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Thread: New York Firefighter Killed In Fire Training Exercise

  1. #1
    Moderator patries's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    Heemskerk (the Netherlands)

    New York Firefighter Killed In Fire Training Exercise

    WESTMORELAND, N.Y. (AP) -- A 19-year-old volunteer firefighter who was so enthusiastic about his new job that he occasionally slept at the fire hall has died during a training exercise.

    The trainee, Bradley Golden, and two other young firefighters became trapped on the second floor of an abandoned house where firefighters had set a sofa bed on fire to create smoke for a rescue drill. Up to 40 firefighters were taking part in the exercise Tuesday.

    ``The couch just started burning out of control and (the flames) went right up the stairs,'' said Bob Walsh, first assistant chief of the Westmoreland Fire Department, which hosted the training.

    Wearing full protective gear, the three teens had climbed to the second floor to search for firefighters placed in the house to pose as victims. The three became trapped by the fast-moving flames, which Walsh said appeared to be ``fueled by fresh oxygen.'' State and local fire marshals are investigating.

    The two teens who became trapped with Golden, 19-year-olds Adam Croman and Benjamin Morris, were hospitalized with severe burns.

    Croman escaped by jumping out a rear window. He was listed in serious condition Wednesday. Morris was pulled from the burning structure by fellow firefighters and was in fair condition.

    Golden was less than three months into his training when he died. His exact cause of death is under investigation.

    ``He was a quiet kid but you could tell he really enjoyed being a firefighter. He would do anything the chief asked. There were times we couldn't get him to leave,'' said John Klein, the department's vice president.

    ``Everyone is in a pretty somber mood,'' Walsh added. ``This is devastating. These were great kids.''

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    NIOSH Reports on Lairdsville, NY Training Tragedy

    NIOSH Reports on Lairdsville, NY Training Tragedy

    Lairdsville Training Tragedy

    Firehouse.Com News

    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has released their report on the hotly debated Lairdsville, NY tragedy of September 25, 2001 which led to the trial and conviction of Lairdsville's former assistant fire chief for criminal negligence. The report describes eight major mistakes that contributed to the line of duty death of 19-year-old trainee Bradley Golden and to the severe injury of two other firefighters.

    The report describes the problems at the live-burn training session in detail. Golden, who had only been a volunteer firefighter for a few weeks, had not received any formalized training and had never worn SCBA in fire conditions. He and another firefighter were placed on the second level of the duplex to play the role of trapped firefighters. "They were placed in the front bedroom with some debris scattered about the floor and a Ping-Pong table placed upon them to simulate a real entrapment," the report says.

    The scenario included blocking the stairs of the unit leading to the trapped firefighters to simulate that the stairs had collapsed, so the responding units would have to access the second floor via the stairs on the other side of the duplex, and then breach the wall.

    Although a burn barrel had already been lit on the second floor, the 1st assistant chief also lit the foam mattress of a sleeper sofa downstairs. "In a matter of seconds, the flames began to roll across the ceiling, up the stairs, and out the front windows of the burn unit, producing what was described as a thick, "steamy" smoke," the report says.

    The report also notes that no handlines had been stretched before the start of the training evolution.

    One firefighter, already on the second floor, went to retrieve the "trapped firefighters" but lost his fire gloves in the process, exposing his leather gloves underneath. "The leather gloves immediately burned and adhered to his skin. He and the 'trapped fire fighters' became separated," the report says. The firefighter made it back to the bedroom with the burn barrel and "frantically searched for the window that had been boarded shut to aid in the smoke conditions. He was able to pry the window open with his hands, and he jumped from the second floor just as the 1st Assistant Chief arrived with the handline."

    The two staged engines proceeded to the scene under normal driving conditions as planned, and once on scene were informed that two firefighters were down on the second floor and that one firefighter had jumped from the second-story window. Both engines deployed a RIT team. Golden was unresponsive when removed from the structure and was pronounced dead at the hospital. The cause of death was listed as asphyxia due to smoke inhalation. The other two firefighters who were on the second floor during the incident suffered severe burns and were airlifted to an area burn unit.

    NIOSH investigators concluded that to minimize the risk of a similar tragedy, fire departments should:

    Ensure that no one plays the role of victim inside the structure during live-burn training.

    Ensure that a certified instructor is in charge of the live-burn training and that a separate safety officer is appointed and has the authority to intervene and control any aspect of the operation.

    Ensure that only one training fire is lit at a time by a designated ignition officer and that a charged hoseline is present while igniting the fire.

    Ensure that Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are developed and followed.

    Ensure that all fire fighters participating in live-burn training have achieved a minimum level of basic training.

    Ensure that before conducting live-burn training, a pre-burn briefing session is conducted and an evacuation plan and signal are established for all participants.

    Ensure that fires used for live-burn training are not located in any designated exit paths.

    Ensure that the fuels used in the live-burn training evolutions have known burning characteristics and the structure is inspected for possible environmental hazards.

    Additionally, NIOSH recommends that "States should develop a permitting procedure for live-burn training to be conducted at acquired structures. States should ensure that all the requirements of NFPA 1403 have been met before issuing the permit."

    Read the full report:

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