Cohnway Matthew Johnson

Fire Fighter/ EMT


U.S. Fire Administration Releases 2014 Firefighter Fatality Statistics


This study of firefighter fatalities would not have been possible without the cooperation and assistance of many members of the fire service across the United States. Members of individual fire departments; chief fire officers; wildland fire service organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Fire Protection Association, and many others contributed important
information to this report.


The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) was responsible for compilation of a large portion of the information used in this report. Their cooperation and work toward reducing firefighter deaths is gratefully acknowledged.


The ultimate objective of this effort is to reduce the number of firefighter deaths through an increased awareness and understanding of their causes and how they can be prevented. Firefighting, rescue and other types of emergency operations are essential activities in an inherently dangerous profession, and unfortunate tragedies do occur. These are the risks that all firefighters accept every time they respond to an emergency incident. However, the risks can be greatly reduced through efforts to improve training, emergency scene operations, and firefighter health and safety.

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Ninety-one firefighters died while on-duty in 2014, 16 fewer firefighters than the previous year’s total.


In 2014, firefighter fatalities included 30 career firefighters, 56 volunteer firefighters, and five part-time or full-time members of wildland or wildland contract fire agencies.

Of the 91 firefighters who died while on-duty in 2014, 89 were male and two were female.


The 91 deaths in 2014 resulted from a total of 89 fatal incidents including two multiple firefighter fatality incidents (the fewest in 25 years), taking respectively the lives of two firefighters each.


In 2014, 11 firefighters were killed during activities involving brush, grass or wildland firefighting. This total includes part-time and seasonal wildland firefighters, full-time wildland firefighters, and municipal or volunteer firefighters whose deaths are related to a wildland fire. There were two firefighter fatality incidents from aircraft crashes related to wildland firefighting, taking the lives of two firefighter pilots.


Activities related to emergency incidents resulted in the deaths of 42 firefighters.  This includes all firefighters who died responding to an emergency or at an emergency scene, returning from an emergency incident, and during other emergency-related activities. Nonemergency activities accounted for 49 fatalities. Nonemergency duties include training, administrative activities, performing other functions that are not related to an emergency incident, and post-incident fatalities where the firefighter does not experience the illness or injury during the emergency.


Twenty-five firefighters were killed during fireground operations in 2014. This represents fewer than half the fireground losses of firefighters from the previous year (55). When not including the losses from Sept. 11, 2001, the 2014 fireground losses were also well below the average loss per year since 1990 of 37, and for the past decade of 31 per year. Of the 25 firefighters killed during fireground operations in 2014, 20 were at the scene of a structure fire, one was at the scene of a vehicle fire, and four others were at the scene of a wildland or outside fire. The average age of the firefighters killed during fireground operations was 48, the youngest was 21, and the oldest was 77 years old. Eleven of the deaths were from volunteer fire departments, 12 were career/industrial, and two were wildland (or wildland-related).  There were 20 fatalities in 2014 where firefighters became ill or injured while on the scene of a structure fire.


2014 was the first year since at least 1990 where no firefighters were killed from trauma caused by a vehicle crash while responding to an incident in a privately owned vehicle.


For 38 years, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has tracked the number of firefighter fatalities and conducted an annual analysis. Through the collection of information on the causes of firefighter deaths, USFA is able to focus on specific problems and direct efforts toward finding solutions to reduce the number of firefighter fatalities in the future. This information is also used to measure the effectiveness of current programs directed toward firefighter health and safety.  For  further information please visit the USFA website   https://www.usfa.fema.gov/

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Cosmo Paris, 59 of Cliffside Park, New Jersey, 01-08-14

Firefighter Paris responded to an activated alarm which created a hazard in the building necessitating fire officials to order a stand-by at the location for a fire watch. The fire watch duty extended 16 hours in sub-freezing temperatures. A short time after the fire watch concluded, Paris suffered a heart attack while operating a motor vehicle. Firefighter Paris was discovered by police then treated and transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Paris family.


Christ Swan, 57 of Marietta, Georgia, 01-10-14

Along with other firefighters, Firefighter Swan was investigating an activated fire alarm. Swan became fatigued and was found in cardiac arrest. Efforts to revive Firefighter Swan were initiated and he was transported to a local hospital where he passed away.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Swan family.


