The 83 fatalities occurred in 33 states, one U.S. territory, and one overseas U.S. military facility. Texas experienced the highest number of fatalities (7). North Carolina experienced six firefighter deaths and was the only other state with five or more firefighter fatalities.
Heart attacks were responsible for the deaths of 50 firefighters (60 percent) in 2011, nearly the same proportion of firefighter deaths from heart attack or stroke (63 percent) in 2010. Ten onduty firefighters died in association with wildland fires, the lowest number of annual firefighter deaths associated with wildland fires since 1996. Fifty-four percent of all firefighter fatalities occurred while performing emergency duties.
Four of the firefighters who died while responding to incidents in 2011 were killed by trauma caused by motor vehicle collisions, including three in privately-owned vehicles and one in a fire department apparatus.
For additional information on firefighter fatalities, including the annual fatality reports from 1986 through 2011 and 2012 firefighter deaths, please visit the USFA website.
While Firefighter Rice was working at the scene of a fire in a multi-family dwelling, he became trapped from a cause still to be determined in heavy smoke and fire conditions between the second and third floors of the structure. Firefighter Rice was rescued by fellow firefighters, treated on-scene, and transported to the Salem Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The fatal incident is being investigated by local, state, and federal authorities.
Memorial donations in honor of Firefighter James Rice can be sent to: IAFF Local 925 c/o James Rice, PO Box 4313, Peabody, MA 01960; or, James Rice Memorial Fund, Northshore Bank, 32 Main ST, Peabody, MA 01960. Deposits can also be made in person at any branch. More details will be posted at http://www.local925.org/
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Rice Family.
After working with other firefighters to help a dozen residents escape from a burning multi-family residential structure, Firefighter Davies and his partner, Firefighter Brian Carroll, re-entered the building in search of another resident reported to still be inside. Firefighter Davies was killed, and Firefighter Carroll seriously injured, when the building collapsed, entrapping the two firefighters. Firefighter Carroll was rescued from the structure and is reported to be in stable condition and recovering at a local hospital. Investigation into the fatal incident continues by local and state authorities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Davies Family.
We also pray Firefighter Brian Carroll makes a full recovery.
Firefighter Pendergrass was discovered deceased in bed by fellow firefighters at shift change, having passed away during the night in his sleep from a cause still to be determined. Incident Location: Station #41, 9610 Hampton Road, Fairfax Station, VA. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Pendergrass Family.
Firefighter Collins was struck and killed by a vehicle while working a traffic control point at the scene of a motor vehicle accident on Interstate 80. Investigation of the fatal incident continues by local and state authorities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Collins Family.
Firefighters Jacob Waldner and William Waldner died from injuries sustained while attempting to extinguish a rekindled coal bin fire. The firefighters were on the roof of the structure when an explosion occurred killing both of them. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Waldner Family.
Firefighter Branscum died from a cause still to be determined while working at the scene of a campground/resort fire involving several camp trailer homes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Branscum Family.
In lieu of flowers the Family suggests memorials to the Jay Branscum Memorial Fund, c/o Bank of Cairo and Moberly, 207 East Rollins St, Moberly, MO 65270.
While operating at the scene of an outdoor fire, Firefighter Meyers passed away from injuries sustained when, according to state police, he lost control of the ATV he was operating and crashed into the front of a Texas Parks and Wildlife pickup truck at a roadway intersection. According to media reports, Meyers was using the ATV to travel between two separate fires that were burning in order to monitor the progress of each blaze. Local authorities suspect that both fires were intentionally set. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Meyers Family.
Fire Marshal Cox was performing a fire fighters skills fitness test. During the test, Marshal Cox started to have difficulty breathing and maintaining his balance, the test was stopped and he was quickly treated by fellow firefighters and taken to Lakeview Hospital where he became unresponsive and was admitted to the ICU. On August 27, 2011 his condition became worse and his body organs started to shut down, he was flown by medical helicopter to the University of Utah Medical center for further care. The following day, Fire Marshal Cox passed away from a cause still to be determined. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Cox Family.
A memorial fund has been set up as "The Steve Cox Memorial Fund" which can be made at any America First Credit Union. All flowers should be sent to Russon Brothers Mortuary located at 295 North Main in Bountiful, Utah, 84010. Their office number is 801-295-5505.
