Cohnway Matthew Johnson

Fire Fighter/ EMT

US Fire Administration Releases 2015 Firefighter Fatality Stastics
 
For 39 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.

Ninety firefighters died while on-duty in 2015, four fewer than the 2014 total of 94 firefighter fatalities. The 2015 total includes 15 firefighters who died under circumstances that were part of inclusion criteria changes resulting from the Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefit Act. When not including these fatalities for the purposes of a trend analysis, there were 75 non-Hometown Hero firefighter fatalities in 2015, the fifth lowest annual total since 1977 (when USFA began this study.


Since 1977, there has been a 35 percent decrease (46 percent when excluding firefighter fatalities associated with September 11, 2001), and over the past ten years alone, a 29 percent decrease in on-duty firefighter fatalities.

In 2015, firefighter fatalities included 32 career firefighters, 47 volunteer firefighters, and 11 part-time or full-time members of wildland or wildland contract fire agencies.

All 90 firefighters who died while on-duty in 2015 were male — only the fourth such year since 1990. The 90 deaths resulted from a total of 86 fatal incidents, including three multiple firefighter fatality incidents, taking the lives of seven firefighters

In 2015, 12 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 was one firefighter fatality incident from an aircraft crash related to wildland firefighting, taking the lives of one firefighter pilot and one firefighter.
   
Type of Duty

Activities related to emergency incidents resulted in the deaths of 44 firefighters in 2015 (Figure 5). 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 46 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.

This information and additional information is provided by the US Fire Administration.  Please visit their website @ www.usfa.fema.gov

Christopher A. Tindall, 42 of Raymore, Missouri 01-08-15

Several hours after responding to an emergency incident, Battalion Chief Tindall passed away from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Tindall family.


Franck W. Tremaine, 58 of Jackson, California 01-10-15

Several hours after responding to a motor vehicle accident, Captain Tremaine passed away at home in his sleep from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Tremaine family.


Leslie "Les" W. Fryman, 58 of Rosendale, Wisconsin 01-21-15

Firefighter Fryman was a passenger in a tanker/tender responding to a mutual aid structure fire when he went unresponsive. Fellow responders treated Fryman and transported him to a local hospital. Firefighter Fryman was subsequently transferred to another hospital where he succumbed to his injury seven days later. The nature and cause of fatal injury is still to be officially reported.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fryman family.


Ronnie W. Peek, 49 of Garden City, Kansas 01-22-15

Firefighter Peek fell ill while participating in fire department mandated air management training. He was subsequently transported to the hospital where he suffered a heart attack and passed away.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Peek family. 


Clifford "Cliff" Sanders, 55 of Caney, Kansas 01-29-15

Firefighter Sanders became ill and collapsed at the firehouse while responding to a grass fire call. Sanders was treated immediately at the station by fellow responders and transported to Jane Phillips Hospital in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and then on to St. Johns Hospital in Tulsa where he died January 29th from a stroke.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sanders family. 


Mike "Coop" Cooper, 61 of Centerville, Iowa 01-31-15

Assistant Fire Chief Cooper died at home from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined several hours after being released from the scene of a large structure fire in a commercial occupancy.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Cooper family.


Charlie V. Wallace, 74 of Montgomery, New York 02-03-15

Firefighter Wallace died from injuries sustained when he was struck by a vehicle on January 10th while directing traffic in front of the fire station as apparatus were leaving for a response call.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wallace family.


Kenneth Lehr, 59 of Medora, Illinois 02-05-2015

While attempting to close off Illinois Route 111 to allow for a helicopter to land safely for a medical emergency, Chief Lehr was struck by a fire apparatus as it was backing up. Chief Lehr passed away at the scene from injuries sustained when he was struck.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lehr family.


Garry Rose, 67 of McMechen, West Virginia 02-06-15

Firefighter Rose was wheeling a patient through the doors of the Emergency Room at the Ohio Valley Medical Center when he collapsed and, shortly thereafter, passed away from an apparent heart attack.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rose family. 


Randy Parker, 46 of Macon, Georgia 02-11-15

Lieutenant Parker was pronounced dead at Medical Center-Navicent Health and at least five other firefighters were injured after a structural collapse occurred while fire crews were operating inside of a burning residential structure. According to media reports, the Bibb County coroner said Lieutenant Parker died from burns and smoke inhalation. Three of the injured firefighters are being treated at the Augusta Burn Center; one of the three was in critical condition and airlifted to the Center. The fatal fire incident remains under investigation by authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Parker family.


Kenneth M. Stanton, 52 of Pendleton, South Carolina 02-15-15

Sergeant Stanton was directing traffic at the scene of a previous vehicle accident when an approaching vehicle drove around emergency equipment and struck him. Stanton was immediately treated at the scene and then transported to the hospital where he passed away from injuries sustained. The driver of the vehicle who struck Sergeant Stanton is being charged with felony driving under the influence resulting in death and leaving the scene of an accident.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Stanton family. 


Randy Hiti, 57 of Duluth, Minnesota 02-18-15

Firefighter Randy Hiti was responding to a medical emergency call when he suffered a medical episode and passed away from injuries sustained. The cause of death remains under investigation.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hiti family. 