James Brooks, 62 of Largo, Maryland 01-15-14

While winterizing boats and a station at the Fort Washington Marina in preparation for record low temperatures forecasted for the following day, Firefighter Brooks began to experience difficulty breathing and called 911. Firefighters and paramedics arrived to find Brooks in cardiac arrest and immediately began pre-hospital care. He was transported to a nearby medical facility and subsequently relocated to Medstar at Washington Hospital Center in "critical" condition where he succumbed to his injury on January 15th, 2014.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Brooks family. 


Greg Hennessey, 49 of Rancho Santa Margarita, California 01-20-14

During his shift, Fire Engineer Hennessey was found by his colleagues in cardiac arrest at the Orange County Fire Authority, Fire Station No. 45. The colleagues immediately began lifesaving operations and transported Hennessey to Mission Hospital, where he was pronounced dead approximately 40 minutes later.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hennessey family. 


James A. Dickman, 31 of Toledo, Ohio 01-26-14

Toledo fire crews were dispatched to a two story apartment building fire with people inside. Shortly after arriving on scene, Firefighters Machcinski and Dickman were searching inside of the building for occupants when they signaled a Mayday. Other crews immediately began RIT operations and, within several minutes, rescued the two trapped firefighters who were both reported to be in cardiac arrest. Firefighters Machcinski and Dickman were treated and transported to the hospital where they both succumbed to their injuries. The cause of the fatal fire remains under investigation by local authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dickman family. 


Stephen A. Machcinski, 42 of Toledo, Ohio 01-26-14

Toledo fire crews were dispatched to a two story apartment building fire with people inside. Shortly after arriving on scene, Firefighters Machcinski and Dickman were searching inside of the building for occupants when they signaled a Mayday. Other crews immediately began RIT operations and, within several minutes, rescued the two trapped firefighters who were both reported to be in cardiac arrest. Firefighters Machcinski and Dickman were treated and transported to the hospital where they both succumbed to their injuries. The cause of the fatal fire remains under investigation by local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Machcinski family.

 

Rick Winkles, 53 of Trumann, Arkansas 01-28-14

Fire Chief Winkles suffered an apparent heart attack while working at the scene of an accidental grass fire that spread to and destroyed a nearby residence. Winkles was treated by fellow responders at the scene then transported to the hospital where he passed away.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Winkles family. 


Jake Harrell, 34 of Little Rock, Arkansas 01-31-14

Following almost two weeks of searching for a missing single-engine Cessna 210 Centurion, Civil Air Patrol located the crash site and a National Guard helicopter crew confirmed that the pilot, Jake Harrell, was deceased and likely killed upon impact. Harrell, an experienced pilot, went missing while flying a regularly scheduled fire detection flight throughout west Arkansas. Investigation into the fatal incident continues by local, state, and federal (NTSB) authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Harrell family. 


Michael Dale Garrett, 28 of Nutter Fort, West Virginia 02-01-14

On February 1, 2014, the Nutter Fort Fire Department responded to a rescue incident involving multiple patients due to a reported cell phone tower collapse on Murphy’s Run in Summit Park, WV. While rescuing a victim, Firefighter/EMT-I Garrett was severely injured during a secondary collapse. Firefighter Garrett was then transported to United Hospital Center where he succumbed to his injuries.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Garrett family.

 

Dwight Hilton, 57 of Liberty, Mississippi 02-01-14

Firefighter Hilton suffered a fatal heart attack while fighting an outdoors fire that was threatening homes in the area. According to officials, the cause of the fire is under investigation and may have been intentionally set in several locations.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hilton family. 


Thomas G. Lee, 67 of Four Oaks, North Carolina 02-01-14

Firefighter Lee passed away at home from an apparent heart attack within 24 hours of responding to the station for a motor vehicle accident call.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lee family. 


Bruce A. Stayner, 49 of Ostrander, Ohio 02-04-14

Lieutenant Stayner fell ill at home within 24 hours of responding to a mutual aid structure fire call. Stayner was transported to the Grady Memorial Hospital where he passed away from an apparent heart attack.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Stayner family. 


James Joseph Knesek, Sr., 59 of Munster, Indiana 02-08-14

Fire Chief Knesek passed away at home from an apparent heart attack several hours after responding to a motor vehicle accident.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Knesek family. 