Lieutenant Krodle was among the several crews that responded to a working structure fire in a multifamily residential building. While attempting to perform vertical ventilation from the roof of the 2-story apartment, Lt. Krodle fell through the roof and into the attic. He was rescued by fellow firefighters and was transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas where he later died from his injuries. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Krodle Family.
Lieutenant Nelson passed away from a cause still to be determined while working at the fire station and experiencing a fall from a small step ladder. Lt. Nelson had also responded to an emergency call the previous day that was canceled while en route. Incident Location: Station 3, 6911 Rec Road 2, Del Rio, TX.
In Lieu of Usual Remembrances donations can be made to the Val Verde County Rural Fire Department,PO Box 420836, Del Rio, TX 78842-0836.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Nelson Family.
Firefighter Haskvitz passed away as a result of injuries he suffered after being caught in a burnover while fighting the Coal Canyon Fire near Edgemont, South Dakota. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Haskvits Family.
Firefighter/EMT White suffered a heart attack on July 17, 2011, while participating in Technical Rescue Training. On August 5, 2011, White passed away from complications as a result of the heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the White Family.
Firefighter Cocke suffered a pulmonary embolism within 24 hours of responding to two fire incident calls, one outdoor and one residential fire. After being treated and released from the hospital, Cocke returned two days later exhibiting symptoms when he passed away from his injury. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Cocke Family.
Captain King passed away from a cause still to be determined while fighting a grass and abandoned structure fire. Weather conditions (heat) are being considered as a contributing factor in the death.
A memorial fund has been established in honor of Captain King at both the Exchange Bank, 523 Delaware Perry, OK 73077 ((580) 336-5531); and, 1st Bank and Trust, 401 North 7th Street Perry, OK 73077-6407 ((580) 336-5562).
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the King Family.
Captain Bowen responded with his fire department to a four alarm fire at an office building. While engaged in search and rescue operations, Bowen became disoriented, succumbing to the intense smoke and heat from the fire and going into cardiac arrest. RIT members located Captain Bowen and removed him from the structure but Captain Bowen did not survive his injuries. Several other firefighters were injured in the incident. None of the injuries are reported to be life threatening.
A Fallen Firefighters Fund has been established to help the family of Captain Jeff Bowen, who lost his life, and for his partner Jay Bettencourt, who is currently receiving treatment at the burn center in Augusta, Georgia and for other City of Asheville firefighters injured while battling a four-alarm fire at 445 Biltmore Avenue on July 28, 2011. Mission Health System, in cooperation with the Asheville Fire Department, has created the Fallen Firefighters Fund to assist the families impacted by the July 28 fire. Mission Health System will match all contributions up to a total of $10,000. The full amount of all contributions donated will go to the families, with no administrative charges applied. The Asheville Fire Department will distribute the funds. Contributions are tax-deductible and receipts will be issued by The Foundation. When all contributions have been distributed, any donor who wishes to view the usage of the funds may contact the Foundation for a full listing of all the payments made. Anyone interested in contributing to the Fallen Firefighters Fund may do so online www.missionfoundation.org or may mail contributions to Mission Foundation, 980 Hendersonville Road, Suite C, Asheville, NC 28803. Please mark your checks "Fallen Firefighters Fund." For additional information, please contact Kelley Webb, (828) 251-4011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bowen Family, FF Jay Bettencourt and these courageous firefighters.
Firefighter Gagne passed away from an apparent heart attack after returning home from responding to three incidents earlier that day. Donations in honor of Firefighter Gagne may be sent to the Beacon Federal Credit Union, 2812 N Alexander DR, Baytown, TX 77520-2957, c/o Elizabeth Gagne in memory of Gaston Gagne. Beacon Federal Credit Union Phone Number: 281-471-1782. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Gagne Family.
Firefighter Miller died of an apparent heart attack shortly after returning home from working a residential structure fire in Butler, Indiana. Heat conditions on the fireground were described by local authorities as extreme. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Miller Family.
Firefighter Sparks suffered an apparent heart attack while he was operating on the interior of a residential structure fire. Firefighter Sparks was treated on-scene by fellow firefighters until the Adair County EMS arrived and transported him to Westlake Regional Hospital. He was then airlifted by Air Evac to Norton's Audubon Hospital, where he had remained until his passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Sparks Family.
Firefighter Hamm fell ill while he was working on a fire line near Abilene, Texas. Hamm, a member of the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Bonneville Interagency Hotshot crew, was being transported by helicopter to the hospital when he passed away from a cause still to be determined. Initial reports indicated that the extreme heat in Texas at the time may have been a factor in Hamm's death. Incident Location: Near Abilene, TX . Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hamm Family.
