MapsReportsWLF LinksMedia ArticlesMultimediaComments


Incident Name: Mannford Fire, grass fire near Mannford, OK
Date: 2/20/09
Personnel: John Wayne Adams
Age: 45
Agency/Organization: Silver City Volunteer Fire Department
Position: Firefighter

Summary: Firefighter Adams and the members of his fire department were dispatched to a report of three wildland fires near a ranch in their district. The incident was dispatched at 1026 hours. When Firefighter Adams arrived at the fire station, two of the department's brush trucks had already responded to the incident. Firefighter Adams donned his wildland firefighting personal protective equipment (PPE) and then assisted another firefighter as he prepared a reserve brush truck for use. The Incident Commander (IC) ordered the unit to respond to the scene. Firefighter Adams participated in firefighting, mopup, and fire watch duties. At approximately 2200 hours, Firefighter Adams was assigned as the driver of a brush truck. He stopped the unit and was discovered unresponsive at the wheel of the brush truck by other firefighters. CPR was initiated and an ambulance was called. Although his condition temporarily improved, Firefighter Adams did not recover and was pronounced dead by a medical helicopter crew at 2317 hours. The death certificate and the autopsy completed by the medical examiner listed "atherosclerotic and hypertrophic cardiovascular disease" as the cause of death.


Horizontal line


grass fire near Mannford, OK

Silver City Volunteer Fire Department
5550 S 433rd West AVE
Silver City (Jennings), OK 74038

Return to top

Horizontal line

Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • NIOSH Report: Fire Fighter Suffers a Fatal Heart Attack During Wildland Fire Operations—Oklahoma

    The NIOSH investigator offers the following recommendations to address general safety and health issues. Had these recommended measures been in place prior to the FF’s collapse, his sudden cardiac death may have been prevented.

    • Provide preplacement and annual medical evaluations to fire fighters consistent with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1582, Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments.
    • Incorporate exercise stress tests following standard medical guidelines into a fire department medical evaluation program.
    • Phase in a comprehensive wellness and fitness program for fire fighters consistent with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1583, Standard on Health-Related Fitness Programs For Fire Fighters.
    • Perform an annual physical performance (physical ability) evaluation consistent with NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program.
    • Provide fire fighters with medical clearance to wear self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) as part of the fire department’s medical evaluation program.

Return to top
Horizontal line Links:



Return to top

Horizontal line

Media Articles and Reports

  • Volunteer Firefighter Dies Near Mannford

    Feb 21, 2009 | KOTV 6 Tulsa, OK

    John Adams, 45, died Friday night after battling a grass fire.

    MANNFORD, OK -- A volunteer firefighter from Silver City died late Friday after fighting wildfires near Mannford. Fire Chief Brutus Beall says 45-year-old John Adams died about 10 p.m. as he was backing up a fire truck. He is believed to have died from natural causes. Adams is the first volunteer with Silver City to die while fighting a fire.

    The fires started about 10:30 a.m. Friday, and almost 800 acres just west of Mannford burned. Arson is being blamed as the cause, Beall said. There were three fires initially, and a fourth was started just before they all merged.

    Adams volunteered with Silver City for the past five years and served on its board of directors. His wife and 19-year-old son also volunteered with the department, and he had two other young children.

    Beall says it takes a special person to risk his or her life to fight fires.
    "Anyone that volunteers at no compensation on a volunteer fire department and puts his life in danger to do this for the community has got to be a good person," he said.

    Adams is the first volunteer with Silver City to die while fighting a fire. Funeral arrangements are pending.


  • MANNFORD, OK -- High winds whip up grass fires across the Sooner State. Fire crews from Norman to Mannford battled flames that threatened homes and charred hundreds of acres. In northeast Oklahoma, fires burned through pastures and farms just west of Mannford.

    A trail of white smoke ballooned along the hazy horizon, so thick in places you almost couldn't see the cars driving on old Highway 51, near Mannford. The culprit: three grass fires the Silver City Fire Chief believes were intentionally set along the highway.

    Those three fires quickly became five on Friday afternoon. Fire crews poured in from eight different departments to try to chase the wind-whipped flames. Brent Johnson says in one instant the blaze was in the distance, the next at his front door.

    "I look over and it was there. I mean instantly," said Brent Johnson.
    Johnson says he scrambled to gather his fiancée, four children, and family pets to escape.

    "Probably 25 feet tall the flames. And it was moving. We literally had it at our bumper when we were coming down the driveway," said Brent Johnson...

Return to top

Horizontal line

Photos, Videos, & Tributes

Return to top

Contributors to this article: 


WFF Boots & Wreath logo. Please support the Wildland Firefighter Foundation