Submit Your Close Call / Near Miss
Thursday, December 5, 2013
A Johannesburg, South Africa Firefighter survived a six-story fall into an
unused concrete elevator shaft while trying to rescue a homeless man
Durban FF Malusi Mncube was rescued from the 59' hole with only a
bruised hip, after he was saved by fellow FF's. He landed on burning debris but
apparently was wearing an SCBA and full PPE. Incredibly, FF Mncube spent three
hours inside the scorching shaft with the body of a homeless man he was trying
to rescue. The man died of injuries from the fall and smoke inhalation.
FF Mncube landed on a pile of burning garbage, narrowly missing two sharp
metal poles. Pretty amazing as some reports are that it took FF's 3 hours to
NIGHTMARE CONTINUES IN ARIZONA
The agency responsible for
the 19 Arizona Firefighters who died in the L:ine of Duty placed the
protection of structures and pastureland above the safety of the Firefighters
during the June 30 incident.
The 19 Firefighters
who were killed when those 40-foot flames overtook them in a rocky
canyon near Prescott in June were the victims of poor planning and bad
communication, forced into a losing battle to protect structures and
pasturelands that were "indefensible," a state safety commission
concluded yesterday .
The Arizona State Forestry Division, responsible for managing the Yarnell Hill
fire, now faces a $559,000 fine, one of the largest such fines ever levied in
A report prepared by independent consultants to the Arizona OSHA found
that members of the Granite Mountain hotshot team were called on to fight the
fast-moving blaze outside the town of Yarnell with inadequate briefing, no good
maps and radios that left them without good communication with incident
"We found no evidence that a risk assessment for the strategies and
tactics were examined," said the report, prepared for the state by
Wildland Fire Associates. Fire overseers "reported flame lengths of 40
feet with rates of speed up to 16 miles per hour occurred, yet no one seemed to
recognize these signs as trigger points that should have led to a change in
tactics and relocation of [the crew]," it found.
The agency failed to remove the crews downwind from the blaze when suppression
was ineffective, placing hundreds of firefighters at risk for smoke inhalation,
burns and death. The state Forestry Division oversaw the Yarnell Hill fire,
which trapped the elite firefighter crew Granite Mountain Hotshots, of which 19
of its 20 members died.
The tragedy was the deadliest single day any U.S. fire department suffered
since the FDNY lost 343 firefighters on 9/11.
The crew, which was employed by the city of Prescott, were stationed in a
relatively safe position on a ridge, but they moved for unknown reasons and
without notifying anyone down the mountainside. They later became trapped by a
wall of flames when the winds shifted.
The state Industrial Commission will vote whether to accept the recommendation
or ask for more information.
The 19 Fallen Prescott Firefighters are Eric Marsh, Anthony Rose, Kevin
Woyjeck, Chris MacKenzie, Scott Norris, Clayton Whitted, Travis Turbyfill,
Jesse Steed, Robert Caldwell, Dustin Deford, Sean Misner, Scott Misner, Garret
Zuppiger, Travis Carter, Wade Parker, Joe Thurston, John Percin, William
Warneke and Grant McKee.
For those of you who have seen (or purchased) that excellent
documentary about Detroit FF's entitled "BURN", you know this young
man. For those who haven't---get to know him. Here is a great story and update
it out HERE:
is info about BURN: http://www.detroitfirefilm.org/
Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.
The Secret List 12/5/13-0822 Hours
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
is an update to what we had sent on The Secret List a few weeks ago.
Needless to say, this NIOSH issue, but
this US Army related testing issue, is extremely concerning. NIOSH
contracts with the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) and by all
accounts, the ball was dropped there-and interestingly, it appears
this may have peaked during the Federal Government sequestration.
Summary in plain English: Apparently, the ECBC
discovered that all chemical agent testing performed per the NIOSH regulations
has been incorrect since July 2012 and performed at a lower than required concentration.
This not only prevent any certification to the already delayed 2013 edition of
NFPA 1981 but affects products already in the marketplace.
What is ECBC?
their website) The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) is the
nation's principal research and development resource for non-medical chemical
and biological (CB) defense. As a critical national asset in the CB defense
community, ECBC supports all phases of the acquisition life-cycle - from basic
and applied research through technology development, engineering design,
equipment evaluation, product support, sustainment, field operations and
demilitarization - to address its customers' unique requirements.
