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Incident Name: Dutch Creek; Eagle Fire, Iron Complex
Date: 07/25/08, 1350 hrs
Personnel: Andrew Jackson Palmer
Age 18
Agency/Organization: Olympic National Park
Position: Firefighter, Wildland Part-Time

Summary: Firefighter Andy Palmer was assigned as a part of an engine crew to the Iron Complex fire on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest near Weaverville, California. When Firefighter Palmer and his crew arrived at the incident command post, they could not go to work immediately due to a mechanical problem with their engine. After working logistical assignments at the camp, Firefighter Palmer and two members of his crew were assigned as a tree falling team. They worked ahead of firefighters mopping up a fire that was under control, removing or dropping hazardous trees to allow other firefighters to work more safely.

At approximately 1350 hrs, Firefighter Palmer was struck by a piece of a falling tree released in the falling process. Helicopter access to the site was prevented by smoke conditions so other firefighters carried Firefighter Palmer to a location where he was picked up by a United States Coast Guard helicopter. Firefighter Andy Palmer went into cardiac arrest in the helicopter and was pronounced dead.

 

Andy Palmer, NPS Firefighter. Andy Palmer, NPS Firefighter.

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Maps

Accident Site (approximate)

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Eagle Fire, Iron Complex Eagle Fire, Iron Complex

Map from the video "We will Never Forget You: Remembering Andy Palmer"

Map from the video Map from the video

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Preliminary Briefing from US Forest Service, 7/26/08: 24 Hour Briefing (125K pdf)
  • Expanded Report from US Forest Service, 7/31/08: 72 Hour Briefing (97K pdf)
  • NPS: Dutch Creek Questions and Answers in support of the Fatality Accident Investigation (284 K pdf)
  • Press Release - NPS Releases Dutch Creek Accident Investigation: Factual Report Includes biography of Andy Palmer
  • Release of the Factual Report: Transmittal Memo.
  • Acronym Reference List: Acronyms listed in the Factual Report
  • Final Accident Investigation Factual Report of the Serious Accident Investigation Team (SAIT) and Accident Review Board (ARB) regarding the death of Andy Pamer on the Dutch Creek Incident: Factual Report (21 MB pdf)
  • USFS Accident Review Board (ARB): Dutch Creek Tree Felling Fatality Safety Action Plan (104 K pdf), includes cover memo for transmittal
  • National Park Service Direction Memo (#025-2010): NPS Memo (128K pdf)
  • Dutch Creek Serious Accident Investigation Report Response (#025-2010): NWCG Memo May, 2010: Three (3) New Incident Management Team (IMT) Daily Operation Protocols/Procedures (167 K pdf)
  • Link to all related documents from the National Park Service on Andy Palmer / Dutch Creek Incident
  • 2009 National Wildland Fire Reform, By Robert Palmer: The Palmer Perspective (272K pdf)
  • Emergency Helicopter Extraction, Announced 3/11: Resource List by Region
  • Lessons Learned Center: Two More Chains, Summer 2011 Vol 1 Issue 2 , If a Tree Falls in the Forest ... (484 K pdf)
  • Wildland fire agencies are continually improving medical evacuation procedures because of this tragedy.
  • Wildland Fire LLC You Tube Video, 11/4/2011: We Will Never Forget You: Remembering Andy Palmer This is the story of how Fire Risk Management arrived at today's Dutch Creek Protocol guidelines for emergency medical response and extractions.
  • The Dutch Creek Medical Protocols that grew out of Andy's death save a life on the Big Meadow Fire in Colorado in 2013. Big Meadow Medevac 2013 -- There are 8 debriefing YouTube videos from the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center that will load and play as a playlist or you can play them one by one. Hotshots, EMTs, paramedics and IMTs tell the story as an After Action Review. Many lessons learned from Andy's death in 2008 informed the planning and actions taken to save Luther's life in 2013.
  • Lessons Learned Center: Two More Chains, Winter 2016 Vol 5 Issue 4 , Are you a survivor ... (484 K pdf) Stories from Survivors of Dan Holmes (2004) death relevant to all survivors of firefighting fatalities

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 Wildlandfire.com Links:

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Media Articles and Reports.

  • A promising life cut short: Memorial service is Monday at Fort Worden for Andy Palmer, fallen firefighter

    7/31/2008 | Online Article from ptleader.com  (No longer online.)