Dwight W. Bazile, 57 of Houston, Texas 02-21-15

Fire Captain Bazile fell ill shortly after responding to a residential structure fire with reports of people trapped inside. Captain Bazile was operating inside of the structure with other firefighters when he began experiencing a medical emergency. He was able to walk out of the burning building under his own power, but collapsed outside shortly thereafter and went into cardiac arrest. Captain Bazile was immediately treated by fellow responders and transported to Memorial Herman Hospital where he succumbed to his injury two days later.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bazile family. 


Edward Roddy, 48 of Somerset, Pennsylvania 02-22-15

Firefighter Roddy suffered from a heart attack on November 5, 2014 while at the scene of a fire and did not recover. He passed away on February 22, 2015.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Roddy family.  


Jerold "Jerry" Bonner, 72 of Sacramento, California 03-06-15

While on duty at Alma Helitack Base in Santa Clara County, California, Pilot Bonner was found deceased inside of his barracks from a cardiac related nature of fatal injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bonner family. 


Jeffrey S. Buck, 18 of Clearfiled, Pennsylvania 03-09-15

Firefighter Buck was critically injured on March 3, 2015, while fighting a residential structure fire when the front porch of the home collapsed on him. Buck was rescued and transported to UPMC Altoona where he succumbed to a head injury March 9, 2015.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Buck family.  


Billy R. Jarvis, 54 of Allen, Kentucky 03-10-15

On March 4, 2015, while responding in a fire department vehicle to a downed power line call, Fire Chief Jarvis became ill with trouble breathing. His son, Fire Captain Jarvis, who was a passenger in the vehicle at the time, took over as driver and rushed Chief Jarvis to Highlands Regional Medical Center. Upon arrival at the hospital, Chief Jarvis went into cardiac arrest. Jarvis was revived by attending personnel and transferred to the Pikeville Medical Center where he succumbed to his injury on March 10, 2015.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jarvis family.  


John L. Shoup, 38 of Ashland, Mississippi 03-15-15

While working at the scene of a structure fire on March 7, 2015, Firefighter Shoup complained to other firefighters that he wasn’t feeling well and departed for home. Several hours after returning home, Shoup was taken by his wife to the hospital where he was treated for a heart attack and his condition stabilized. Subsequently, Firefighter Shoup was transferred to a hospital in Jackson, Mississippi, where he succumbed to his injury on March 15, 2015.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Shoup family.  


Daryl Gordon, 54 of Cincinnati, Ohio 03-26-15

Fire Apparatus Operator Gordon, assigned to Cincinnati Fire Department’s Heavy Rescue 14, died from injuries he sustained in a fall down an elevator shaft while working with fire crews to rescue the residents and extinguish a fire in a Madisonville neighborhood apartment building. Some of the residents were reported to have suffered smoke inhalation and one other firefighter was injured with second-degree burns in the fire. Investigation into the fatal incident continues by authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gordon family. 


Barry Van Horn, 63 of Somerville, New Jersey 03-27-15

Firefighter Van Horn responded to a fire alarm call at 07:25 hours on March 25, 2015. After the call, he returned to his office to fill out the fire report of the incident (Firefighter Van Horn was also the municipal Fire Official). He felt ill, however, and went home. Shortly thereafter, around noon, Firefighter Van Horn suffered a heart attack. He was transported by ambulance to Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center where he remained until his death on March 27, 2015.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Van Horn family.  


Steve Cobb, 55 of Jackson, Mississippi 03-30-15

The pilot and one firefighter died of injuries sustained and one firefighter was seriously injured when their U.S. Forest Service helicopter crashed while monitoring a controlled burn of about 800 acres in the Desoto National Forest.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Cobb family.  


Brandon Ricks, 40 of Jackson, Mississippi 03-30-15

The pilot and one firefighter died of injuries sustained and one firefighter was seriously injured when their U.S. Forest Service helicopter crashed while monitoring a controlled burn of about 800 acres in the Desoto National Forest.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ricks family.  


John J. Doster, of Levittown, Pennsylvania 04-02-15

Fire Police Captain Doster complained of not feeling well while on the scene of a two-alarm warehouse fire in Hulmeville Borough, Pennsylvania. Doster was directing traffic on a bitterly cold evening with much of the main street of the borough closed for fire operations. Shortly thereafter, Doster departed for home. Within a few hours, Doster’s condition worsened and he was transported to the hospital for treatment. Subsequently, on April 2, 2015, Fire Police Captain Doster passed away at St. Mary’s Medical Center.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Doster family.  


Steven Ackerman, 38 of Valley Springs, South Dakota 04-12-15

Firefighter Ackerman died from injuries sustained while working interior fire operations at the scene of a residential structure fire. Ackerman was found in the basement of the home after fire crews were ordered out of the structure due to fire conditions. The 47-year-old homeowner, Mr. David Smith, had been rescued by fire crews and transported to the hospital soon after they arrived on-scene but did not survive his injuries. Investigation into the fatal incident continues by local and state authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ackerman family. 