James C. Wilber, 58 of Franklin, New York 02-09-14

Assistant Fire Chief Wilber suffered an apparent cardiac event while responding to a motor vehicle accident call. Wilber was transported by the Unadilla Emergency Squad and Cooperstown Medical Transport to the Tri-Town Regional Hospital in Sidney where he succumbed to his injury a short time later.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wilber family. 


Dennis Channell, 54 of Poyen, Arkansas 02-10-14

Fire Captain Channell fell ill during or soon after responding to a medical call. Captain Channell passed away in the hospital the following day from a reported stroke.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Channell family. 


William Scott Tanksley, 40 of Dallas, Texas 02-10-14

As road conditions in Dallas began icing over and visibility was hampered by mist and fog, Fire Rescue Officer Tanksley was operating at the scene of an auto accident which occurred on a bridge in Southwest Dallas. Tanksley was setting road flares to warn motorists of the accident when he was reportedly struck by a passing vehicle and fell a significant distance off of the bridge to the ground below. Responding EMS personnel attempted resuscitation efforts en route to the hospital where Fire Rescue Officer Tanksley was pronounced dead.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Tanksley family. 


Roger Dale Tome, 71 of Kennedy Space Center, Florida 02-10-14

Assistant Fire Chief Tome passed away from an apparent heart attack several hours after completing his shift which included department mandated physical training.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Tome family. 


Randy R. Pogue, 49 of Maumelle, Arkansas 02-19-14

While responding to a motor vehicle accident call in his fire department vehicle, Fire Chief Pogue hit an icy area and crashed off of the roadway. Pogue was injured in the accident but conscious when he was transported to the hospital where he passed away several weeks later from complications.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pogue family.


Bruce Britt, 48 of Columbia, Missouri 02-22-14

While working to evacuate students from a university residence apartment building, Lieutenant Britt died of injuries sustained when he became entangled in debris after the collapse of a portion of the building's elevated walkway.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Britt family. 


Homer "J.R." Harrell, 46 of Orange City, Florida 02-24-14

Lieutenant Harrell passed away from a reported heart attack shortly after coming off his assigned shift which included one or more emergency responses.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Harrell family.


Gregory D. Barnas, 57, of Wallington, New Jersey 02-28-14

Fire Captain Barnas died of injuries sustained when he fell from the roof of a burning commercial structure (restaurant) while, according to reports, he was working to ventilate the building. Investigation into the fatal incident continues by authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Barnas family. 


Steven Joseph Knaus, 47 of Willowick, Ohio 02-28-14

Several hours after coming off of a shift that included four emergency responses, Firefighter Knaus was discovered in his vehicle located in the driveway of his home and in cardiac arrest. Knaus was treated and transported to the hospital but succumbed to his injury. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Knaus family.


Jerry Campbell, 61 of Nashville, Tennessee 03-01-14

While at a work center and preparing to deploy to a wildland fire incident in the Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee, Firefighter Campbell fell ill from an apparent heart attack. According to reports, Campbell's condition suddenly deteriorated and he passed away from his injury while being prepared for air transport to the hospital.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Campbell family.


Kevin J. Bristol, 48 of Peekskill, New York 03-03-14

Firefighter Bristol passed away at home from an apparent heart attack several hours after coming off shift during which he worked one or more emergency responses including a kitchen fire.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bristol family. 


Jamie A. Peite, 43 of Ironwood, Michigan 03-05-14

While participating in pumper training at the fire department, Fire Chief Peite began to not feel well but thought it was not serious. While attending classes at the University of Wisconsin-Superior the following morning, Peite suffered a heart attack. Fire Chief Peite was treated and transported to the hospital but succumbed to his injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Peite family. 


Jeffery Bayless, 51 of Anchorage, Alaska 03-07-14

Senior Captain Bayless collapsed during Rules Of Air Management (ROAM) training. Crews on scene began immediate treatment and Senior Captain Bayless was transported to Alaska Regional Hospital where he later passed away from a nature of fatal injury still to be reported.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bayless family. 


