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Incident Name:  wildland firefighter training
Date: 11/16/2000
Personnel: Phillip Dewey Smith
Age: 49
Agency/Organization: Fort McPherson Fire and Emergency Services, DOD, Ft. Gillem GA
Position: Driver/Operator Engineer / wildland firefighter

Summary: On November 16, 2000, Driver/Operator Engineer Smith died after suffering a cardiac arrest while performing fire fighting activities at a wildland fire exercise. He was the crew boss and helped his crew dig a firebreak as a part of the exercise. As the work was completed, Firefighter Smith fell to the ground and went into seizures. Firefighters that had been involved in the exercise provided immediate care and an ambulance was summoned. Firefighter Smith was transported to the hospital where he died of a heart attack.

 

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Maps

Fort McPherson Fire and Emergency Services, DOD, Ft. Gillem GA

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Niosh Report: Driver/Operator Suffers a Cardiac Arrest During a Wildland Fire Exercise – Georgia Issues relevant to this Fire Department include
    • Incorporate exercise stress tests into the Fire Department’s periodic medical evaluation program.
    • Clear Fire fighters for duty by a physician knowledgeable about the physical demands of fire fighting and the various components of NFPA 1582.
    • Phase in a mandatory wellness/fitness program for fire fighters to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and improve cardiovascular capacity.

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