Raymond Araujo, 37 of Sacramento, California 04-13-15

Inmate Firefighter Araujo suffered a heart attack while engaged in a training exercise on the Morongo Indian Reservation near Banning, California. Araujo succumbed to his injury after being airlifted to a base camp where he was treated by CAL FIRE and Riverside County Fire Department medics.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Araujo family.  


Andrew "Andy" Zalme, 42 of Dakota City, Nebraska 04-16-15

On the evening of Thursday, April 16, 2015, Dakota City Fire and Rescue responded to a vehicle fire on Highway 35. As fire crews were preparing to leave the scene, Captain Zalme collapsed. Despite numerous attempts, fellow responders were unable to revive Zalme and he passed away at the scene. A nature and cause of fatal injury has yet to be determined.   Our thoughts and prayers are with the Zalme family.  


Curtis E. Nordsick, 71 of Wrightsville, Pennsylvania 04-19-15

Fire Police Lieutenant Nordsick responded to the scene of a homicide to assist with traffic control and scene safety. Nordsick reportedly returned to the fire station and, after complaining that he wasn’t feeling well, collapsed. Lieutenant Nordsick was immediately attended to in the fire house and then transported to Memorial Hospital where he passed away. The nature and cause of fatal injury is still to be determined.   Our thoughts and prayers are with the Nordsick family. 


Mike Corn, 68 of Conway Springs, Kansas 04-27-15

While putting on gear at the station preparing to respond to a fire call, Training Officer/Firefighter Corn collapsed. Fellow responders immediately provided medical assistance but Corn succumbed to his injury, the nature and cause of which is still to be determined.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Corn family. 


Timothy T. Peters, 46 of Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 04-30-15

Firefighter Peters responded to a medical assistance call with his fire company on the afternoon of April 30, 2015. Later that evening at 1930hrs, Peters was stricken by an apparent heart attack at his residence. Emergency responders were summoned and treated Peters then transported him to the hospital where he succumbed to his injury.   Our thoughts and prayers are with the Peters family.  


Christopher Michael Blankenship, 41 of Jackson, Tennessee 05-03-15

While working at the scene of a motor vehicle accident with fire, Firefighter Blankenship was seriously injured when a tree at the scene fell on top of him. Firefighters quickly removed the tree from Blankenship and rendered medical aid. Blankenship was then transported to the Jackson-Madison County General Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Blankenship family. 


Larry W. Lawhorn, 60 of St. Charles, Missouri 05-03-15

Engineer-Firefighter Lawhorn was responding to a mutual aid structure fire when the fire department tanker he was driving left the roadway and came to a rest in a field. Firefighter Lawhorn, who was alone in the vehicle, was found by other emergency responders as they were returning from the fire call. Resuscitative efforts were attempted but Lawhorn was pronounced dead at the scene from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lawhorn family. 


Ricky Thurman, 54 of Swainsboro, Georgia 05-04-15

While operating on the scene of a structure fire on April 24, 2015 Lieutenant Thurman suddenly went into cardiac arrest. Immediate efforts to revive Lt. Thurman were successful and he was airlifted to Regents University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia where he passed away on May 4, 2015.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Thurman family. 


Timothy Gunther, 54 of Poughkeepsie, New York 05-05-15

While engaged in rescue and suppression duties at the scene of a residential structure fire, Firefighter Gunther began to experience cardiac related symptoms. Firefighter Gunther was treated on scene and transported to Vassar Brothers Medical Center where despite all efforts, including surgery, Gunther’s condition worsened and he succumbed to his injury.   Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gunther family.  

 

Dwight Greer, 44 of Philadelphia, Mississippi 05-06-15

Approximately one hour after returning to quarters from a carbon monoxide response call, Firefighter Greer suffered a cardiac related medical emergency at the station while participating in fire department mandated physical training. Greer was treated by fellow responders and transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injury.   Our thoughts and prayers are with the Greer family.  


Kevin McRae, 44 of Washington, DC 05-06-15

While working at the scene of a high rise apartment building fire, Lieutenant McRae went into cardiac arrest and collapsed. According to media reports, McRae, in charge of the first due engine and crew, had just exited the structure after fighting the fire in a 9th floor apartment for 50 minutes. Lieutenant McRae was transported to the Washington Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead. Two others, including one firefighter, suffered non-life threatening injuries in the incident which remains under investigation by authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the McRae family. 


David Bourget, 59 of Phippsburg, Maine 05-23-15

At 1900hrs, several members of the Phippsburg Fire Department, including Firefighter Bourget, gathered at the station in preparation to work a fireworks display standby detail. At 1940hrs, the fire department members started to leave the station to work the detail. Firefighter Bourget was driving a tanker truck, but only got to the station’s driveway apron when he suddenly fell ill. Firefighter Bourget was treated by paramedics at the scene and transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The cause of fatal injury is still to be reported.   Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bourget family. 


Jason Farley, 44 of Claremore, Oklahoma 05-24-15

At 2230hrs on 05/23/2015, the Claremore Fire Department was called to rescue about 10 people caught inside of several residential units due to rising flood waters. While assisting with the water rescue, Captain Farley was swept into a flooded storm drain where he got trapped and drowned. Captain Farley’s body was recovered approximately two hours after the water rescue began. Another firefighter who was also swept into the storm drain suffered non-fatal injuries. All of the residents were rescued without injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Farley family.  


