Personnel: Jason Kevin Jackson
Agency/Organization: Almaville Volunteer Fire Department, Smyrna TN
Summary: A small brush fire was reported, and the Almaville Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to it. The first firefighter to arrive on the scene reported that the fire had grown and that additional assistance would be required. Firefighter Jackson had arrived at the fire station and called the chief on the radio to see if the department's tanker truck would be needed. The chief directed Firefighter Jackson to bring the tanker to the scene in a nonemergency (no lights or siren) mode. Firefighter Jackson was the sole occupant and driver of a 2002 model Freightliner tanker with a 2,000-gallon water tank.
As he traveled to the scene, the right wheels of the tanker left the paved roadway. Firefighter Jackson applied the brakes and turned the steering wheel sharply to the left. The back end of the tanker came around and the tanker experienced a rollover and ended up in a field to the right side of the roadway. The crash was reported to the members of the Almaville Volunteer Fire Department working on the scene of the brush fire. Members of the department responded to the scene and called for additional assistance upon their arrival.
Firefighter Jackson was trapped in the cab of the truck and a difficult extrication was required to remove him. Upon his removal, Firefighter Jackson was transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The water tank on the tanker was full. Firefighter Jackson had received emergency vehicle operations driver training in 2000. The cause of death was listed as multiple trauma.
Almaville Volunteer Fire Department, Smyrna TN
- NIOSH Report: Junior Volunteer Fire Fighter Dies in Tanker Rollover - Tennessee
NIOSH investigators concluded that, in order to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should
- prohibit driving by fire fighters less than 18 years of age and revise existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for driving fire apparatus so that they reflect insurance guidelines
- ensure that the radio in the driving compartment is within convenient reach for the driver
- incorporate specifics on rollover prevention in SOPs and driver training
Additionally, States should
- consider developing a junior fire fighter and emergency service program that addresses the tasks that minors are permitted to perform in the fire service
- Ongoing Lessons Learned Messages in Scratchline on Vehicle Accident Safety, 2002 (125 K pdf)
Photo from the NIOSH Report