    Janet Palmer stands in her son's bedroom, clutching a pair of thick books. "This is what my son was reading on his own."

    She holds out a volume containing Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, literary works dating to the days of ancient Greece; and The Art of War, written by Sun Tzu in China during the sixth century B.C. These are classics, but not books a burly boy who loved football and his Dodge truck would be expected to read during the summer following high school graduation.

    What people are learning now about Andrew Jackson Palmer are attributes his family has known for years. "If there was a word for this kid, it would be integrity," says his mother. When a young man, 18 going on 19 in September, dies tragically while on duty as a federal wildland firefighter, it draws national attention.

    Here on the Olympic Peninsula, Andy's death is like a knife into the heart of both Port Angeles - where he was born and attended school through the eighth grade - and in Port Townsend, where he graduated with the Class of 2008. "Andy's loss I think is felt equally in Port Angeles and Port Townsend," says Janet.

    Although he moved here for high school, he kept close to his childhood friends in Port Angeles. He attended every high school dance here in PT, and there in PA. Friends like classmate Christian DuBois, whom he met at his first PTHS football practice, made the transition from PA to PT easy. "He was always happy," says Andy's dad.

    What makes a man

    The Palmer family has three sons. Rob, now 27, is a federal wildland firefighter, and Henry, 22, is a merchant mariner. Andy, 18, wanted to study mechanical engineering in college. Although his father has a medical practice specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, both of Andy's grandfathers are engineers.

    He had accepted a scholarship to Montana State University in Bozeman to study mechanical engineering. He was to start there Sept. 2.

    The Palmers spent many years in Port Angeles. They enjoyed annual family camping trips. Although Andy always loved the outdoors, he is the son who loved to dine out, and he could recite the exact restaurant and specific meal that highlighted each family trip.

    In the eighth grade he was reading philosophy, astronomy, physics and world history. Science was his favorite subject. Although Andy was a bright student and took advanced placement classes at PTHS, he wasn't in it for a high grade point average.

    "He didn't need to do a good job and get a pat on the back," Bob says. "He was satisfied with himself." Janet adds, "It didn't matter to him what grade was on the report card. He wanted the knowledge to his own satisfaction."

    During the annual PTHS United Nations simulation this spring, he chose to represent the country of Iran. He threw himself into studying that controversial nation - certain to be picked on at the mock General Assembly - and was able to present more facts and figures than anyone imagined.

    While he tackled serious subjects, he loved comedy. Andy could quote lines from motion pictures such as "Ace Ventura, Pet Detective" and "Blazing Saddles."

    Janet recalls that while "he was hard to get out of bed in the morning," as are most teenagers, he was efficient in his use of time and effort. He had a good work ethic and had a variety of part-time jobs to earn spending money.

    Summer plans

    Andy had big plans for this summer. On his own, he had booked a vacation home on Baja California in Mexico and had arranged for a group of friends to make the trip.

    Meanwhile, he had decided he needed to earn more money this summer to fix up his turbo Dodge pickup truck for college. He applied for a National Park Service position as a volunteer, knowing he would get hazard pay if called out for wildfire duty.

    "Andy's motivation was physical fitness, and money," father Bob says, although he liked being part of a team and knew he would feel that kinship with the firefighting crew.

    Oldest brother Rob started as a volunteer backcountry ranger with the National Park Service and is currently fuels crew supervisor with Olympic National Park in Port Angeles. But Rob didn't lobby to help Andy get a job, says Larry Nickey, fire management officer for the park.

    /Nickey hired Andy on the young man's own merits. The only concern was whether the tall, husky lad could fit in the fire engine's cab. "He was a great kid," says Nickey. "You couldn't ask for anybody to be more respectful, kind and funny." As it turned out, another crewmember quit, so a paid position came up and Andy moved into that job.

    That choice meant Andy had to give up the vacation trip to Mexico. Another friend took his airline ticket, and he went to work in the woods while his buddies went to the beach.

    Firefighting crew

    Olympic National Park has three engine crews: One stationed in Port Angeles, one at Lake Crescent and one at Kalaloch. Andy was assigned to Engine 701 at Lake Crescent. His team members are chief John DeLuna, Kevin Mayfield, Albert Bairnier and Jeremy Johnson of Port Hadlock.