Terrance Morgan Pryor, 48 of Memphis, Tennessee 05-25-15

Several hours after responding to the last emergency call of his shift, Lieutenant Pryor became ill and passed away at his residence. The nature and cause of fatal injury is still to be reported.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pryor family. 


Dale J. Wege, 59 of Rhinelander, Wisconsin 06-01-15 

Firefighter Wege responded to an emergency medical call at 1812hrs on May 31st. The following day at 1556hrs, Wege was found collapsed at home without a pulse and not breathing. Firefighter Wege was treated by fellow responders and transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander where he was pronounced deceased at 1645hrs. The nature and cause and fatal injury is still to be determined.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wege family.  


James "Donnie D. Keith, 59 of Jasper, Alabama 06-03-15 

While at home several hours after responding to two fire calls, including one in a recreational vehicle at the Clear Creek Recreation Area Campground, Fire Captain Keith complained of not feeling well and suffered a cardiac arrest. Captain Keith was treated and transported to a local hospital by fellow responders where despite all efforts he succumbed to his injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Keith family. 


Thomas D. Miserendino, 71 of Beachwood, New Jersey 06-04-15 

Firefighter Miserendino arrived at the fire station on May 25th in full dress uniform to participate in the fire department’s annual Memorial Day Ceremony & Parade. Miserendino officiated over the memorial services at the fire station and then drove fire apparatus in the parade across town where he was scheduled to perform memorial duties during the town’s official ceremony at a local veteran’s park. Shortly after his arrival at the town’s ceremony, Firefighter Miserendino began to feel ill, and other members observed that something was wrong with him. EMS responded and he was transported to a local hospital for care. Miserendino was admitted for cardiac treatment and was discharged the next day. A few hours after returning home, he suffered an apparent heart attack, and was transported by EMS back to the hospital. Firefighter Miserendino remained there for treatment, however, his condition gradually worsened and he passed away at the hospital on June 4th.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Miserendino family. 


David Knapke,  55 of Williamsburg, Ohio 06-05-15

Fire Lieutenant Knapke suffered a sudden cardiac event and collapsed while operating at the scene of a mutual aid structure fire in Mt. Orab, Ohio, on May 30. Knapke was resuscitated at the scene of the fire and flown to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treatment. Subsequently, due to test results and in accordance with his end of life care plan, Lieutenant Knapke was moved to the Hospice of Cincinnati where he succumbed to his injury on June 5th.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Knapke family. 


Ian Haxton, 31 of Arlington, Virginia 06-06-15

Veteran Fire Corps Crewmember Haxton suffered a medical emergency and collapsed 200 yards from the finish line while participating in the Wildland Firefighter Work Capacity Test. Medical care was immediately rendered by local emergency medical responders who had been staged on-site for the test. Crewmember Haxton was transported to an Advanced Care Facility where he passed away from a nature and cause of injury still to be determined. At the time of the fatal incident, Haxton was serving at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Sasabe, AZ, preparing for a series of prescribed burns scheduled to take place at the Refuge.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Haxton family. 


Willie O. Sensenich, 69 of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 06-09-15 

Firefighter Sensenich died from an apparent cardiac arrest several hours after responding to an electrical fire in a residential structure.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sensenich family. 


Terry K. Sonner, 33 of Boise, Idaho 06-10-15 

Fire Operations Supervisor Sonner collapsed after he and his fire crew finished physical training at the Hammett Guard Station, Idaho. Fellow firefighters initiated medical treatment on scene but Sonner succumbed to a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sonner family. 


Michael P. Miller, 45 of Green Bay, Wisconsin 06-20-15 

Lieutenant Miller was found collapsed on the floor in the fire station near his bunk in the early morning hours of June 20, 2015, and was quickly attended to by other department members who found no vitals signs present. Lieutenant Miller was pronounced deceased in the location found at 04:55AM. Lieutenant Miller was working a 24 hour shift and had responded to his last alarm, an EMS call, several hours earlier. The nature and cause of fatal injury is still to be determined.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Miller family. 


John Whelan, 46 of Denver, Colorado 07-15-15

On June 28, while checking for extension from a dumpster fire, Engineer Whelan was critically injured when a skylight collapsed and he fell through the roof of an abandoned building at 3860 Blake Street. Whelan was treated at the scene and transported to the hospital for medical care including several surgeries. On July 15, several days after being released from the hospital to recover at home, Engineer Whelan was taken to St. Anthony North Health Campus with shortness of breath where, less than an hour later, he passed away from medical complications.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Whelan family. 


Tyron Weston, 51 of columbia, South Carolina 07-26-2015 

Firefighter Weston fell ill while on shift on July 3, 2015. During his recovery, Firefighter Weston passed away on the morning of Sunday, July 26, 2015. The nature and cause of fatal injury are still to be determined.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Weston family. 


