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Thread: San Francisco Firefighter Dies From Injuries

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    San Francisco Firefighter Dies From Injuries

    San Francisco Firefighter Dies From Injuries


    Updated: 01-14-2003 03:42:40 PM

    The San Francisco Fire Department has reported that Firefighter Melinda Ohler has died from injuries suffered January 8.

    A veteran of The San Francisco Fire Department had been listed in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital after receiving a serious head injury sustained after she fell off the back of a fire truck Wednesday evening.

    Forty-year-old Melinda Ohler, who has been with the department since 1989, was responding to an alarm that turned out to be false at San Francisco International Airport. According to the department, Ohler had undergone several surgeries.

    According to a press release, out of respect for Ohler

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    S.F. firefighter critical after fall

    S.F. firefighter critical after fall;

    13-year veteran suffered head injuries in 'freak accident'

    Copyright 2003 The Chronicle Publishing Co.
    The San Francisco Chronicle...01/10/2003

    Steve Rubenstein

    A San Francisco firefighter remained in critical condition Thursday after falling from the rear seat of a fire engine as it was speeding away from a San Bruno Avenue firehouse.

    Melinda Ohler, 40, a 13-year veteran of the force, underwent two operations at San Francisco General Hospital to relieve pressure on her brain after suffering head injuries in the incident. She remained unconscious and unresponsive.

    Ohler fell as the fire truck from Station 42 was heading toward San Francisco International Airport to respond to a possible fire in the new people-mover transit system. The alarm was later canceled.

    Fire Chief Mario Trevino said Thursday that Ohler had signaled an "all clear" to the driver of the engine, indicating that she was seated in the left-hand, rear-facing seat on the back of the engine with her seat belt fastened.

    Moments later, as the engine sped from the fire station at San Bruno and Silver avenues toward the on-ramp for Highway 101 a block away, Ohler fell from her seat. Her seat belt was found unfastened.

    Trevino said it is not clear how the belt came undone.

    "If her seat belt had been on and properly fastened, the fall would not have been possible," the chief said. "We don't know whether she fastened it and then unfastened it in order to do something."

    The chief called it the first accident of its kind in the department's history. The incident is being investigated by police and the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    Ohler is a popular firefighter, described by the chief as "something of a practical joker." Other firefighters called her determined, funny and dearly loved.

    "She's a great firefighter," said one colleague at Ohler's firehouse, asking that his name not be used. "It was a freak accident. Three or four bad things happened all at once."

    Firefighters from Station 42 tossed together a lettuce-and-tomato salad and drove it to San Francisco General, where Ohler's family was by her bedside after flying in from Indiana. The firefighters union arranged their visit.

    Ohler began training to join the force in 1981 and was hired in 1989. She is a registered nurse and a longtime community volunteer with children.


    http://webpublisher.lexisnexis.com/i...-246Y-00000-00

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    Investigators Stumped on Firefighter's Critical Fall

    Investigators Stumped on Firefighter's Critical Fall

    Simon Perez

    Investigators in San Francisco are trying to find out how a veteran firefighter fell from a truck on the way to a call.

    Melinda Ohler was in critical but stable condition at San Francisco General Hospital Thursday. The 40-year-old woman has been with the department for 13 years.

    Apparently, Ohler fell out of the back of the fire truck as it entered an on-ramp to Highway 101. The truck was a replacement for the regular truck that was in the shop for maintenance, and it had an open cab behind the driver, where Ohler was sitting.

    Fire officials say Ohler gave the all-clear before the truck left her station, meaning that she had secured her seatbelt.

    "If her seatbelt was on and properly fashioned, then falling from the apparatus would not be possible," said San Francisco Police Chief Mario Trevino. "Sometime between the time the all-clear signal was given and the time of the incident, something must have occurred."


    http://beta.kpix.com/news/local/2003...ical_Fall.html

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    Ohler, Melinda

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