The United States Fire Administration has received notice of the following 9 firefighter fatalities in the month of July:
Name: Ronda Sylvest Varnado Rank: Firefighter
Date of Incident: 07/06/2017
Fire Department: Washington Parish Fire Protection Age: 54
Years of Service: 6
Incident Description: Firefighter Ronda Sylvest Varnado was driving a fully loaded water truck responding to the scene of a residential fire in the Mt. Hermon area. Near the intersection of Mt. Pisgah Road and Burch Road, the truck left the roadway and tipped over, sliding several yards before striking an embankment. At that point, the water tank came loose and crashed into the truck cab, causing the death of Firefighter Varnado. Investigation of the crash continues by the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.
On July 6, 54 y/o Firefighter Ronda Varnado of the Washington Parish VFD located in Louisana
died in the LOD
Name: William “Bill” Jaros
Rank: Fire Engine Operator Status: Wildland Full-Time Date of Incident: 07/08/2017
Fire Department: Six Rivers National Forest – Gasquet District/Smith River National Recreation
Years of Service: 12
Incident Description: Fire Engine Operator William “Bill” Jaros, a crew member on Engine 312 of the Six Rivers National Forest’s Gasquet Ranger District/Smith River National Recreation Area, was on a conditioning hike with several crew members when he became ill and collapsed. Immediate life-saving efforts were initiated by his fellow crew members; however, they were unable to revive him. The cause of death is under investigation through the Del Norte County Coroner’s office. Conditioning hikes, such as the one Engine 312 crew members were participating, are part of the continuing preparedness routine for firefighters.
On July 8, 38 y/o Engine Operator of the Six Rivers National Forest – Gasquet District FD
located in California died in the LOD
Fire Department: CAL FIRE
Status: Wildland Part-Time Years of Service: <1
Date of Incident: 07/05/2017 Date of Death: 07/11/2017
Incident Description: Inmate Firefighter Frank Anaya was treated on scene and taken to the hospital in critical condition on July 5, 2017, after suffering a chainsaw injury to the leg while working a fire near Lakeside, California. Fire crews were clearing brush and working with air crews to successfully defend a threatened mobile home park when the injury occurred. Despite all efforts by medical personnel, Inmate Firefighter Anaya passed away on July 11, 2017.
Status: Career Years of Service: 24
Date of Incident: 07/05/2017 Date of Death: 07/12/2017
Incident Description: Fire Captain John Kemper was injured while battling a structure fire at 3622 Pennsylvania AVE on the morning of July 5, 2017. Kemper was transported to the hospital to be treated for a shoulder injury but it was discovered that he had instead suffered a more serious injury and, soon thereafter, underwent surgery. Fire Captain Kemper was released from the hospital and while recovering at home, passed away from reported complications of his injury.
Status: Career Years of Service: 25
Date of Incident: 07/14/2017
Incident Description: Incident Description: Interim Fire Chief Robert Spinner died from an apparent heart attack while on-duty and participating in a fire department fitness activity (jogging).
Status: Volunteer Years of Service: 20
Date of Incident: 07/17/2017 Date of Death: 07/18/2017
On July 11, 22 y/o Firefighter Frank Anaya of CAL FIRE located in California died in the LOD
Fire Department: St. Louis Fire Department
On July 12, 59 y/o Captain John Kemper of the St Louis FD located in Missouri died in the LOD
Fire Department: Lynden Fire Department
nterim Fire Chief
On July 14, 50 y/o Fire Chief Robert Spinner of the Lynden FD located in Washington died in the
Allen Charles Howard
Fire Department: Adrian Charter Township FD
Incident Description: Firefighter Howard responded with his fire department to a mutual aid fire call in a field involving bailing equipment and multiple large bales of (burning) hay. The fire department reported very high heat and humidity conditions over the several hour incident period as firefighters worked to extinguish the fire. The following morning, Firefighter Howard fell ill and succumbed to a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported.
Status: Career Years of Service: 1 month
Date of Incident: 7/19/2017
Incident Description: While part of a 20-person crew staging an initial attack on a forest fire in the Sealy Ranger District of the Lolo National Forest in Montana, Firefighter Trenton Johnson was struck by a falling tree. He was flown to a Missoula hospital for treatment, but passed away from the injuries he sustained when struck.
Status: Career Years of Service: 20
Date of Incident: 07/29/2017
Incident Description: Firefighter Kevin Ramsey died of an apparent heart attack shortly after returning to the firehouse from fighting a second commercial structure fire of the day. Firefighter Ramsey complained of nausea and chest pain to fellow firefighters, so they immediately began treatment and summoned advanced medical responders to the station. Firefighter Ramsey was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital where, despite all efforts, he succumbed to his injury.
Status: Career Years of Service: 20
Date of Incident: 04/19/1993 Date of Death: 07/30/2017
On July 18, 49 y/o Firefighter Allen Howard of the Adrian Charter Township VFD located in
Michigan died in the LOD
Trenton Martin Johnson
Fire Department: Grayback Forestry, Inc.
On July 19, 19 y/o Firefighter Trenton Johnson of the Grayback Forestry FD located in Oregon
died in the LOD
Detroit Fire Department
On July 29, 50 y/o Firefighter Kevin Ramsey of the Detroit FD located in Michigan died in the
Richard W. Leonard
Fire Department: Perth Amboy Fire Department
Incident Description: Firefighter Richard W. Leonard was operating a pumper at a fire on State Street in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, on April 19, 1993. The fire involved a recycling facility with plastics. Firefighter Leonard did not have breathing air and worked in the highly toxic plastic burning smoke for hours. Leonard never returned to duty and spent the last 24 years under workers’ compensation care for continuous medical conditions caused from inhaling the smoke. Firefighter Leonard died on July 30, 2017 due to the effects of the smoke exposure.
On July 30, 70 y/o Firefighter Richard Leonard of the Perth Amboy FD located in New Jersey
died in the LOD
To date 59 firefighter fatalities have been reported to The United States Fire
Administration in 2017, May They Rest In Peace.