James Alan Hicks, 44 of Charlotte, North Carolina 07-27-2015 

Captain Hicks was found unresponsive in his fire department bunkroom several hours after responding to a mutual aid structure fire at 39025 Kemp Road, Albemarle. Captain Hicks was treated by fellow firefighters and other responders but was pronounced deceased at the fire house. The nature and cause of fatal injury is still to be determined by authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hicks family.  


David "Dave" Ruhl, 38 of Alturas, California 07-30-2015

Acting Assistant District Fire Management Officer Ruhl was reported missing during the initial fire attack on the Frog Fire Wildfire in the Modoc National Forest. The Modoc County Sheriff’s Office was called for assistance in searching for the missing firefighter. Search and rescue personnel started the initial search at approximately 2000hrs and continued until about midnight when it was halted because of hazardous fire conditions. Efforts began again at 0600hrs, July 31, and continued until Captain Ruhl’s body was discovered at 0917hrs. The incident remains under investigation by local, state, and national authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ruhl family. 


Michael "Mike" Hallenbeck, 21 of South Lake Tahoe, California 08-08-2015

Firefighter Hallenbeck, a member of Organized Crew 36 on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU), was struck and killed by a tree during the initial attack on the Sierra fire that broke out south of the Echo Summit mountain pass in California. A second firefighter was injured in the same incident but was treated and released from the hospital.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hallenbeck family. 


James "JD" D. Robinson, 59 of West Brasstown, North Carolina 08-14-2015 

While on standby at a local race track, Fire Chief Robinson told other members that he was going to take a break and rest. A short time later when members realized that he was not breathing, CPR was begun immediately and EMS was contacted. Fire Chief Robinson was treated at the scene and transported to Murphy Medical Center but succumbed to his injury; the nature and cause of which is still to be reported.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Robinson family.


Christopher J. Daniels, 40 of Pine Level, North Carolina 08-17-2015

Lieutenant Daniels arrived on shift at 0600hrs and per his normal routine ran for 30 minutes. He returned to the department's day room and was later found unresponsive at 0723hrs when members responded to a call. The nature and cause of fatal injury is still to be determined.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Daniels family. 


Richard Wheeler, 31 of Wenatchee, Washington 08-19-2015

Firefighter Wheeler, Firefighter Zajac, and Firefighter Zbyszewski were killed and one additional firefighter was injured when the Twisp wildfire trapped them in their apparatus on state forest land. The firefighters, members of an engine crew from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, were involved in initial attack operations on the fire near Woods Canyon and Twisp River Roads in Washington State when their vehicle crashed and fire overtook it after winds suddenly shifted. The injured firefighter remains in the hospital in critical condition. Several other firefighters with dozer crews were also reported to have been injured. Investigation into the fatal incident continues.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wheeler family. 


Andrew Zajac, 26 of Wenatchee, Washington 08-19-2015

Firefighter Wheeler, Firefighter Zajac, and Firefighter Zbyszewski were killed and one additional firefighter was injured when the Twisp wildfire trapped them in their apparatus on state forest land. The firefighters, members of an engine crew from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, were involved in initial attack operations on the fire near Woods Canyon and Twisp River Roads in Washington State when their vehicle crashed and fire overtook it after winds suddenly shifted. The injured firefighter remains in the hospital in critical condition. Several other firefighters with dozer crews were also reported to have been injured. Investigation into the fatal incident continues.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Zajac family.


Tom Zbyszewski, 20 of Wenatchee, Washington 08-19-2015

Firefighter Wheeler, Firefighter Zajac, and Firefighter Zbyszewski were killed and one additional firefighter was injured when the Twisp wildfire trapped them in their apparatus on state forest land. The firefighters, members of an engine crew from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, were involved in initial attack operations on the fire near Woods Canyon and Twisp River Roads in Washington State when their vehicle crashed and fire overtook it after winds suddenly shifted. The injured firefighter remains in the hospital in critical condition. Several other firefighters with dozer crews were also reported to have been injured. Investigation into the fatal incident continues.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Zbyzewski family.


Lawrence G. Sesso, 40 of Sayville, New York 08-22-15

An hour after responding to a commercial structure fire, Firefighter Sesso participated in a fire department parade including multiple fire departments. On his way home, Sesso suffered a Cardiac arrest. Firefighter Sesso was transported to the SouthSide Hospital but did not survive his injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sesso family. 


Chris Phillips, 41 of Salisbury, North Carolina 08-27-2015

Lieutenant Phillips passed away from an apparent heart attack several hours after responding to a fatal motor vehicle accident on Edmiston Road near Mt. Ulla, North Carolina.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Phillips family. 


Shane Clifton, 38 of Saint Paul, Minnesota 08-31-2015

Firefighter-paramedic Clifton was on duty and working out at the fire house when suddenly he wasn't feeling well and then collapsed. Clifton was treated by fellow firefighters and medics at the firehouse and then transported to Regions Hospital, where he succumbed to his injury. The nature and cause of fatal injury, thought to have been a catastrophic cardiac arrest, are still to be determined by authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Clifton family. 


