Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2012-09, 2013 Feb; :1-36
On March 19, 2012, a 56-year-old fire officer was struck and killed at a motor vehicle crash scene. The captain and engineer (driver/operator) of Engine 4 responded initially to a report of a single vehicle crash on a state highway. The vehicle had struck and damaged a natural gas meter which was sheared off below grade causing a natural gas leak. While Engine 4 was responding, the captain requested the response of the gas company. The civilian driver was not injured in the crash. Also, a city police officer responded to investigate the vehicle crash. The captain and engineer initially attempted to control the gas leak, but were unable to do so. The captain contacted the Dispatch Center and requested the response of the gas company be expedited due to the severity of the leak. The captain, engineer, and the police officer were standing on the shoulder of the southbound lane of traffic when a van struck the two fire fighters and the police officer. The captain was killed upon impact. The police officer and engineer were seriously injured and were transported to metropolitan trauma center for treatment. Contributing Factors: 1. Actions of the van driver; 2. Initial single vehicle crash involving damaged/leaking natural gas meter; 3. Inadequate protection of the highway/roadway work area; 4. Fire fighters and police officer standing in close proximity to moving traffic; 5. Inadequate traffic management; 6. Lack of procedures for controlling a damaged/leaking natural gas meter. Key Recommendations: 1. Develop pre-incident plans regarding deployment to traffic incidents, scene safety, situational awareness, and traffic control for highway/roadway emergency work zones; 2. Develop and implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) for highway/roadway incidents including deployment protocols within the department's jurisdiction; 3. Ensure that all members receive training for conducting emergency operations at highway/roadway incidents; 4. Develop and implement standard operating procedures for response to incidents involving natural gas leaks; 5. Utilize the principles of the incident management system for effective command and control of highway/roadway incidents.
Region-6; Fire-fighters; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Emergency-responders; Safety-practices; Work-practices; Motor-vehicles
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
Services: Public Safety
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health