Near Miss Report of the Week:

Lesson Learned Become Lesson Applied

Near Miss is an International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)-managed program that collects and shares firefighter near-miss experiences. The program was generously begun in 2005 with grants from the Department of Homeland Security and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company.

Report from 5/30/18: Vacant Structures Can Pose Serious Risks

Event Description
The initial size-up found a two-story residence with fire showing on the Charlie side. A transitional attack was selected, and the fire was knocked down from the exterior. Crews then entered to search for hidden fires in the structure.

While searching for the attic access and in moderate to heavy smoke conditions, a firefighter stepped through a hole on the second floor. Important to note: the hole was cut into the floor before the fire department arrived. The firefighter, hanging onto the floor joists by both arms, wasn’t able to radio a mayday. After several attempts to call for help, the firefighter was located by the company officer, who grabbed hold to prevent a fall. Now both were unable to radio for help.

When additional crewmembers found them, the radioed request went out and the firefighter was pulled to safety and helped to the exterior.

View the Report: Hole Cut in Floor Becomes Trap

Report from 5/16/18: Possible Cardiac Arrest Patient Results in Shocking Discovery

Event Description
When our crew made initial contact, we didn’t know the man was energized and thought he was a cardiac arrest patient, as that was the information in the initial report. Once we touched him, we were getting energized and realized something was going on other than cardiac arrest.

We backed up to look at the scene a little better. After we killed the power to the metal garage, the victim was extricated with a fiberglass pike pole.

After further investigation, it was revealed that the man was putting siding on the metal carport with screws and one of the screws made contact with an electrical wire. He was squeezed between the metal building and a chain link fence, so the victim, the metal carport and the chain link fence were all energized.

We lost our victim, but it could have been a lot worse, because we could have lost three firefighters. We were a lucky fire department that day.

View the Report: Possible Cardiac Patient Shocks Rescuers

Report from 4/12/17: Aerial Ladder Energized Near Powerlines

Event Description
As an engineer was performing a daily aerial ladder test on our department’s 100-foot aerial, the ladder had been extended toward some electrical powerlines. As the engineer was rotating the ladder to stow it in the bed of the truck, it became energized as it swung near the lines. The tip of the aerial was about 25-30 feet away when it became energized.

There was an audible sound of electricity as it charged the apparatus. Upon further investigation, there were dime-sized char marks at the tip of the aerial. As the outriggers were stowed, we found evidence of electrical burn and holes in the concrete beneath the outrigger pad from the electricity. There were no injuries as a result of this incident.

View the Report: Aerial Ladder Has Encounter with Electrical Lines

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