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Firefighter Rescued From Frigid Water During Drafting Operation

Posted By Near Miss Team/ Tuesday, April 9, 2019 / Print

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EVENT NARRATIVE 
What was your initial size up?
Two-story detached garage with heavy fire and smoke showing from B/C/D sides.
Enter a summary of your event:
Upon arrival, I found a two-story detached garage with heavy fire and smoke showing on the “B/C/D” sides of the building. An unoccupied pickup truck was noted in front of the garage doors. The 911 center reported the fire was called in by a neighbor who was unsure if anyone was home. Upon my 360 size up I determined that no one was home and that the heaviest fire was on the B/C corner with rapid progression. Upon arrival of the first engine, a quick exterior attack was attempted but complete knockdown was not possible due to no firefighter access to the B/C corner because of snow and ice. Auto aid departments arrived on scene and sectors were established. Shortly after a water supply point was determined and apparatus were assigned. After the units arrived at the water supply a "mayday" went out. One firefighter had slipped off the dock into the water. Air temperatures were in the mid 20's and significant ice on the lake was still present but this spot was open water all year. A firefighter that was able to assist the injured firefighter out of the water and into the warm truck. An ambulance was dispatched to the fill site and the firefighter was transported to the ED for evaluation.
Which of the following occurred, if any?

Injury/fatality

LESSONS LEARNED 

Describe the Lessons Learned at this Event. What recommendations do you have to prevent a similar occurrence?
As many rural fire departments use bodies of water as a water source extra attention and training should be given to fill site training, including accessing water when ice is present.
What changes are being implemented due to this event?
Fill site training in all seasons has been performed with emphasis on accessing water through the ice and maintaining firefighter safety while doing so.
Were unsafe act(s) performed

No

REPORT DETAILS 

Date the event occurred (mm/dd/yyyy):
2/11/2018
Approximate time the event occurred (00:00):
1400
Location of emergency/event:
Residential
Was a 360-degree scene size up performed?
Yes
Which strategic mode was initially implemented?
Defensive
Were you responding to a known a life hazard (i.e. CPR in progress, known rescue, critical patient entrapment, etc.)?
Unknown
List any other info that was important for situational awareness. What were key indicators and factors to consider?
Given the size of the building and the amount of fire, a defensive attack was called for and a significant amount of water was going to be needed.
Contributing Factors 
Factors that contributed to the event:
Individual Action
Situational Awareness

Human Error

Resources and Weather 

Which of the following resources were on scene when the event took place?
Command Vehicle
How many?
1
Approximate number of personnel per unit:
1
Engine
How many?
2
Approximate number of personnel per unit:
3
Ambulance (Medic, Squad)
How many?
1
Approximate number of personnel per unit:
2
Wildland (Brush Truck)
How many?
1
Approximate number of personnel per unit:
2
Tanker (Tender)
How many?
4
Approximate number of personnel per unit:
2
Did the weather/environmental conditions impact operations or the event?
Yes
Precipitation:
Snow
Ice
Temperature:
1-32
Wind speed:
Light (4-12 mph)
Humidity:
0-20%
Visibility:

Good visibility

Outcomes 

Were there civilian injuries or fatalities?
No
Were there any firefighter injuries?
Yes
How many firefighters with injuries?
1
If injured, did the individual:
Get transported to the ED/Hospital
What was the nature of the injuries?
Skeletomuscular injuries to the firefighter's chest along with cold water exposure and mild hypothermia.
Was work loss time incurred because of the event?
Yes
If so, estimate the number of days lost
Less than 7
Was there substantial department-owned property/equipment damage or other department cost?
No




Report Id3edcf5ab-de66-4796-8368-5a7dc7aa1739

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