 hours when the truck rolled in an intersection. The rig was a tender/tanker-pumper and it ran off the left side of the road, overcorrected, then ran off the right side, rolling one-quarter time and ejecting the driver. More details to follow. As always, our most sincere condolences go out to all affected.
Very tragically, the Ault-Pierce (Colorado) Fire District Captain was not wearing a seat belt when he died in the Line of Duty this morning. Captain Shame Stewart, 33, lost control of the fire apparatus he was driving to a medical run, rolled the truck, was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was in the apparatus. Captain Stewart had been a Volunteer Firefighter since August 2004.
Captain Stewart was married and leaves behind 2 elementary school-aged children. His brother and father are also volunteer firefighters for the Ault-Pierce district. The Colorado State Patrol said the apparatus ran off the left side of the road, overcorrected, then ran off the right side, rolling onto its roof.

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Comment by Spanner 122 on September 4, 2009 at 6:03pm
Thank you for sharing that Dustin. It is so important to be safe from start to finish, arriving on scene and arriving back at the station or back at home afterwards. So many needless tragedies while responding.
I wish you well and hope that time will help you heal from this loss. Take care of you.
Comment by Dustin Jurgerson on September 1, 2009 at 11:08am
"We regret to advise you that a 20 year old Volunteer Firefighter from Cambria (WI) was killed in the Line of Duty yesterday afternoon when his car crossed into opposing traffic and collided with two semi-trucks on the scene of a previous incident.
Firefighter Ryan Jones, a 2005 Cambria-Friesland H.S. graduate and "star running back" in his community was killed almost instantly after crashing with first one, then the other truck just after 1400 hours.
The drivers of the two semi-trucks were not injured. FF Jones was traveling west on the highway when, without warning, Jones's car crossed the center line and collided head-on with an eastbound semi-truck, which veered off into a ditch"

i know this post has some dust on it, but i personally knew Ryan Jones. i went to school with him. we had some good times together. it was a hard loss, thats for sure. he was well known and loved by nearly everyone here in cambria.
Comment by Joe Stoltz on February 24, 2008 at 10:42pm
That's pretty surprising, that the FF would laugh at the Cap like that. I think that the leaders need to enforce the rule by example and by authority, if need be. But it sounds like you are setting a great example there, and hopefully others will follow. Rock on!
Comment by Spanner 122 on February 24, 2008 at 12:30pm
I agree, to an extent. The officer can suggest, request, even demand, but if someone isn't going to wear the belt, they aren't going to wear it. I've seen it, it's pretty sad. One of my previous Capts turned and asked another firefighter if his belt was done up, the ff thought he was kidding and laughed. He'd been on the floor for three months, already not wearing a seatbelt? It's sad when you feel pressure not to wear it because no one else is.
I watched my partner put his on the other night after being in the back of the pump with me for the last two months and never wearing one. He glanced at me and said, "oh shut up!" But he wore it. Sometimes passive coercion works as well. Hoping it saves some more lives!! :)
Comment by Joe Stoltz on February 24, 2008 at 11:42am
Thanks Spanner! 2008 really started off badly, didn't it?
In some cases the truck officer has to take the blame for seat belt misuse, but if it's someone responding alone in a truck or POV other means of reinforcement are necessary.
I keep coming back to what we're doing on some of the other discussion threads - just keep beating the drum, keep mentioning it, keep discussing it. Maybe a handful of FFs will learn from it, maybe a bunch. But as long as we save at least ONE life by doing so it will be worth it.

TCSS,
Joe

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