L.A. Firefighter Killed in Training Exercise

LOS ANGELES, CA – A Los Angeles firefighter died Monday morning, two days after he fell from an aerial ladder during a training exercise in downtown L.A.

29-year-old Kelly Wong was participating in an exercise Saturday morning in the 300 block of South Main Street. According to LAFD Captain, Brandon Silverman, “It appears to have been a significant fall onto a firetruck,”

Wong was immediately taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition.

Wong had been a firefighter with the department for two years and was assigned to Station 92 in Rancho Park. He was set to transfer to Station 9, which serves the skid row neighborhood and downtown L.A. Wong was working at the station at the time of his fall.

A spokesman for the LAFD said that during the drills, firefighters practice pulling hose lines, perform roof ventilation and climb aerial ladders. The exercises, which are typically held on weekends, give firefighters an opportunity to practice how they would respond to a blaze in a high-rise building.

This was the department’s first deadly accident involving an aerial ladder.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the accident, agency spokesman Luke Brown said. The investigation will include reviewing the fire department’s injury and illness prevention plan, inspecting the scene of the accident, and talking to witnesses.

SUN News Editor-in-Chief, and President/CEO of Safety Unlimited, Inc., Jules Griggs, a retired fire captain, said: “A horrific accident like this reinforces the dangers that firefighters face on a daily basis.  This includes not only responding to emergencies but even during training.  My heart goes out to his family, friends, and coworkers during this extremely difficult time.”