Firefighter Hauser passed away from serious injuries he suffered during a 1981 fire in a department store at the Midtown Plaza. Incident Location: McCurdy's Department Store, Midtown Plaza, 211 Midtown Plz, Rochester, NY. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hauser Family.
Fire Chief Hadaller passed away from a sudden illness after responding to two EMS incidents within the preceding 24hrs. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hadaller Family.
Forest Rangers Burch and Fulton were killed when their position was overrun by flames while conducting tractor plow operations on the Blue Ribbon Fire in Hamilton County, Florida. Two other firefighters - Robert Marvin and Stephen Carpenter - were injured while attempting to assist their fellow firefighters. Both were treated for smoke-related injuries and released from the hospital. Investigation into the fatal incident continues by the Florida Division of Forestry and the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Fulton Family.
Firefighter Shaw passed away from injuries sustained in a wall collapse while operating at a large fire in an antique mall and opera house in nearby Pinckneyville, Illinois. Investigation into the cause of the fire continues by authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Shaw Family.
While operating at a church fire, Firefighter Davis passed away from injuries sustained when the roof of the building collapsed. Investigation into the incident continues by local, state, and federal authorities. Our thougts and prayers go out to the Davis Family.
Shortly after returning home from a motor vehicle accident response, Battalion Chief Rasmussen passed away from a cause still to be reported. Incident Location: Pending Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Rasmussen Family.
Firefighter/Paramedic Valerio and Lieutenant Perez passed away from injuries sustained while operating at a house fire in the Diamond Heights district of San Francisco. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Perez Family.
Firefighter/Paramedic Valerio and Lieutenant Perez passed away from injuries sustained while operating at a house fire in the Diamond Heights district of San Francisco. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Valerio Family.
Second Assistant Chief Shields responded to an emergency call of a child who became overheated at the Mountainview Elementary School. Assistant Chief Shields returned to the firehouse and then headed home, feeling ill, with chest pains. Emergency medical personnel responded but tragically Chief Shields died at Saint Clare's Hospital in Denville, NJ. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Shields Family.
Initial reports indicate that Firefighter Imker passed away from injuries he sustained after falling six to eight feet onto a concrete surface at the fire hall during rope rescue training. Investigation into the incident continues by local and state authorities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Imker Family.
Firefighter Lange passed away from complications resulting from Hepatitis that he contracted through a documented exposure to an infected patient on an EMS incident more than 20 years ago. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Lange Family.
Firefighter Watts collapsed while working water supply at the scene of a report of smoke in the Windsor Rehabilitation Center. Fellow firefighters and EMS personnel immediately initiated CPR and Firefighter Watts was transported to St. Francis Hospital by a Windsor EMS ALS unit where he passed away from a cause still to be determined. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Watts Family.
Firefighter Lam passed away from injuries sustained while engaged in fire suppression activities for the Scotts Chapel Road Fire, a 12-acre wildfire that occurred in Livingston County, Kentucky, in September, 2010. Firefighter Lam was clearing a fire break for containment at the base of a bluff when a burning snag broke loose on top and rolled downhill over a small bluff and struck Lam from behind. Firefighter Lam was knocked out and sustained a serious head injury that left him unconscious, a fractured hip, bruises, and 2nd degree leg burns on his calves. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Lam Family.
Airman First Class Kozorosky passed away at the Camp Lester Naval Hospital following a vehicle mishap. Details for the fatal incident are pending a full investigation by authorities. Incident Location: Kadena Air Base, Japan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Kozorosky Family.
Chief Barbour responded to a woods fire on 01/29/2011. The following day (within 24 hours), Barbour experienced chest pains and was transported to WakeMed in Raleigh, NC. Chief Barbour was treated at the hospital but never recovered from his injury and passed away just before midnight on 02/04/2011. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Barbour Family.
Firefighter Dare passed away from an apparent heart attack after responding to an EMS call for a sick child. Department members and other emergency services providers in the area were confronted by extreme weather conditions during the response, which was eventually canceled when the child's reported illness moderated. Firefighter Dare's vehicle had become stuck in the snow during the response and was extricated with the assistance of another department member. Upon returning home, Dare became ill in his driveway and his wife attempted to drive him to the department for assistance. She also became stuck in the snow and was assisted by the same firefighter who earlier had helped Firefighter Dare extricate his vehicle. Upon arrival at the fire station, Avon fire-rescue personnel were waiting and performed CPR on Firefighter Dare for over 30 minutes. Due to the weather and road conditions, additional help could not reach the community and, according to reports, by 0100hrs, responders were told by medical control to stop their resuscitation efforts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Dare Family.
