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Thread: Two Florida Firefighters Killed in Training Exercise

  1. #16
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Report Clears Firefighters In Deadly Fla. Training Blaze

    Report Clears Firefighters In Deadly Fla. Training Blaze

    Story by NewsChannel2000


    KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The state fire marshal's office cleared firefighters of any criminal wrongdoing Tuesday in connection with a training fire that killed two firefighters, WESH NewsChannel 2 reported.

    John Mickel and Dallas Begg were killed during the blaze last July in Osceola County.

    Thick black smoke billowed out of the abandoned Florida Bible College during the fire, a videotape showed.

    It's the first time the state fire marshal's office has released a videotape of the training fire that killed Osceola County firefighters Dallas Begg and John Mickel.

    They were killed shortly before flames shot out of a window in the videotape. It's a sign that the room they were in flashed over, when everything inside goes up in flames.

    The state fire marshal's report on the tragedy cleared firefighters and the department of any wrongdoing. After reviewing the tape, the state attorney's office concluded the evidence doesn't establish probable cause for prosecution.

    Clarke Begg, Dallas' father, agreed with the decision.

    The videotape also showed the inside of the home was gutted by fire. The state fire marshal confirmed a foam rubber mattress was placed on the fire to create thick black smoke.

    The report said the addition of the foam mattress is one of many variables that could contribute to a flashover, but it is not the exclusive cause. Using a foam rubber mattress to set training fires violates standards from the National Fire Protection Association.

    Begg's father said he understands firefighters use the mattress to make firefighting more realistic, but he said it bothered him.

    The fire marshal also found there was a failure in communication between safety officers inside the home and Begg and Mickel. Begg's father doesn't want to assign blame. He and his family are trying to move on.

    An attorney hired by Mickel's family said standard operating procedures need to be in place to prevent this kind of accident from happening again. The state fire marshal's office will review state fire codes.

    Director Randal Napoli said he wants to see if changes need to be made statewide because of the tragedy in Osceola County.

  2. #17
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    South West

    Fire Marshal Recommends Changes After Osceola FF Deaths

    Updated: 04-14-2003 12:36:08 PM

    Fire Marshal Recommends Changes After Osceola FF Deaths


    Firehouse.Com News

    The Florida State Fire Marshal's Office issued recommendations Wednesday for new statewide training standards in light of an investigation into the training deaths of two Osceola County firefighters in July 2002.

    The report summarizes the live-fire training incident in which a flashover killed Lt. John Mickel and rookie firefighter Dallas Begg while they performed a search and rescue drill in a one-story cement block house.

    The report notes several problems with the drill. It says there was no written plan reviewed in advance, there was too much fuel for the fire, including a foam mattress added after ignition, not enough ventilation, and no alternate escape route from the fire room. The layout of the house also contributed to the tragedy because it was difficult for firefighters to access some rooms and to maneuver in the narrow hallways.

    Also, six minutes passed between the first unanswered radio messages to Mickel and Begg, and the time a crew was deployed to look for them.

    In an effort to avoid a similar tragedy in the future, the Fire Marshal's Office is recommending that the current edition of NFPA 1403 be adopted as state law. Osceola County Fire Rescue adopted it in December 2002.

    The recommendations also include certification for instructors conducting live-fire training, and further training for firefighters on recognizing the signs of a flashover and using proper ventilation techniques and water application to reduce the chance of a flashover. The report also recommends using a thermal imaging camera to monitor fire conditions and the location of firefighters.

    Randall Napoli, director of the Florida State Fire Marshal's Office, told the Orlando Sentinel that instructors at the fatal incident "either did not have the proper training or they did not use it when they executed the exercise."

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