In more detail: in November 22, SCBA /
respirators manufacturers received notification from NIOSH of CBRN testing
errors conducted at ECBC. During a period from July 2012 through October
2013, utilized concentrations of Chemical Warfare Agents (CWA) that were below those required under NIOSH testing
procedures. As a result of these errors, NIOSH and ECBC have temporarily
halted all CWA testing until test procedures can be validated.
As a result, all SCBA units and configurations tested from June 2012 to the
present must be retested. This affects a small number of SCBA tested to the
2007 edition of NFPA 1981 and all units tested to date for compliance with the
2013 edition of NFPA 1981.
NIOSH has posted a User Alert
which can be viewed at: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/usernotices/notices/notice11272013.html.
NIOSH had previously identified a delay in testing and certifying SCBA to the
2013 edition of NFPA 1981, resulting in the NFPA Standards Council issuing
Tentative Interim Amendment #13-1 (TIA), extending until February 28, 2014 the
deadline for certification organizations and manufacturers to cease labeling
SCBA as compliant to the 2007 edition of NFPA 1981.
has developed an expedited retesting plan and estimates all required testing
will be completed by April 1, 2014 and has requested the Respiratory Protection
Equipment Technical Committee to consider extending or removing the revised end
date authorized in TIA 13-1. NFPA 1982, Standard on Personal Alert Safety
Systems (PASS) is equally impacted as it recommends the same certification and
testing compliance dates as NFPA 1981. The Electronic Safety Equipment
Technical Committee and the Respiratory Protection Technical Committee are in
close communication and developing a joint response to the NIOSH request.
To stay up to date on any
contact YOUR national association, such as the IAFC, IAFF, NVFC etc and also
visit the NFPA 1981: Standard on Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing
Apparatus (SCBA) Page, www.nfpa.org/1981,
or the Document Information Page for NFPA 1982: Standard on Personal Alert
Safety Systems (PASS) at www.nfpa.org/1982.
and sign up to be alerted of any
If you have any further questions, contact your SCBA Manufacturer such as
Sperian, Scott, MSA, Drager,
Interspiro etc ASAP.
HERE is a
sample release, from MSA: http://tinyurl.com/mrdok28
keep you advised via The Secret List and our home page as well.
Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.
Secret List 12-3-13/1700 Hours
Sunday, December 1, 2013
A volunteer Firefighter was transported to the hospital after
falling from a parade float and receiving serious injuries last night.
The Tiny Township FF was injured in the village of Wyevale, near
Midland, Ontario (Canada) after the Firefighter fell from a float during
the Santa Claus parade shortly after 2000 hours. The accident occurred
while the parade was making its way along the roadway. The 33-year-old
Firefighter was originally sent to Georgian Bay General Hospital after
initially being treated at the scene by Simcoe County Paramedics, but he
was later transported to a Toronto-area hospital with serious injuries.
He is expected to recover, thankfully.
A REMINDER to "size up the risk" and think about FF's, civilians, kids, Santa on fire apparatus, floats etc this time of year.
DECEMBER FIREFIGHTERS...(continued from todays earlier TSL)
West Webster..."It Could Have Been Any Firefighter ..at Any FD"
we first heard about West Webster, we couldn't help but also remember
some other Firefighters who were shot-and killed in the Line of Duty.
KY, Fire Lieutenant Brenda Cowan, Maplewood (MO) Firefighter/Paramedic
Ryan Hummert, Fayetteville (PA) Chief James Cutchall and Jackson, MS
Captain Stan Adams, District Chief Dwight Craft, Captain Merideth Moree
and District Chief Rick Robbins, 47 ...all of whom were gunned down in
the Line of Duty...and there are more related murders and related close calls.
BUT NOW IT WAS WEST WEBSTER, NY....it was a call,
just about a year ago, for a car fire, the sort of routine job that all
of us turn out for regularly. But this time-once again in our history-it
was a trap. Christmas eve, 2012....there was a house and a car burning
on arrival and they did what any Firefighter would do-go to work. What
was initially un-size-up-able was a waiting psycho killer, who had positioned his cowardly self as a sniper on a berm above the unknowing Firefighters.
Before they could begin to hit the fire, the Firefighters were met
by blasts of gunfire. Four were hit by the bullets, and two were
murdered. Radio traffic proves amazing heroism by surviving WW FF's (see below).
The 2 Firefighters killed in the Line of Duty were Michael J.
Chiapperini, 43, a local Police Lieutenant, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, a
911 Dispatcher for Monroe County. The two wounded Firefighters, Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter fortunately survived (see below).