Within several hours of finishing a duty shift at the department that included response to emergency incidents, Battalion Chief Auch passed away at home from a cause still to be determined. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Auch Family.
Firefighter Jones became ill while on duty at his duty station and requested to leave in order to see his personal family physician. While enroute to the physician's office he collapsed at the wheel of his personal vehicle causing a minor accident. Firefighters responding to the accident immediately began advanced life support and continued treatment to the ER where Firefighter Jones passed away from a cause still to be determined. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Jones Family.
Assistant Chief Walters collapsed while doing paperwork at the fire station. Fire department personnel immediately performed CPR. He was transported to the Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where he passed away from an apparent heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Walters Family.
During a training exercise at the Arkansas Fire Academy in East Camden, Arkansas, Firefighter Recruit Eason went into cardiac arrest while performing a hose trace evolution. Paramedics were on-site and immediately performed CPR and advanced life support. However, Firefighter Recruit Eason passed away at the hospital approximately 30 minutes later. Cause of death is under investigation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Eason Family.
Captain Clark passed away after suffering a medical emergency while responding to a reported structure fire. Captain Clark was operating a tanker when he advised a crew member that he felt as if he might pass out, and then lost consciousness. The other firefighter reached over and applied the air brake to stop the vehicle. He and firefighters from the apparatus following the tanker removed Captain Clark and began CPR. Ground and Air ambulances were summoned to the scene and treatment continued. Captain Clark, however, did not survive his injury and was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Maries County Coroner. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Clark Family.
Firefighter Falkenhan died from injuries sustained when he became caught and trapped by rapidly progressing fire conditions in a multi-story residential apartment building. Firefighter Falkenhan called a mayday about 20 minutes into the call. He was on the third floor, searching for fire victims. His partner was able to escape through a window on the third floor. Firefighters found Falkenhan near the balcony and delivered him to paramedics, who administered advanced life support measures and transported him to St. Joseph Medical Center. Fire crews rescued two civilians who critically injured. An adult female was transported to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center, and an adult male was transported to Sinai Hospital. The fire was contained by firefighters to a single garden-apartment building. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by authorities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Falkenhan Family.
Firefighter Quick passed away from injuries sustained as a result of his response to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11th, 2001. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Quick Family.
Lieutenant Hannon was found unconscious and unresponsive in his bed at fire company quarters. Hannon was rushed to Mercy Medical Center but could not be revived. The specific nature of Lt. Hannon's fatal injury is still to be reported. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hannon Family.
Captain Niles became ill while working at the scene of a garage fire and was transported to the hospital where he passed away from a reported cardiac related injury. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Niles Family.
Lieutenant Eleam fell ill during routine SCBA training at the firehouse. Eleam was treated and taken to Mercy Hospital by the fire company's EMS unit. After being admitted to the hospital, Lieutenant Eleam's condition rapidly deteriorated and he passed away from a cause still to be determined. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Eleam Family.
Monetary contributions will be accepted to honor his legacy by improving the fire company he so selflessly served: Big Tree Volunteer Fire Company, 4307 S Park AVE, Blasdell, NY 14219-2837. Portions of the contributions will also go to Upstate New York Transplant Services.
On 01/10/11, Captain Hopman had responded to a structure fire in the downtown Quincy area. After the fire had been extinguished, Captain Hopman returned to the fire station and then went home. Sometime in the early morning hours of 01/11/11, he was found in his bed where he had passed away. The cause of death is under investigation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hopman family.
Firefighter Chelsen passed away from bone-marrow cancer resulting from his response to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11th, 2001. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Chelsen Family.
Firefighter Paul suffered a medical emergency while walking on a treadmill during a heart stress test, a portion of the annual fire department. Firefighter Paul was treated by emergency personnel and transported to the hospital but succumbed to his injury and passed away. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Paul Family.
Driver/Operator Remington was responding to a motor vehicle accident call on Owls Nest Road when for a cause still under investigation he lost control of his personally owned vehicle, a 2005 Chevrolet pickup truck, and crashed off of the roadway striking a tree. Remington was ejected from the vehicle and passed away from his injuries at the accident scene. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Remington Family.