Bobby Mollere, 61 of Star Valley, Arizona 03-08-14

While performing a Wildland Pack Test, Lieutenant Mollere collapsed on the Payson High School track. Fellow firefighters on scene initiated a medical assessment and found Mollere in cardiac arrest. The EMTs and Paramedics began advanced life support immediately on scene. Lieutenant Mollere was transported to the Payson Regional Medical Center where resuscitative efforts continued until he passed away.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mollere family. 


Joseph E. Bove Jr., 53 of Spotswood, New Jersey 03-13-14

Firefighter and ex-fire chief Bove responded with his fire department to a report of a smell of gas at a home in a multi-unit residential housing complex. After shutting off the gas and clearing the incident, Bove went home and shortly thereafter collapsed from a cause of injury still to be reported. Firefighter Bove was treated and transported to the Old Bridge Regional Hospital where he succumbed to his injury. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bove family.


Wayne O' Neal Jeffers, 64 of Ramer, Alabama 03-16-14

Within 24 hours of responding to a motor vehicle accident with the South Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Department, Captain Jeffers passed away from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jeffers family. 


Tom D. Stevens Sr., 59 of Lawrenceburg, Indiana 03-17-14

Several hours after returning home from an emergency response call with the fire department, Assistant Fire Chief Stevens suffered an apparent heart attack. Responders from the Bright Fire Company were summoned and treated Chief Stevens then transported him to the Mercy Harrison Medical Center (Harrison, OH), where despite all efforts he succumbed to his injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Stevens family. 


Lance E. Wentzel, 57 of Youngwood, Pennsylvania 03-22-14

While participating in a search operation along railroad tracks for a missing woman, Firefighter Wentzel was struck and killed by a train. Investigation by authorities continues into the fatal incident.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wentzel family. 


Michael R. Kennedy, 33 of Boston, Massachusetts 03-26-14

While operating in the basement of a burning multiple unit residential structure, Lieutenant Walsh and Firefighter Kennedy died from injuries sustained when they became trapped by fire conditions. Investigation into the fatal incident, which also injured many other firefighters and several police officers, continues by local authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy family. 


Edward J. Walsh, 43 of Boston, Massachusetts 03-26-14

While operating in the basement of a burning multiple unit residential structure, Lieutenant Walsh and Firefighter Kennedy died from injuries sustained when they became trapped by fire conditions. Investigation into the fatal incident, which also injured many other firefighters and several police officers, continues by local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Walsh family.


George Underwood, 64 of Lake, West Virginia 04-02-14

Fire Chief Underwood responded to a call of localized flooding that was affecting residential properties in the community. While attempting to clear a blocked culvert with a hose line, Underwood fell ill and collapsed at the scene from an apparent heart attack. Chief Underwood was treated by responders and transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Underwood family. 


Hugh Ferguson, 52 of Damon, Texas 04-21-14

While working to establish a water supply at the scene of a vacant residential building fire, Fire Chief Ferguson collapsed from an apparent heart attack. Fellow responders immediately rendered assistance to Ferguson and transported him by Life Flight to the Memorial Hermann Hospital where he succumbed to his injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ferguson family. 


Charles "Charlie"Goff, 53 of Falls of Rough, Kentucky 04-27-14

Firefighter Goff suffered a fatal heart attack several hours after returning home from a multiple vehicle accident involving a reported five patients with critical injuries, including those of another McQuady firefighter and his wife whom Goff helped extricate from their vehicle.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Goff family.


Jeffrey B. Newland, 50 of North Port, Florida 05-01-14

Approximately four hours after going off of a shift which included several emergency response calls, Lieutenant Newland suffered an aortic dissection. Newland was treated and transported to a local hospital then flown to Health Park Hospital for specialized care where he remained for just over a week before passing away from his injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Newland family. 


David W. Millett, 62 of Norway, Minnesota 05-10-14

Several hours after responding to an early morning structure fire, Captain-Safety Officer Millett fell ill at his residence passing away from a reported cardiac arrest.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Millett family. 


Ted F. Drake, 62 of Newcastle, Wyoming 05-17-14

Fire Crew Supervisor Drake passed away from a reported heart attack while participating in a work capacity (fitness) test for red card certification, part of the wildland fire qualification system used by federal and most state wildland fire management agencies. Fire Crew Supervisor Drake, a career employee of Wyoming State Forestry Division, supervised and trained inmates called “Smoke Busters,” well-respected teams utilized to fight wildland fires and complete many other associated projects on both federal and state lands.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Drake family. 