Firefighter dies in the Line of Duty-the least any of us can do is to
learn from what happened-and while this incident was as unpredictable as
any-what Mike Chiapperini, and Tomasz Kaczowka did, along with the WWFD
Officers and members, thru their sacrifice, is greatly heighten the
awareness and education for Firefighters everywhere on the potential-and
preparedness training related to "active shooter" incidents. As we
approach the one year anniversary, we remember the friends and families
of the late Mike Chiapperini, Tomasz Kaczowka, their family, friends and
the officers and members of the West Webster FD. RIP.
HERE is the incredible radio traffic from that incident:
LISTEN as the injured Firefighters, Joseph
Hofstetter, who is also a career Firefighter with the Rochester FD, and
Theodore Scardino, are incredibly in control
on the radio, despite their serious wounds, as they provide updates,
protecting other FF's, EMT's and Police Officers-saving more lives.LISTEN
Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.
The Secret List 12-1-13/2030 Hours
Sunday, December 1, 2013
In Sao Paulo,
Brazil, updates now report that 25 FFs were injured at that Latin
America Memorial fire yesterday; four of them are in intensive care. Allegedly,
they experienced a flashover when fighting the fire-take a look at the
slideshow below-and in particular slides # 27, 30 and 34.
SHOT AND KILLED (BY OFF DUTY COP) FOLLOWING HIS WEDDING
duty Kansas City, Mo. Police Officer shot and killed an off
duty Kansas City, Mo. Firefighter (possibly at or following his own
wedding reception) early this morning in downtown Kansas City, according to the
About an hour ago, KCMO Battalion Chief James Garrett, confirmed Bruno was the
victim in the deadly police shooting near the downtown Marriott.
Garrett said he believed
Bruno was recently married and was at his wedding reception this weekend. “Our
thoughts and prayers are with the Bruno family,” said Chief Garrett. “Our heart
goes out to the brand new wife and family.”
ACCORDING TO COPS:
City, Mo. police officer shot and killed a man in his 20s early Sunday morning
after the officer said the man became dangerous during a struggle. Police have
not yet confirmed the suspect killed by the officer was Bruno. The police
officer was off-duty at the time, but still in uniform, when he heard a
dispatch call in which a cab driver reported being assaulted at about 0230
hours in the area of 12th and Wyandotte.
When the officer arrived at the scene, he briefly chased the suspect and caught
up with him to arrest him. The officer said the suspect began fighting with the
officer in what police say was an ‘assaultive’ manner.
According to police, the officer was seriously injured by the suspect. Fearing
for his life, the officer shot his weapon, hitting him in the chest and killing
Bruno was a firefighter at Station 17. He was with Truck 2 on the B
shift. He was a cadet with the academy class of Spring 2008 and a graduate of
Rockhurst High School. He has at least one, and reportedly more, family members
on the force. While not an on-duty incident, we felt it was worthy of sharing.
Our condolences to all affected. RIP.
DECEMBER AND FIREFIGHTERS:
December, there are some very significant dates with tragic results for
the fire service, worthy of note and well worth discussion with
Firefighters-especially with the younger ones.
==THE OUR LADY OF ANGELS FIRE anniversary is
today. That school fire in Chicago left 92 kids and 4 nuns dead-a day
in 1958 where the heroics of Chicago FF's were well documented.
LADY OF ANGELS FIRE VIDEO:
==ALSO IN CHICAGO: December 22, 2010, Chicago
Firefighters Corey Ankum and Ed Stringer were killed in the
Line of Duty in a collapse-----actually on the 100th Anniversary of the
Union Stock Yards fire that killed 21 Chicago Firefighters.
==BUFFALO, NEW YORK: Every Firefighter
should be very well familiar with the multi LODD loss in Buffalo (NY) when 5
BFD Ladder 5 Firefighters (and 2 civilians) were killed in a propane explosion
on December 27, 1983. It was initially a response for an "odor
gas" investigation. HERE is
Chief Mike Lombardo's excellent account and related article:http://tinyurl.com/7bbgfbd
==BRACKENRIDGE, PA: December 20th in 1991, 4 Hilltop
Hose Company Firefighters were killed when they were trapped in a partial floor
collapse in Brackenridge, PA. Ever read that report? Here it is along with
DECEMBER OF 1999.....
December of 1999, there were also 2 other very significant multiple Firefighter
Line of Duty Death fires that we must remember.