    Andy completed 80 hours of training that included learning how to handle the pumps and hoses on the Type 3 wildland truck, which has a 500-gallon tank and 350-gallon-per-minute pump. Andy obtained his "red card" fire skill rating and his Class A sawyer (timber faller) rating.

    Andy bunked with some parks employees, including Johnson, at Lake Crescent. He got his first firefighting experience at a small blaze that broke out on Lake Crescent's north side near the Devil's Punchbowl. But he was eager for more.

    California bound

    The Olympic National Park crews rotate to other wildfires anywhere in the United States, as needed. Engine 501 went to Oregon, and then Engine 701 was called to help out in Northern California.

    "He was [in Port Townsend] when he got the call" to get ready for a trip to California, Janet says. "He was floating on cloud nine," Bob notes. His mom prepared a bag of cookies while Andy packed his gear, and she drove him to Port Angeles.

    The crew left Tuesday evening, July 22, for the drive to California, where they arrived Thursday, July 24. Andy called home Thursday night. He also talked on the phone with his brother Rob, whose crew was just finishing its duty about 30 miles away and was heading back to Washington.

    Northern California is in the midst of the worst wildfire season in memory. Some fires have been burning for a month. Fortunately, not many homes had been burned - only because the fires have mostly been in intensely rugged backcountry.

    Andy's crew was assigned to the Eagle Fire, part of the Iron Complex fire on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Lightning apparently caused the blaze on June 21. Friday, July 25 was their first day on the fire line.

    The accident

    According to unofficial reports, the crew was working along a bulldozed fire line about 2,000 feet from a road. They were along the southwest flank of the Eagle Fire near Junction City but were not in an active fire zone. The crew's job was to "snag hazard trees" in advance of ground crews doing fire mop-up duty.

    The family has been told that Andy was in a safety zone. A tree was cut downhill from his position. It slid downhill and springboarded into another tree, which caused a third tree to flip back uphill. That flying missile struck Palmer, breaking his left leg and right shoulder, according to family members. The same debris nearly struck Jeremy Johnson.

    "It was an unanticipated chain reaction," Bob Palmer says.

    The accident occurred about 2:20 p.m. Friday. Andy received emergency first aid at the scene. Smoke was thick, but a U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter from Arcata made it to the mountain spot about 50 air miles from the city of Redding. The copter lowered a rescue basket, and hoisted Andy aboard.

    A valiant effort, but Andy died about 5:10 p.m. aboard the helicopter, according to a Shasta-Trinity National Forest official. The family has been told the cause of death was cardiac arrest probably brought on by internal bleeding from a multitude of injuries.

    The last words Andy spoke before being hoisted to the helicopter were to the effect of "Tell my family I love them."

    Grievous loss

    Firefighting is a hazardous job - that's why crews get hazard pay. Olympic National Park has not lost a crewmember at a fire in more than 30 years. Andy's death was the first this summer in Northern California.

    "Each and every member of the firefighting community feels a tragedy of this type," Shasta-Trinity National Forest Supervisor Sharon Heywood told reporter Constance Dillon of the Redding Record Searchlight. "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Andrew, who selflessly served to protect," she said.

    The National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration assembled an accident investigation board to report on Palmer's death.

    "Andy was a dedicated and energetic firefighter who loved his job. We are all very sad, and our thoughts are with his family and the rest of the firefighters on this fire," Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin said. "We mourn Andy's death and offer our support and deepest condolences to his family."

    The rest of Palmer's crew was flown back to Port Angeles on Saturday. A critical incident stress management team came to Olympic National to provide support and assistance to the park's fire crew and staff. Some also visited with the Palmer family.

    In honor and memory of Andy Palmer's life, flags in all National Park Service areas throughout the six-state Pacific West Region will fly at half-staff until further notice.

    /pA fund will be established by the Wildland Firefighter Foundation in Palmer's name. The foundation is online at http://wffoundation.org/ and can be contacted by calling 877-336-2950.

    The Redding Record Searchlight reported that the chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Abigail Kimbell, on a visit to Redding on Saturday, was visibly shaken by Palmer's death. She praised his courage and that of other firefighters battling California's unprecedented wildland fires.