Robert Fogel III, 58 of Townson, Maryland 05-25-14

Fire Apparatus Driver Operator Fogle went into cardiac arrest during a training exercise at the Baltimore County Fire Rescue Academy in Sparrows Point, Maryland. Fogle was cared for by fellow firefighters and transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. Services for Firefighter Fogle will be held June 4th and 5th at the Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company where Fogle also volunteered as a firefighter for over 30 years.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fogel family. 


David Fiori, 59 of New Britian, Connecticut 05-26-14

While working his shift, Deputy Fire Chief Fiori fell ill at approximately 2200hrs on Sunday (05/25/14). Firefighters immediately provided medical care to Fiori and then transported him to the Hospital of Central Connecticut where he passed away at approximately 0330hrs on Monday (05/26/14).  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fiori family. 


John "Mac" McDonald, 54 of Washington, District of Columbia 05-30-14

Battalion Chief McDonald passed away from a nature of injury still to be reported while on-duty at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. A memorial service with full fire department honors is being planned for McDonald on Thursday, June 5th. Battalion Chief McDonald was a Navy veteran and also a life-long volunteer firefighter and former fire chief with the Stafford County Fire Department, Virginia.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the McDonald family.


Donovan Garcia Jr., 52 of Sparks, Nevada 06-05-14

Assistant Fire Chief Garcia was participating in wildland fire training when he collapsed from an apparent heart attack. Garcia was treated at the scene and then transported to the Northern Nevada Medical Center in Sparks, Nevada, where he succumbed to his injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Garcia family. 


Robert "Hawk" Meyer, 54 of Union Beach, New Jersey 06-08-14

Firefighter Meyer fell ill while working at the scene of a multiple alarm fire in a commercial warehouse building. Fellow responders immediately rendered medical aid to Meyer who succumbed to his injury, the nature of which is pending completion of an autopsy.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Meyer family. 


Todd Allen Rummel, 44 of Three Forks, Montana 06-19-14

Fire Chief Rummel died upon impact from injuries sustained when the fire apparatus he was operating was involved in a motor vehicle accident with a pickup truck carrying, according to reports, five occupants who also perished upon impact in the collision. Rummel was returning the apparatus to the fire station from the shop where it had undergone routine repair work. Investigation into the cause of the accident continues by local and state authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rummel family.


Robert Thomas, 52 of Saline, Louisiana 06-30-14

After departing the scene of a residential structure fire, Captain Thomas lost control of the fire apparatus he was operating on Louisiana Highway 155 and crashed into a ditch. The vehicle overturned ejecting Thomas, who was not wearing seat restraints, and pinning him underneath. Firefighter Thomas was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Bienville Parish Coroner's Office. The cause of the accident is still under investigation by local and state authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Thomas family.


Gordon "Matt" Matthew Ambelas, 40 of Brooklyn, New York 07-05-14

Lieutenant Ambelas died from injuries sustained when he became trapped while searching for occupants of a burning high-rise residential building. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ambelas family. 


Daniel Groover, 46 of Houston, Texas 07-09-14

A Mayday was sounded and Groover Firefighter Groover collapsed while operating on the second floor interior of a burning residential structure. was quickly removed from the building by fellow firefighters. He was then transported to a local medical center but did not survive the injuries sustained in the incident. An investigation into the circumstances of the fire and Groover’s death is underway by local and state authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Groover family. 


Richard L. Marchman, 67 of Ward, Colorado 07-09-14

Firefighter Marchman collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack in the Brainard Lake Recreational Area while hiking back out to the Blue Lake/Mitchell Lake Trailhead parking lot after he and fellow responders helped rescue an injured hiker and move her to a suitable location for transport by a Flight for Life helicopter to the Good Samaritan Hospital.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Marchman family. 


Billy Glen Norris, Sr., 62 of Lecompte, Louisiana 07-21-14

Fire Chief Norris responded to a medical emergency response call with members of his fire department in the early morning hours of July 21st. Upon completion of the run, Norris complained to fellow firefighters of not feeling well with some pain in one of his shoulders and then left the station for home. A short time later Chief Norris suffered a heart attack and was transported to Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria where he succumbed to his injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Norris family. 