The first is the Worcester Cold Storage fire that occurred on December 3, 1999.
The second, discussed below, is the loss of 3 Firefighters in Keokuk, Iowa.
==WORCESTER (MA) WAREHOUSE FIRE TAKES THE LIVES
OF 6 FIREFIGHTERS (W6).
all remember wonderful but also (and sadly), tragic events that have occurred
in our lives as well. On December 3rd of 1999, I was attending a community
Christmas celebration in our town when beepers started to beep providing
initial details about missing Firefighters in Worcester (MA)-and then more
details-and then even more info and the final incredible details came out.
The Worcester Fire Department responded at 1813 hours that night to Box Alarm
1438 for a fire at 266 Franklin Street.(NOTE: 266 Franklin Street is now the
the address and location of WFD's E-6, E-12, L-1, R-1 and Scuba-1 quarters)
2 members of Rescue 1, Firefighter Paul Brotherton and Firefighter Jerry Lucey,
entered the building searching for occupants. Fire conditions worsened in the
building at a rapid and unexpected rate. FF's Brotherton and Lucey, on the
fifth floor, became disoriented in the smoke-filled building. Lost, and running
low on air, they called for help. Several crews began searching for the lost
Firefighters. Two crews reaching the fifth floor also found themselves
disoriented in the smoke and trapped by the maze of interior walls: Lieutenant
Tom Spencer and Firefighter Tim Jackson from Ladder 2, and Firefighter Jay
Lyons and Firefighter Joe McGuirk from Engine 3 were now trapped. Though
many more highly heroic Worcester Firefighters attempted to locate their
missing brothers, their efforts proved futile.
Be sure to read the link below, entitled "A Chiefs
Perspective" about WFD District (Ret) Chief Mike McNamee, who made the
beyond difficult decision to end search operations for the missing members-and
saved more lives by doing so.
The Line of Duty Deaths of Worcester Firefighters Paul A. Brotherton,
Timothy P. Jackson, Jeremiah M. Lucey, James F. "Jay" Lyons III,
Joseph T. McGuirk, and Lt. Thomas E. Spencer devastated Worcester, the Fire
service, the nation and the world. Their Line of Duty deaths marked the worst
loss of Firefighters' lives in more than 20 years in a building fire in
America, and the third worst fire in Massachusetts' history. R.I.P.
REPORTS & LINKS:
the USFA report as well as the "must read" Esquire Magazine/Sean
http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/tr-134.pdf (USFA Report on
Monday, November 25, 2013
Watch Toxic Hot
Seat-Tonight-11/25 @ 9:00 p.m (ET) on HBO:
THE IAFF (applicable to all Firefighters):
The documentary film, “Toxic Hot Seat,” about the need to remove harmful flame
retardants in consumer products, such as furniture, carpet, draperies,
mattresses, appliances and electronics, airs tonight (11/25) on HBO.
Produced by filmmakers James Redford and Kirby Walker, Toxic Hot Seat is set
against the backdrop of the award-winning 2012 Chicago Tribune investigative
series, "Playing With Fire." The documentary tells the story of how
Big Tobacco skillfully convinced fire safety officials to back a standard that,
in effect, requires all furniture to be filled with toxic flame retardants.
Through the personal stories of a number of San Francisco Local 798 fire
fighters (some of whom are cancer survivors), a renowned chemist whose work
helped remove fire retardants from children's pajamas in the 1970s and a
determined young Maine legislator and mom, Toxic Hot Seat chronicles the fight
for the truth against a shadowy nexus of money and politics.
Read New York Times columnist Nicholas
D. Kristof's opinion piece, "Danger Lurks in That Mickey Mouse
Couch," = http://tinyurl.com/nmmdok8
which explains why IAFF members are getting sick at alarming
IAFF affiliates in several states, including Maine, Washington, Vermont and
Oregon, have passed state laws banning dangerous flame retardants. The IAFF has
also called on the Canadian government to ban toxic flame retardants, and has
worked in the United States with congressional allies to ban brominated flame
retardants. The IAFF remains steadfast in its efforts to improve the health and
safety of its members and citizens who are exposed to these toxic substances.
Thanks to the IAFF for the heads up.
FIRE CAPTAIN LODD REPORT:
Below is a link on the NIOSH report related to the Line of
Duty Death of well known and beloved Chicago Fire Captain "Herbie"
Thanks to DaveF for the update. RIP.
Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.
The Secret List 11-25-13 / 1916 Hours
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