On Saturday, March 8, 61-year old volunteer firefighter Bobby Mollere of the Hellsgate Fire Department in Star Valley, Arizona collapsed and died while taking the pack test version of the Work Capacity Test, which requires a person to carry a 45-pound pack for three miles in less than 45 minutes. The cause of death was listed as “stress/overexertion” and heart attack.
Below is the official notice from the U.S. Fire Administration:
While performing a Wildland Pack Test, Lieutenant Mollere collapsed on the Payson High School track. Fellow firefighters on scene initiated a medical assessment and found Mollere in cardiac arrest. The EMTs and Paramedics began advanced life support immediately on scene. Lieutenant Mollere was transported to the Payson Regional Medical Center where resuscitative efforts continued until he passed away. Incident Location: Payson High School track, AZ (U.S. National Grid: 12S VC 6952 8857)
Our sincere condolences go out to Mr. Mollere’s family, friends, and fellow firefighters.
Previously we have written about other fatalities and serious injuries that occurred while taking the Pack Test. Federal land management agencies and some other organizations require that their on-the-ground firefighters pass the test once a year in order to be qualified to fight wildland fires.