Dennis Rodeman, 35 of Lansing, Michigan 09-09-2015

While participating in the annual “Fill the Boot” fundraising campaign, Firefighter Dennis Rodeman was struck by a pickup truck passing through the charity event. Rodeman was transported to Sparrow Hospital where he passed away from the injuries he sustained in the collision. A preliminary investigation of the incident indicates that the driver of the truck intentionally hit Rodeman who was wearing a reflective vest and other gear. The driver has been apprehended by law enforcement and is in custody.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rodeman family. 


Daniel Hampton, 35 of Burnet, Texas 09-18-15

Firefighter/EMT Hampton was fatally injured when the ambulance he was driving struck the rear of a semi-trailer truck. His firefighter/paramedic partner, Timothy Pierce, and the patient in the ambulance both received injuries and were transported to a local trauma center for treatment. Investigation into the fatal accident continues by local and state authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hampton family. 


Barry Miller, 50 of Bergen, New York  09-23-15

While responding to an emergency call for a male with chest pain, Chief Miller died from injuries sustained when the fire department ambulance he was a passenger in collided with a slow moving backhoe loader. The driver and one other crew member on board the ambulance were not injured. The ambulance was traveling east on Bovee Road in Riga, New York, when the accident occurred. According to media reports quoting law enforcement officials, early morning sunshine and fog were contributing factors to the fatal accident which remains under investigation by local and state authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Miller family. 


Stuart Hardy, 31 of Beaufort, South Carolina 09-24-15

Firefighter/EMT Hardy passed away from a nature and cause of injury still to be determined after suffering a medical emergency while working at the scene of a motor vehicle accident on September 13th, 2015.   Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hardy family. 


Richard L. Crosby, 67 of Bailey, Michigan 09-26-15 
Firefighter Crosby suffered a cardiac arrest shortly after a fire call incident that occurred on 9/24/2015. Crosby was taken off of life support and succumbed to his injury on 09/26/2015.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Crosby family. 


Sean M. Benson, 50 of Paramus, New Jersey 09-23-15 

Firefighter and Ex-Fire Chief Benson was found unresponsive at home several hours after responding with Paramus Fire Department, Company 2, to a local restaurant for a fire alarm activation. Firefighter Benson was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Benson family. 


Barry Miller, 50 of Bergen, New York 09-23-15 

While responding to an emergency call for a male with chest pain, Chief Miller died from injuries sustained when the fire department ambulance he was a passenger in collided with a slow moving backhoe loader. The driver and one other crew member on board the ambulance were not injured. The ambulance was traveling east on Bovee Road in Riga, New York, when the accident occurred. According to media reports quoting law enforcement officials, early morning sunshine and fog were contributing factors to the fatal accident which remains under investigation by local and state authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Miller family. 


Stuart Hardy, 31 of Beaufort, South Carolina 09-24-15 

Firefighter/EMT Hardy passed away from a nature and cause of injury still to be determined after suffering a medical emergency while working at the scene of a motor vehicle accident on September 13th, 2015.   Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hardy family. 


Richard L. Crosby, 67 of Bailey, Michigan 09-26-15 

Firefighter Crosby suffered a cardiac arrest shortly after a fire call incident that occurred on 9/24/2015. Crosby was taken off of life support and succumbed to his injury on 09/26/2015.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Crosby family. 


Antonio Smith, 47 of Memphis, Tennessee 10-07-15 

Fewer than 24 hours after responding to an emergency call with the Memphis Fire Department, Fire Lieutenant Smith was found deceased near his residence inside of his personal vehicle. The nature and cause of Lieutenant Smith's fatal injury are still to be reported.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Smith family. 


Larry J. Leggio, 43 of Kansas City, Missouri 10-12-15 

Fire Apparatus Operator Larry J. Leggio and Firefighter John V. Mesh died from injuries sustained in a structural collapse while working at the scene of an apartment building fire.

Multiple units were dispatched at 1927hrs on initial calls that indicated fire visible from the structure; additional units were dispatched as the incident escalated, with a full second alarm requested shortly after arrival. Tactical assignments were made, including establishing a Rapid Intervention Team, and crews began operating to effect fire suppression and occupant rescue, rescuing multiple occupants by ladder prior to deteriorating conditions and forcing a shift to defensive operations.


Evacuation was ordered at 1952hrs. At approximately 2007hrs, a collapse was reported on the east side of the building. Two MAYDAY calls were received from the collapse area, indicating firefighters in urgent distress; four firefighters were reported trapped by the collapse. The Rapid Intervention Team witnessed the collapse and held their ground for no more than 10 seconds until Command ordered them to effect the rescue. They located, uncovered and removed several firefighters from the immediate area. The first ambulance transporting a firefighter departed the scene at approximately 2013hrs, arriving at Truman Medical Center (TMC) approximately five minutes later. A second emergency transport left the scene at approximately 2021hrs with arrival at TMC five minutes following. Both those firefighters, Fire Apparatus Operator Leggio and Firefighter Mesh, were pronounced dead at the hospital after paramedics, nurses and doctors had attempted to revive them. A third firefighter was transported to University of Kansas Medical Center at 2023hrs and a fourth transported non-emergency to St Luke’s at approximately 2027hrs; their condition is still to be reported.