Matthew David Goodnature, 21 of Lakeview, Oregon 07-29-14

Firefighter Goodnature died while on-duty from injuries sustained from a fall while assigned to the Launch Fire in Oregon. Investigation into the fatal incident continues by National Forest, state, and local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Goodnature family.


Jamie Middlebrook, 40 of New Carlisle, Indiana 08-05-14

Assistant Fire Chief Middlebrook died from injuries sustained when the roof of a burning commercial storage building collapsed on him and another firefighter. According to reports, the other firefighter sustained a broken ankle and minor burns. Investigation into the cause of the fire remains under investigation by the State of Indiana Fire Marshal’s office.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Middlebrook family.


Jonathan French, 25 of Glendale, Kentucky 08-06-14

Firefighter Jonathan French was killed and another Firefighter, Lisa French, was injured when a semi tractor-trailer struck them and their fire apparatus while they were operating at the scene of a motor vehicle fire on Interstate 65. According to reports, Firefighter Lisa French, Jonathan’s mother, was flown to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Investigation into the fatal incident continues by authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the French family. 


Douglas James Casson, 46 of Vaughn, Montana 08-06-14

Safety Officer Douglas Casson completed fire department training that included non-routine physical activity at 2200hrs on Tuesday, August 5, 2014. Casson passed away at 0200hrs on Wednesday, August 6, 2014, at his residence.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Casson family. 


Darrell Parker, 56 of Fairbury, Nebraska 08-13-14

Chaplain/Firefighter Parker died in the hospital several days after the privately owned vehicle he was operating in response to a fire incident left the roadway and struck a tree. The cause of the accident is still under investigation. Officials suspect that Parker may have experienced a medical emergency when he lost control of his vehicle.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Parker family. 


Dave "Chief 5" Anderson, 66 of Fort Shaw, Montana 08-25-14

Several weeks after being injured in a collision between two Fort Shaw fire trucks responding to a grass fire near Vaughn, Montana, Fire Chief Anderson passed away in Peace Hospice of Great Falls. According to media reports, Montana Highway Patrol said the driver of the other truck, a brush truck, missed a turnoff en route to the fire and was making a U-turn when Anderson crashed into him. The water tender (tanker) truck driven by Anderson tipped on its side and Anderson had to be extricated from the wreck. He was then transported to the hospital by ambulance. Anderson was later transferred to a Billings rehabilitation facility that specializes in traumatic brain injury, and then transferred to Peace Hospice. The driver of the second vehicle involved in the accident was not injured.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Anderson family. 


Kevin J. Ollier, 60 of Anderson Township, Ohio 09-05-14

Firefighter/Paramedic Ollier passed away from a sudden illness several hours after responding to a smell of smoke call at a nursing home.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ollier family. 


Richard L. Choate, 68 of Andover, New Jersey 09-08-14

The Byram Township Fire Department responded to an activated fire alarm incident. Firefighter Choate responded and drove the tanker/tender apparatus to the scene, where he stood-by while personnel investigated. The fire department cleared the scene shortly thereafter, and he fueled the apparatus upon returning to quarters. Members later reported that Choate appeared tired, but did not express any complaints. Approximately 5 hours later, he was found unresponsive inside his personal vehicle, which had run off the road into a wooded area. Police and EMS responded, finding him in cardiac arrest. He was transported to a local hospital with CPR and AED use in progress. He was subsequently pronounced deceased at 1303 hours.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Choate family. 


William "Uncle Will" R. Wiita, 47 of Kalkaska, Michigan 09-08-14 

Approximately three hours after Assistant Fire Chief Wiita responded to a rescue/medical call, Wiita was found deceased at his residence from an apparent heart attack.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wiita family.


John Derek Gupton, 24 of Spring Hope, North Carolina 09-16-14 

While en route to a fire alarm, Firefighter Gupton lost control of the 2,500 gallon fire tanker he was operating when the apparatus left the roadway to the right, hit a ditch culvert and overturned. Gupton passed away from injuries sustained in the accident. An additional firefighter who was a passenger in the apparatus was treated for injuries and released from a local hospital.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gupton family.  


