NIOSH Recommendations Following Fire Fighter Fatality


NIOSH has made recommendations in their Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program in the death of a 19-year-old Mount Marion fire captain who died after going into distress at the scene of a reported chimney fire at 11 Fel Qui Road, off John Jay Road, in December 2015.

Volunteer Fire Capt. Jack H. Rose was part of the team that had been dispatched to the fire scene, with mutual aid from Mount Marion, at 6:59 p.m. Saturday. According to a press release from the Mount Marion Fire District, firefighters responding to a report of a chimney fire observed flames coming from the first floor of the residence, and a team of firefighters entered the basement to extinguish it.

A state Department of Labor investigation found Rose became separated from other firefighters in the basement of Mark’s home while fighting the fire. He was conscious when he was found but was pronounced dead soon after at HealthAlliance Hospital’s Broadway Campus in Kingston.

The cause of Rose’s death was asphyxia after inhaling superheated gasses, according to a medical examiner’s report.

Rose was taken by Diaz Ambulance to HealthAlliance Hospital’s Broadway Campus in Kingston, where efforts to revive him continued, but he eventually succumbed, authorities said.

Two reports about the fire issued in August 2016 by the state Department of Labor’s Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau cited the Mount Marion and Centerville fire departments for numerous violations of federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration codes. The village of Saugerties Fire Department was not cited.

In its report, NIOSH has cited the following factors in the firefighter’s death:

  • Lack of crew integrity;
  • Improper SCBA use;
  • Inexperienced firefighter;
  • Special service vehicle not equipped with SCBA; and
  • Lack of training on fire dynamics.

NIOSH’s has made the following key recommendations:

  • Fire departments should ensure that crew integrity is properly maintained by visual (eye-to-eye), direct (touch), or verbal (voice or radio) contact at all times when operating in an immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) atmosphere;
  • Fire departments should ensure that special service vehicles are equipped with the appropriate equipment as specified in NFPA 1901 Standard on Automotive Fire Apparatus;
  • Fire departments should ensure that fire fighters wear a full array of turnout clothing and personal protective equipment appropriate for the assigned task while participating in fire suppression and overhaul activities; and
  • Fire departments should ensure that Mayday training programs are developed and implemented so that firefighters are adequately prepared to call a Mayday.

Additionally,

  • Standard setting organizations, enforcement agencies, and authorities having jurisdiction should consider developing, implementing, and enforcing national firefighter and fire officer training standards and requirements.