The cause of the fatal fire is being investigated by local, state, and federal authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Leggio family. 


John V. Mesh, 39 of Kansas City, Missouri 10-12-15 

Fire Apparatus Operator Larry J. Leggio and Firefighter John V. Mesh died from injuries sustained in a structural collapse while working at the scene of an apartment building fire.

Multiple units were dispatched at 1927hrs on initial calls that indicated fire visible from the structure; additional units were dispatched as the incident escalated, with a full second alarm requested shortly after arrival. Tactical assignments were made, including establishing a Rapid Intervention Team, and crews began operating to effect fire suppression and occupant rescue, rescuing multiple occupants by ladder prior to deteriorating conditions and forcing a shift to defensive operations.


Evacuation was ordered at 1952hrs. At approximately 2007hrs, a collapse was reported on the east side of the building. Two MAYDAY calls were received from the collapse area, indicating firefighters in urgent distress; four firefighters were reported trapped by the collapse. The Rapid Intervention Team witnessed the collapse and held their ground for no more than 10 seconds until Command ordered them to effect the rescue. They located, uncovered and removed several firefighters from the immediate area. The first ambulance transporting a firefighter departed the scene at approximately 2013hrs, arriving at Truman Medical Center (TMC) approximately five minutes later. A second emergency transport left the scene at approximately 2021hrs with arrival at TMC five minutes following. Both those firefighters, Fire Apparatus Operator Leggio and Firefighter Mesh, were pronounced dead at the hospital after paramedics, nurses and doctors had attempted to revive them. A third firefighter was transported to University of Kansas Medical Center at 2023hrs and a fourth transported non-emergency to St Luke’s at approximately 2027hrs; their condition is still to be reported.


The cause of the fatal fire is being investigated by local, state, and federal authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mesh family.


Charles "Chuck" Horning, 54 of Collins, Ohio 10-13-15 

Fire Captain Horning was found deceased, slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle, approximately eight hours after responding to a fire call with his fire department. The nature and cause of the fatal injury is still to be determined.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Horning family. 


Gerald "Bear" Celecki, 70 of South Amboy, New Jersey 10-14-15 

Fire Police Officer Celecki collapsed while directing traffic at an emergency incident. Celecki, who was also chief of the Middlesex County Fire Police, was treated on-scene by fellow responders and transported to the hospital but succumbed to a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Celecki family. 


Larry O'Neil, 58 of Palo Pinto, Texas 10-25-15

Firefighter O'Neil was responding to an emergency medical call in a fire department vehicle and had just arrived on-scene when fellow responders noticed that he had become ill. Firefighter O’Neil was removed from the vehicle, provided medical assistance, and transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to a nature and cause of injury still to be reported but thought to be cardiac related.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the O'Neil family. 


Thomas J. Kolarick, 59 of Keasbey, New Jersey 11-11-15 

Deputy Chief Kolarick returned to the firehouse after a fire alarm response. Inside of the firehouse, Kolarick suffered a medical emergency and collapsed. He was subsequently transported to a local hospital where he remained hospitalized until the time of his passing.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kolarick family. 


Vince Smith, 49 of Detroit, Michigan 11-19-15 

Sergeant Smith passed away in his sleep at the fire station from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined. According to media reports, Smith complained of not feeling well just before retiring for a rest period. Sergeant Smith was assigned to Detroit Fire Department’s Ladder 13 but was working an extra shift at the station housing Engine 48 at the time of his passing.   Our thoughts and prayers are with the Smith family. 


Walter Szelag, 65 of Detroit, Michigan 11-20-15 

Captain Szelag became ill from an apparent heart attack while on-duty with the City of Detroit Fire Department’s Fire Boat 1. According to initial reports, crew members radioed for an ambulance to be sent to the fire boat station where Szelag was working to prepare the fire boat for the winter season. Captain Szelag was transported to Detroit Receiving Hospital but succumbed to his injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Szelag family. 


Terry "TC" Culver, 65 of Calvert City, Kentucky 11-24-15 

While responding to a fire call, Assistant Fire Chief Culver became ill with heart attack like symptoms causing him to fall from a piece of fire apparatus onto a concrete floor. Culver was treated and transported to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries almost two weeks later. The nature and cause of fatal injury is still to be reported.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Culver family. 


Richard J. Cano, 35 of Houston, Texas 11-29-15

Firefighter Richard Cano worked a 24-hour shift from 0600hrs on November, 21, 2015, to 0600hrs on November 22, 2015. During that shift, Cano responded to three incidents. Cano was dispatched with Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department’s Engine 1 to the last of these incidents, a three-alarm apartment fire, at 0138hrs and cleared the scene at 0345hrs. At the end of his shift at 0600hrs, Cano returned home and went to sleep. At 0845hrs the same day, Cano’s wife observed him in distress and subsequently stop breathing. She immediately called 911. Upon arrival, responders found Cano’s wife performing CPR. Care was taken over by the ambulance crew and advanced life saving measures were performed during transport to the hospital. Cano was turned over to a hospital emergency room nurse with a pulse. He was in the hospital’s intensive care unit for a week but never regained consciousness. Firefighter Cano passed away on November 29, 2015, at 1930hrs.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Cano family. 