    A second death
    Washington lost both a rookie firefighter and a veteran. Daniel Packer, 49, of Lake Tapps, Wash. - fire chief of East Pierce County Fire & Rescue - died Saturday while working on the Panther Fire south of Happy Camp in Siskiyou County. Packer, considered one of the nation's experts on wildfires, was scouting a fire scene in preparation for taking over local command. The wind changed, and the fire blew up and over him, according to reports. He and another firefighter each deployed their emergency shelters. The other man survived, with injuries, but Packer did not. Packer is immediate past president of the Washington Fire Chiefs Association.

    Johnson family

    Back home, the Palmer family has been buoyed by family and friends. One of the first visits was from Jeremy Johnson, Andy's friend and crewmate. Jeremy also got the news that his older brother, Jarred, was injured July 25 while working as a special Forest Service firefighter on a blaze near Wenatchee, Wash. Jarred has been released from the hospital, according to unofficial reports.

    Family and friends

    The firefighting fraternity has already rallied around the Palmers and will continue to do so. Janet and Bob are dealing with the tragedy as well as can be expected. They take some comfort knowing that neither Andy nor his crewmates did anything wrong - it was a freak accident under hazardous conditions. They are worried about Andy's brothers and friends, and they want Andy to be remembered. A public memorial service and celebration of Andy's life is set for 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 4 at McCurdy Pavilion in Fort Worden State Park. Expect hundreds of people to attend: family, friends, associates and emergency services personnel. The Andy Palmer Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established to create a lasting tribute to a young man

    (Patrick J. Sullivan can be reached at psullivan@ptleader.com.)

  • Lack of medical care on the firelines endangers firefighters

    10/17/11 | Online Article

    When the three young firefighters first appeared at the Dutch Creek trailhead in California's Shasta-Trinity National Forest, veteran crew boss Tim Bailey felt uneasy. Their green protective chaps were a little too clean, and their chainsaws looked practically unused. But despite their apparent inexperience... (More at the link.)

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

  • USFA Memorial Database: Andrew Palmer
  • OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK: Memorial Service Set For Firefighter Andy Palmer

    From the NPS Digest: No longer online.

    A memorial service for park firefighter Andy Palmer, who was killed while fighting a wildland fire last week, will be held on Monday.

    The service will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, August 4th, at McCurdy Pavilion in Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend. Director Mary Bomar and Regional Director Jon Jarvis will be joining park employees at the service and will be spending time with park staff at park headquarters afterwards.

    An incident management team (Denny Ziemann, IC) will be arriving over the next few days to organize the NPS participation in the service and to assist with logistics. A CISD team is also in the park to provide assistance.

    The park has provided this obituary:

    Andrew Jackson Palmer shared almost nineteen years with us on the Olympic Peninsula. He was born in Pot Angeles, Washington, on September 10, 1989 to Janet and Bob Palmer as their third son.

    Andy attended the Children’s Montessori School, Fairview and Franklin Elementary, Roosevelt Middle Schools in Port Angeles and Port Townsend High School. At 6’5” and 240 pounds, he was a natural for football and valued being part of the Port Townsend football team for four years. Bonfires on the beach, sporting clays, games of urban golf, fugitive, dark, ultimate Frisbee, baseball, weightlifting, reading and spending time with his many friends filled his days. Andy was a devoted Big Brother and has a little brother in our community. He was very proud of his big red Dodge 2500 turbo diesel pickup truck and might be found out bucking hay for local farmers, working at A+ Rentals, Les Schwab, or, more recently, at Auto Works, all in Port Townsend.

    Andy is survived by his loving parents; brothers Rob, a firefighter, and Henry, a merchant mariner; grandparents Bob and Ina in Sequim; aunt Beverly and cousin Camille in Santa Barbara, aunt Marilyn Acker of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, family in Canada of aunt Cheryl Acker and cousins Gayle in Kamloops, Joyce and Josh in Vancouver, Karen, Grant and Kayla in Iqaluit, and many more.

    Andy had an unerring sense of right and wrong since childhood. He will always be remembered as one who held himself to the highest principles of truth, fairness, justice and kindness. He was loyal, honest and trustworthy – loved by all that knew him. He will be missed but we will all be better for having known him. Andy would ask those who survive him to conduct their lives with integrity and compassion for a better world.

    Andy died honorably as a firefighter for the National Park Service on the Iron Complex fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest near Weaverville, California, on Friday July 25th.

