NIOSH Releases Report on Clinton County Firefighter

by mobrian on March 10, 2009

Engineer Suffers Fatal Heart Attack at Scene of Residential Fire

NIOSH Firefighter Fatality Investigations provide an in-depth view on firefighter fatalities.  These in-depth investigations provided a means for departments to review their procedures and learn from the incident.   NIOSH recently released the investigation report from a tragic fire in Michigan.

On June 22, 2007 a 56 year old, Clinton County (Michigan)  Firefighter responded to a  working structure fire.  After the fire was declared under control the fire fighter reported to rehab and stated “he didn’t feel well from the waste up.”

Despite advanced life support treatment initiated in rehab, the Engineer became unresponsive with labored breathing. As the ambulance began transport to the hospital’s Emergency Department, the Engineer lost his pulse and stopped breathing. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was begun and advanced life support treatment continued en route to the hospital. Approximately 55 minutes after his collapse, despite CPR and advanced life support administered on-scene and at the hospital, the Engineer died.

The fatality investigation recommends:

  • Provide annual medical evaluations to fire fighters consistent with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1582, Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments, to determine their medical ability to perform duties without presenting a significant risk to the safety and health of themselves or others.
  • Incorporate exercise stress tests following standard medical guidelines into the Fire Department’s medical evaluation program.
  • Secure endotracheal tubes to prevent dislodgment during patient treatment, transfer, and transport.
  • Phase-in a comprehensive wellness and fitness program for fire fighters to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and improve cardiovascular capacity.
  • Perform an autopsy on all on-duty fire fighter fatalities.

Review the NIOSH Line of Duty Death Report

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