Scott Carroll, 48 of Oxnard, California 11-30-15 

Captain Carroll fell ill while working a duty shift that had included one cooking fire and two EMS calls. Carroll left the station for his personal physician’s office and then home to rest where, two days, later he was found by his wife having suffered a fatal brain aneurysm.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Carroll family. 


Mark Zielinski, 49 of Matteson, Illinois 12-04-15 

Firefighter/Paramedic Zielinski responded to a medical incident for a male who was in cardiac arrest at a local retail store. While performing CPR on the patient, Firefighter/Paramedic Zielinski suffered a medical emergency. A second ambulance was summoned and Firefighter/Paramedic Zielinski was taken to Franciscan St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields where, despite all efforts, Zielinski passed away from a reported cardiac related injury.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Zielinski family. 


Zachary Chase Clevenger, 30 of Irvine, Kentucky 12-05-15 

Firefighter Clevenger worked a structure fire in the evening of December 4th returning home near midnight. Clevenger was found unconscious by his wife in the morning and emergency assistance was summoned. All efforts to revive Firefighter Clevenger were unsuccessful and he passed away from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Clevenger family. 


Lawrence "Larry" W. Millard, 56 of Endeavor, Wisconsin 12-11-15 

Firefighter Millard was struck by a passing vehicle as he was directing traffic while the department was on the scene of a motor vehicle crash on U.S. I-39 at mile post 99.5 in Marquette County. Firefighter Millard was rushed by ambulance to a hospital in Portage then flown to the University of Wisconsin Trauma Center in Madison, where he succumbed to his injuries.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Millard family. 


Daniel V. Capuano, 42 of Chicago, Illinois 12-14-15 

Firefighter/Paramedic Capuano died from injuries sustained in a fall down an elevator shaft while operating with fire crews in heavy smoke conditions inside of a burning warehouse building. Capuano was quickly removed from the burning building and into a waiting ambulance then taken to Christ Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The cause of the fatal fire incident remains under investigation by local and state authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Capuano family. 


Sidney "Sid" Winer, of New Bern, North Carolina 12-15-15

Firefighter Winer was involved in a motor vehicle collision on October 20th, 2015, while riding in department's Ford F150 returning from picking up equipment. Another vehicle pulled out directly in front of the department's truck. Winer sustained serious fractures to both feet as a result of the collision which totaled the department's truck. As a result of the injuries he sustained, Firefighter Winer's right leg was amputated just below the knee on December 3rd, 2015. Firefighter Winer was in the rehabilitation center at CarolinaEast Medical Center when he succumbed to his injuries on December, 15th.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Winer family. 


Stacy A. Crawford, 47 of Powell, Texas 12-19-15 

While involved in training exercises at the fire station, Firefighter Crawford suddenly became unconscious and collapsed. Resuscitation efforts were begun by fellow responders and Firefighter Crawford was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Crawford family. 


Jack H. Rose, 19 of Saugerties, New York 12-19-15

Captain Rose responded with members of his fire department to a mutual aid response call for a reported chimney fire. According to the fire department, when firefighters arrived on scene they observed fire coming from the ground floor. An entry team of firefighters from the Mt. Marion Fire Department entered the basement to extinguish the fire. During the interior firefighting operation, Captain Rose became separated from his team. Rose was quickly located by fellow firefighters and removed from the basement. Once outside, Captain Rose became unresponsive and firefighters initiated lifesaving measures. Captain Rose was treated by paramedics at the scene and transported by DIAZ Ambulance to the Health Alliance Hospital-Kingston Broadway Campus where efforts to revive Rose continued. In spite of all life saving measures, Captain Rose eventually succumbed to his injuries.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by local and state authorities.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rose family. 


Willie B. Ratliff, 66 of Clarksdale, Mississippi 12-21-15 

Fire Captain Ratliff was found deceased in the firehouse by fellow firefighters from an apparent heart attack shortly after participating in fire department physical training at the fire station.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ratliff family.


Louis "Pop Pop" Patti, 67 of Jamison, Pennsylvania 12-22-15

Fire Police Officer Patti passed away on December 22, 2015, from a CVA injury suffered minutes after returning home from a vehicle extrication response call on December 6, 2015.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Patti family. 


Patrick R. Wolterman, 28 of Hamilton, Ohio 12-28-15 

Firefighter Wolterman died from injuries sustained when he became trapped in a residential structure fire. According to initial reports from the media and fire department, firefighters responded to the fire at 0112hrs and upon arrival observed heavy smoke coming from the home. Firefighters had been advised that the house may be occupied with two elderly residents and at 0117hrs entered the home to search for any residents and began an interior attack on the fire. At approximately 0120hrs firefighter Wolterman fell from the first floor into the basement and firefighters transmitted a "Mayday" alert calling for help. Firefighters quickly located and rescued Firefighter Wolterman and performed life saving measures while en route to Fort Hamilton Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The fatal fire incident remains under investigation by local and state authorities. On January 4th, 2016, officials stated that the fire was due to arson and being investigated as a homicide.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wolterman family.