Anthony "Tony" Lynn Grider, 41 of Campbellsville, Kentucky 09-20-14 

Captain Grider succumbed to injuries sustained 30 days earlier when he received a high-voltage electric shock during an "ALS ice water challenge" at Campbellsville University. Grider and a second firefighter, who has since been released from the hospital and is recovering from his injuries, were both injured in the bucket of an aerial ladder truck when, according to reports, energy from a nearby power line arced to the bucket.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Grider family. 


J. B. Hutton Jr., 77 of Dermott, Arkansas 10-01-14 

While working an outdoor fire call along Highway 165 South near the Pine Tree Boat Landing on Lake Wallace, Assistant Fire Chief Hutton fell ill and passed away from a nature and cause of injury still to be reported.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hutton family.  


Kevin L. Bell, 48 of Hartford, Connecticut 10-07-14 

Firefighter Bell died from injuries sustained while operating at a residential structure fire. Several other firefighters were injured in the incident, transported to the hospital and are expected to recover from their injuries. Investigation into the fatal fire continues by local and state authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bell family. 


Geoffrey "Craig" Hunt, 62 of Sacramento, California 10-07-14 

The pilot of a CAL FIRE S-2T air tanker, Geoffrey “Craig” Hunt, was killed when his aircraft crashed while operating on the Dog Rock Fire near the Arch Rock entrance of Yosemite National Park. There were no other occupants in the aircraft and no injuries were reported among fire crews on the ground near where the aircraft came down. Investigation into the fatal incident continues by state and federal authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hunt family.  


Eddie Johnson Jr., 45 of Alton, Missouri 10-20-14 

While responding to a residential structure fire, Fire Chief Johnson died from injuries sustained in a single motor vehicle accident after he lost control of the police vehicle he was operating. Chief Johnson, the only occupant, was reportedly ejected from the vehicle in the crash.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Johnson family. 


Troy Magee, 39 of New Orleans, Louisiana 10-24-14 

Fire Captain Magee passed away from a nature and cause of injury still to be determined while on a fire department training assignment in New Mexico.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Magee family. 


Christi M. Rodgers, 26 of Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania 10-24-14

After her pager went off for a response call to a residential structure fire, Firefighter Rodgers became ill at her residence. Firefighter Rodgers was then transported to the hospital where she passed away. The fire incident remains under investigation by local and state authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rodgers family.  


Malcolm W. Jenkins, 60 of Louisville, Kentucky 10-30-14 

Major Jenkins was found deceased in his fire department vehicle after performing a mandated annual physical agility test at the fire department’s offsite medical provider’s facility. A cause of death has yet to be released.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jenkins family.  


Donald "Pete" Martin, 84 of Sanborn, New York 10-30-14 

After arriving at the station for mandatory department training, Firefighter Martin fell ill. Other firefighters subsequently took Firefighter Martin to his residence where 911 was called after he became unresponsive. Firefighter Martin passed away from a nature and cause of injury still to be determined.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Martin family. 


Kellen Andrew Fleming, 29 of Spartanburg, South Carolina 11-01-14

Firefighter-Paramedic Fleming suffered a heart attack in the bunkroom of the firehouse in the early morning hours of November 1st. Fleming was treated immediately by a fellow paramedic and other responders at the station and was then transported to the hospital where he went into cardiac arrest. Despite efforts to revive him, Fleming succumbed to his injury. Firefighter-Paramedic Fleming had responded to several emergency incidents and worked fire prevention activities in the hours leading up to his fatal injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fleming family.  


James E. Bethea, 62 of Baltimore, Maryland 11-12-14 

At 0028hrs, firefighters responded to a vacant rowhouse fire. Lieutenant Bethea, the safety officer, arrived at the scene at 0043hrs. A few minutes later, the fire was deemed to be under control and by 0334hrs, all units were recalled to fire stations or other emergencies. Around 0700hrs, a former auxiliary firefighter who drove by observed that Bethea’s fire department SUV was still at the scene. Officials returned and found Bethea’s body in the basement of a vacant home next door to where the fire occurred. Investigation into the incident and cause of death continues.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bethea family.  


Christopher J. Hunter, 38 of Cinnaminson, New Jersey 11-15-14

Lieutenant Hunter responded to his last alarm at 0305 hours on 11/14/2014. At 0152 hours the next day Lieutenant Hunter suffered a cardiac arrest at home. He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hunter family.  