    In lieu of flowers, an Andy Palmer Memorial Scholarship fund has been established through the Port Townsend High School Scholarship Foundation. Donations may be sent to the Foundation at 538 Calhoun Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368.

    Condolences should be sent to Bob and Janet Palmer, 1536 Washington Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. A fund will be established by the Wildland Firefighter Foundation in Andrew’s name.

  • Memorial for fallen firefighter Palmer to be held in Port Townsend on Monday

    August 01. 2008 | Online Article

    PORT TOWNSEND — A memorial service for fallen firefighter Andy Palmer is planned on Monday.

    The service for Mr. Palmer will be at 10 a.m. in the McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend.

    The 18-year-old son of Dr. Robert and Janet Palmer of Port Townsend died July 25 on his first day fighting a fire in Northern California as part of a four-member Olympic National Park crew.

    "Andy was many things, but he had a beautiful mind," said his grandmother, Ina Palmer, who lives in Sequim. "No book was too technical or too remote for him. "He had great understanding for things.. . .He was someone who was going places."

    A falling tree struck the recent Port Townsend High School graduate, who died while being transported to the Mercy Medical Center in Redding, Calif. on a Coast Guard helicopter. He and fire crew members were cutting down "hazard trees" in an area already burned by the 81,000-acre Iron Complex Wildland Fire located in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest near Weaverville, Calif.

    Family friend Teri Miller of Port Angeles said Mr. Palmer's brother, Rob, 27, is also an Olympic National Park firefighter, and was working on a fire line about 30 miles from Mr. Palmer on the Lime Complex Wildland Fire when the incident occurred.

    Rob Palmer flew back to Port Townsend on July 25, and the rest of the family also got the news the same day. "His dad called, and we thought, 'It just can't be,'" Miller said. "Nobody wanted to believe it was true." Mr. Palmer planned to attend Montana State University this fall.

    The family moved to Port Townsend from Port Angeles in 2004, Miller said. Dr. Palmer had worked at the Olympic Medical Center from 1988 to 2004, according to OMC. Mr. Palmer had many friends in Port Angeles and Port Townsend, Miller said.

    "Anyone lucky enough to have met Andy had the opportunity for a lifelong, genuine friend," she said. "There has been a constant flow of young people bringing flowers, telling stories, and giving hugs" at the Palmer residence.

    iller said the family's memories of Mr. Palmer will give them strength. "It's been a difficult week," she said. "We shouldn't be sad because Andy was never sad." School Board Member Bobby DuBois was Palmer's high school football coach. "Andy was loved by a great many people," DuBois said.

    Peggy Albers, with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Port Townsend, worked with Palmer as part of the program. "He was just the best big brother," Albers said. "His little brother used to wait by the window for Andy to come pick him up.

    "He was a great example," Albers said. "He set a fantastic example for the type of person we are looking for in the program."

    The fire crew has decided not take time off of work, and returned to the fire today, said Patti Wold, National Park Service incident management team information officer.

    Mr. Palmer graduated from Port Townsend High School in June and became a full-time seasonal wild land firefighter earlier that month.

    Mary Bomar, National Park Service Pacific Northwest regional director, ordered that all flags throughout the National Park System — except for those on the National Mall — be lowered to half-staff and remain at half-staff until the funeral.

    Employees have been ordered to wear black ribbons on their badges, if available, and may wear black mourning devices if in civilian clothes.

    Monday's service
    The Palmer family is welcoming anyone who mourns Mr. Palmer's passing to attend the memorial service. Wold said speakers on Monday will include Bomar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis.

    "Whenever we lose someone from our ranks, it is a big deal," Wold said. "We respect all people, especially those who die in the line of duty."

    Quimpar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Rev. Bruce Bode of Port Townsend will conduct the memorial service. The memorial service is expected to last one hour, and a reception will be held afterwards.

    Mr. Palmer also will be remembered through a scholarship fund created by the Port Townsend High School Scholarship Foundation. The scholarship will be shared by the Port Angeles and Port Townsend high schools.

    Donations to the Andy Palmer Memorial Scholarship Fund can be sent to 538 Calhoun St. Port Townsend, WA 98368.

