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Thread: Montana Assistant Chief Dies After Pack Test

  1. #1
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    Montana Assistant Chief Dies After Pack Test

    Montana Assistant Chief Dies After Pack Test

    Firehouse.Com News

    A Montana assistant fire chief suffered a heart attack and died Tuesday, June 8 after completing a Pack Test during routine training.

    Assistant Chief Willie Grudzinski, 46, served the Bridger Volunteer Fire Department for 12 years, said Chief Vern Adkins. "He was a good guy," Adkins said.

    Firefighters had taken the light version of the pack test that evening, which requires a hike of one mile within 16 minutes with no pack, the chief said. He said this is required in case they are called to assist the BLM or Forest Service at any local wildfire incidents. He said Grudzinski had passed the test every year before.

    After completing the test Tuesday evening, Grudzinski came back to the fire station and gave no indication that anything was wrong, Adkins said, although he checked his pulse a few times. Then he left, and a short time later at about 7:50 p.m., they got a call that Grudzinski had passed away at home.

    His death came just days after an Oregon wildfire crew leader died on June 5 while taking the most arduous version of the Pack Test.

    Grudzinski is survived by his wife Susie and his step-sons Anthony and Jimmy. He was a very active member of the community, Adkins said. He worked in lumber sales and spent 10 years volunteering with the local ambulance company in addition to the fire department.

    The Bridger VFD said this is the first time they have lost a member as a result of fire department activity. The department has 23 members and serves a town of about 800, as well as the surrounding rural area.

    A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 12, at the Bridger High School Gymnasium, followed by interment at Bridger Cemetery.

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Grudzinski, Willie

    Age: 46
    Cause of Death: Stress/Exertion
    Rank: Assistant Chief
    Nature of Death: Heart Attack
    Status: Volunteer
    Emergency Duty: No

    Incident Date: 06/08/2004
    Duty Type: Training
    Incident Time: 19:30
    Activity Type: Fitness Activity
    Death Date: 06/08/2004
    Fixed Prop. Use: Outdoor Property

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Bridger Volunteer Fire Department
    PO Box 60
    Bridger , Montana 59014
    Chief: Vern Adkins

    Initial Summary:
    Died of a heart attack several hours after completing a pack test.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    In memory of Assistant Chief Willie Grudzinski, C/o Bridger Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 60, Bridger, MT 59014

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