Richard D. Weisse, Sr., 59 of St. James, New York 11-15-14 

A short time after responding to a school fire alarm, Firefighter Weisse suffered a medical emergency and passed away. The nature and cause of death are pending further investigation.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Weisse family. 


Alejandro Castro, 40 of Brownsville, Texas 11-16-14 

Pump Operator/Paramedic Castro was found unresponsive while on-duty inside of Brownsville Fire Station 8. Castro had succumbed in the fire station to a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Castro family.  


James S. Foote, 57 of Summit, New York 11-18-14 

Upon returning inside of the station to get warm after cutting down two trees on the fire department grounds, Firefighter Foote fell ill and collapsed. Medical assistance was provided by fellow responders and Foote was transported to Cobleskill Hospital where he later passed away of a heart attack.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Foote family.  


Arthur "Art" E. Treon, 62 of Cape May Court House, New Jersey  11-19-14 

County Fire Coordinator Treon responded to a working multi-family dwelling fire. While operating as fire coordinator, Treon began experiencing chest pains and difficulty breathing and was transported by EMS to Cape Region Medical Center for a suspected heart attack. Fire Coordinator Treon was admitted for possible pneumonia but subsequently passed away at approximately 2230hrs on 11/19/2014 from a nature and cause of injury still to be reported.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Treon family.  


Samir "Sam" P. Ashmar, 51 of Allenton, Pennsylvania 11-20-14 

Several hours after responding to a medical call, Fire Marshal Ashmar was found in cardiac arrest at his residence. Ashmar was treated and transported by fellow responders to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest where he succumbed to his injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ashmar family. 


Tom T. Rhamey, 71 of Lakeville, Ohio 11-28-14 

Firefighter-EMT Rhamey fell ill while working at the scene of a residential structure fire. Rhamey was treated and transported by Western Holmes County EMS to Wooster Community Hospital and subsequently flown to Akron City Hospital where he remained in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit until his passing.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rhamey family.  


John Morgan Burns, 50 of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 12-03-14 

Lieutenant Burns was discovered by other firefighters unresponsive in his bed at the fire station early in the morning where he was pronounced deceased from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined. In addition to other duties, Lieutenant Burns had responded to one or more emergency alarms earlier during his shift.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Burns family.  


Joyce M. Craig-Lewis, 36 of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 12-09-14 

At approximately 0249hrs, Firefighter Craig-Lewis was one of several firefighters that were first to respond to a residential fire in the West Oak Lane Section of Philadelphia. Upon arrival at 0253hrs, the firefighters advanced a hose into the home's basement to fight the fire. As reinforcement arrived, a change in tactics was ordered and the first group of firefighters started to withdraw from the basement. During this time, Firefighter Craig-Lewis became trapped. She was rescued by fellow firefighters and, with no vital signs, was transported to Albert Einstein Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at approximately 0400hrs. Investigation into the incident and cause of death continues. Firefighter Craig-Lewis is Philadelphia's first female firefighter to die while on duty.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Craig-Lewis family.  


Gus Losleben, 69 of Savannah, Tennessee 12-09-14 

Firefighter Losleben died from injuries received when the fire department tanker he was operating in response to a working structure fire collided head-on with a loaded logging truck. The driver of the logging truck was also killed in the accident, the cause which remains under investigation by authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Losleben family.  


Ricky Wooten Doub, 61 of Yadkinville, North Carolina 12-16-14 

Fire Chief Doub responded to an EMS and a fire call during the day on December 16 and was later found deceased at home by his wife around 1700hrs that evening. A nature and cause of fatal injury for Chief Doub is still to be determined.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Doub family. 



Joseph "Junior" Sanford Jr., 43 of Inwood, New York 12-23-14 

Firefighter Sanford succumbed to injuries sustained several days after being rescued from the basement of a burning residence in Woodmere, New York, revived by fellow responders and transported to the hospital.  Sanford, a former assistant fire chief with the Inwood Fire Department, was reported to have been one of the first firefighters on the scene when he became separated from others and fell through the first floor of the home into the basement.  Investigation into the fatal fire incident continues by authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sanford family. 


James J. Woods, 44 of Jersey City, New Jersey 12-26-14

Firefighter Woods passed away from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined within 24 hours of responding to an emergency response call.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Woods family.