  • 1,400 mourn Olympic National Park firefighter from Port Townsend

    3/28/2008 | Online Article

    PORT TOWNSEND — Abby Irwin reminded 1,400 people what a joy it was to be in the presence of Andy Palmer. As the Port Angeles teenager stepped onto the stage at Fort Worden State Park's McCurdy Pavilion on Monday morning to address the throng of Palmer's friends, family and firefighters from across the state and nation, she offered two words:

    "Just smile," Irwin said. "Just celebrate that he was alive."

    Palmer, the 18-year-old Olympic National Park firefighter from Port Townsend killed in the line of duty July 25, was Irwin's dear friend — and fan.

    When his parents, Robert and Janet Palmer, moved from Port Angeles to Port Townsend four years ago, Andy Palmer took Irwin on a tour of his old house. When she spotted the grand piano, she went to it and found Pachelbel's "Canon in D" awaiting her. Irwin told Palmer this was her favorite classical piece to play; he told her it was his favorite to hear.

    So she began. "Andy leans his head back. And I hear a sniffle," Irwin remembered. The music had moved Palmer, a 240-pound, 6-foot-5 football player, to tears.

    Seizing the moment

    Later, when Palmer walked Irwin out to the car, she seized another moment for good measure. "I smooched him," she said, raising her fist high while the crowd filling the pavilion laughed and applauded. Then Irwin, who graduated from Port Angeles High School in June, played "Canon in D" again. More at the link above...

  • Andy Palmer Classic opens Port Townsend High School spring season

    3/6/2013 | Online Article (no longer online)

    There's no better way to start a high school season than with another Andy Palmer Classic match. Port Townsend High School hosts Port Angeles in the first game of boys' soccer Olympic League action Saturday, March 9, at 12:45 p.m. at Memorial Field. The junior varsity match starts at 11 a.m.

    It is an Andy Palmer Classic game day, with ticket proceeds going toward the Andy Palmer Memorial Scholarship, which benefits students from PA and PT.

    The pre-game coin toss includes Janet Palmer, mother of 2008 PTHS grad Andy Palmer, who grew up in Port Angeles. He died July 25, 2008, in an accident while fighting a forest fire in Northern California. The Andy Palmer Memorial Scholarship recognizes the personal characteristics practiced by Palmer during his life: kindness, loyalty, integrity and humility. More at the link above...

Andy Palmer, relaxing. Andy Palmer, relaxing.
Andy Palmer Tribute. Andy Palmer Tribute.

 

  • 7th Anniversary of Andy's death:

National Park Service: From The NPS Facebook page 7/25/2015  (Also posted at the Wildland Firefighter Foundation Facebook page 7/25/2015)

We remember firefighter Andy Palmer on this day in history. Seven years ago today, he lost his life on the Iron Complex in California. Andy had just received his Class A Faller taskbook on July 4, 2008. Andy and several other members of his engine crew were assigned as a falling module. During that assignment, the crew cut a tree that was outside of their falling qualifications. A class C ponderosa pine was cut, falling downslope into a fire-damaged sugar pine. A portion of the sugar pine broke off and fell upslope, hitting firefighter Andy Palmer, resulting in multiple severe injuries…and the loss of his life. It was Andy’s first fire assignment.

In honor of Andy Palmer, think about the following questions, and discuss with your crews both on your unit and on the fireline:

Have you thought about how you would respond if your crewmember was seriously injured on the fireline? As part of fire management strategy decision-making, it is important to take a look at the following three questions found on page 2 of the IRPG and think about these questions when you are involved in tactical engagement on an incident:

What are we going to do if someone gets hurt?
How will we get them out of here?
How long will it take to get him/her to the hospital?

Did you know there is a tool in WFDSS that estimates ground travel time to the closest hospital within the contiguous United States?

Make sure that your dispatch or communications center has a copy of the Medical Incident Report available for recording information if an emergency medical situation is called in from the line. It can be found online in the ICS-206 WF, Medical Plan at http://www.nwcg.gov/?q=products/ics-forms.

Has your crew or IMT identified or discussed a variety of options for medical evacuation (ATV, wheeled litter, etc.) anticipating that in the event of an emergency medical situation, there may not be a helicopter available?

Does your crew or IMT use the ICS-206 WF, Medical Plan so it is consistent with the Medical Incident Report found on pages 108-109 of the IRPG?

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Contributors to this article: Scott Roberts, J Benshoof, Mellie, Wildland Firefighter Foundation, MR, NPS

 

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