The United States Fire Administration has received notice of the following 7 firefighter fatalities in the month of August:
Name: Brent M. Witham Rank: Firefighter
Status: Wildland Full-Time Date of Incident: 08/02/2017
Fire Department: U.S. Forest Service Age: 29
Years of Service: 6
Incident Description: Firefighter Brent Witham was struck and killed by a falling tree while working on the Lolo Peak fire in Western Montana. Witham was given CPR and other emergency medical aid by fellow firefighters and was then airlifted to a hospital in Missoula, Montana. Despite all efforts, Witham passed away as a result of his injuries. Firefighter Witham was a member of the Vista Grande Hotshot crew based in Idyllwild, California.
On August 2, 29 y/o Firefighter Brent Witham of the US Forest Service located in Montana died
in the LOD
Name: Jay Hinkie
Rank: Assistant Fire Chief Status: Volunteer
Date of Incident: 08/02/2017
Fire Department: Silsbee Volunteer Fire Department Age: 61
Years of Service: 25
Incident Description: Assistant Fire Chief Jay Hinkie was struck in the roadway by a passing vehicle while he operated at the scene of a single vehicle rollover. As firefighters were cleaning up the scene, Hinkie was walking with traffic in the westbound lanes of FM418 near Ruby Lane when he was struck. Chief Hinkie was rushed to a hospital in Beaumont where he succumbed to his injuries. The fatal accident remains under investigation by authorities.
Status: Volunteer Years of Service: 5
Date of Incident: 08/13/2017
Incident Description: Lieutenant Dale Clinton “Clint” Hardemon responded with the West Blocton Fire Department to a structure fire at 0818hrs on the morning of August 13, 2017. Later that afternoon at approximately 1410hrs, Lieutenant Hardemon was at the fire station with Fire Chief Joe McCool. Lieutenant Hardemon told the chief that he was feeling lightheaded and then fell to the ground unresponsive. Fire Chief McCool immediately began medical care and called 911. Lieutenant Hardemon was pronounced deceased that evening from a heart attack.
On August 2, 61 y/o Assistant Fire Chief Jay Hinkie of the Silsbee VFD located in Texas died in
Dale Clinton “Clint” Hardemon
Fire Department: West Blocton Fire Department
On August 13, 58 y/o Lieutenant Dale Hardemon of the West Blocton VFD located in Alabama
died in the LOD
Fire Department: Black Eagle Volunteer Fire Department
Status: Volunteer Years of Service: 23
Date of Incident: 08/18/2017 Date of Death: 08/19/2017
Incident Description: Fire Chief Tom Martin attended live fire training on the evening of August 18, 2017. Within 24 hours of this training, Martin passed away at his residence on August 19, 2017.
Status: Volunteer Years of Service: 14
Date of Incident: 08/24/2017
Incident Description: While participating in search and rescue training Thursday evening, Firefighter Thomas P. McBride complained of difficulty breathing. He removed his breathing apparatus, denied medical treatment, cooled down, stated that he felt better and requested to return to the training. Instead, he was assigned to pump operations. A short time later, he collapsed. Resuscitation efforts were started immediately and Firefighter McBride was transported to an area hospital where he later succumbed to his injury. The nature and cause of fatal injury are still to be reported.
Status: Volunteer Years of Service: 33
Date of Incident: 08/26/2017
Incident Description: Captain Randy Ray Treat fell ill while responding to an emergency call, becoming unresponsive, and then passing away from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported.
Status: Career Years of Service: 20+
Date of Incident: 08/31/2017
On August 18, 61 y/o Fire Chief Tom Martin of the Black Eagle VFD located in Montana died in
Thomas P. McBride
Campbellsburg Fire and Rescue
On August 24, 60 y/o Firefighter Thomas McBride of the Campbellsburg VFD located in
Kentucky died in the LOD
Randy Ray Treat
Fire Department: Kingston Rural Volunteer FD
On August 26, 71 y/o Captain Randy Treat of the Kingston Rural VFD located in Arkansas died
in the LOD
Fire Department: Los Padres National Forest – Santa Lucia
Incident Description: While returning from an assignment on the Railroad Fire in the Sierra National Forest, Battalion Chief Gary Helming was killed when a Ford F-350 traveling in the opposite direction suffered a tire failure, crossed the middle of the road, and struck Chief Helming’s vehicle head-on.
On August 31, 47 y/o Battalion Chief Gary Helming of the Los Padres National Forest FD located
in California died in the LOD
To date 66 firefighter fatalities have been reported to The United States Fire
Administration in 2017, May They Rest In Peace.