Firefighter collapses and dies on the job in Quebec

He was fighting a fire in the Chibougamau region Sunday afternoon

Regis Tremblay
Regis Tremblay

From the Montreal Gazette:

Régis Tremblay, 61, was at the scene of a blaze when he said he wasn’t feeling well and collapsed, said Gérard Lacasse, prevention and information co-ordinator for the provincial firefighting agency, the Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU). Resuscitation attempts took place before he was rushed to a hospital in Roberval, where he was pronounced dead.

It was Tremblay’s 30th season with SOPFEU.

Lacasse said it was too early to tell what caused the death, but said the fire was not “intense” and was already under control. Tremblay was working on the fire for about an hour and a half before the incident.

Our sincere condolences go out to the friends, family, and co-workers of Mr. Tremblay.

USFS DC-3 listed on auction site

Memorial service for two BLM firefighters to be held July 19

Memorial services have been scheduled for Bureau of Land Management wildland firefighters Jacob O’Malley and Will Hawkins who lost their lives July 10 in a single-vehicle accident July 10 on Nevada State Route 140. The services will take place at the Winnemucca Events Complex Exhibit Hall (map) from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19, in Winnemucca, Nevada.

The BLM firefighters were returning from duty in the Denio area on their way back to Winnemucca when the accident occurred at about 5:20 p.m. Sunday evening. Jacob, 27, and Will, 22, were killed in the rollover accident. Their coworker, Zachery McElroy, 23, was flown to Renown Medical Center in Reno, where he was treated; he was released Tuesday afternoon. The BLM fire crew was returning from a routine patrol looking for lightning fires in the area when the accident occurred.

The two men both resided in Winnemucca, though Jacob was from Lake Tahoe’s Zephyr Cove and Will was from Reno. The families of Jacob and Will have established private family memorial services in the Lake Tahoe and Reno areas, respectively.

“Everyone is invited to attend the Winnemucca services on Tuesday to honor Jacob and Will – two brave, hardworking firefighters who were dearly loved by their families and coworkers,” said BLM Nevada State Director John Ruhs.

The BLM deployed a Serious Accident Investigation (SAI) team to determine the accident cause and other
information.

Winnemucca Events Complex (map)
1000 Fairgrounds Road
Winnemucca, NV 89445

Jacob O'Malley
Jacob O’Malley. Photo provided by BLM.
Will Hawkins
Will Hawkins. Photo provided by BLM.

Two firefighters in Nevada killed in traffic accident

Two Bureau of Land Management firefighters have been killed and one was injured in a traffic accident in Nevada at about 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Below is a statement released by the BLM Monday morning:

For those of you who haven’t heard, we are sad to inform you of the loss of two BLM firefighters in an engine accident around 5 p.m. yesterday. A third firefighter sustained serious injuries. They had been patrolling near Denio following a lightning storm and were headed back to Winnemucca when they were involved in a single vehicle accident. Although first responders worked valiantly for a different outcome, two did not survive and the third was airlifted to a hospital in Reno. Our hearts and prayers go out to the engine crewmembers’ families, as well as our brother and sister firefighters in the BLM Nevada fire organization. We will post more information at the appropriate time.

map LODD

Our sincere condolences go out to the family and co-workers of the firefighters.

More wildland firefighters have died in vehicle accidents in the last 25 years than in entrapments.

Washington DNR says powerline caused the fatal Twisp River Fire

An investigator’s report on the cause of the fatal Twisp River Fire revealed that a tree branch contacting a power line ignited, dropped to the ground, and started the fire west of Twisp, Washington.

Three firefighters for the U.S. Forest Service were killed inside their vehicle August 19, 2015 when they were attempting to escape from the rapidly spreading fire. A fourth firefighter exited the vehicle and ran to safety. He was severely burned, but survived, hospitalized for three months. The deceased were Tom Zbyszewki, 20, Andrew Zajac, 26, and Richard Wheeler, 31. The injured firefighter was Daniel Lyon, 25, of Puyallup, Washington.

The Seattle Times obtained a copy of the investigation report through a public records request. The entire 38-page document can be seen here.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Kelly.

Vermont firefighter dies following heart attack at brush fire

He had volunteered as a firefighter for 40 years and served as his town’s fire warden for two decades.

Volunteer firefighter Steven Lapierre, 58, died Thursday of complications after suffering a heart attack while helping to suppress a brush fire in Georgia, Vermont on April 27.

He was a career firefighter having retired from the St. Albans City Fire Department in 2010.

Our sincere condolences go out to Mr. Lapierre’s family, friends, and the Georgia Volunteer Fire Department.

Trinidad firefighter dies of burns suffered on wildfire

Forest ranger Keith Campbell succumbed to burn injuries sustained while fighting a wildfire along Lady Chancellor Hill, Port-of-Spain, on Friday afternoon, March 25.

Keith Campbell was a forester III in the Forestry Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries in Trinidad (map). He became trapped in the fire after a change in wind direction caused the fire to spread rapidly around the firefighters. He died Friday night hours after sustaining third degree burns to 90 percent of his body.

Keith Campbell
Keith Campbell

Mr. Campbell and three other injured firefighters were rushed to the hospital where Mr. Campbell was admitted in critical condition. Of the other three, one has been released from the hospital, a second should be released soon, while the third remains hospitalized after suffering severe burns on his stomach and upper leg

Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat announced via social media that Mr. Campbell passed away around 11:45 on Friday night.

Mr. Rambharat said Mr. Campbell had received news of his mother’s death shortly before going to battle the blaze on Friday, but had decided to finish work with his team before going home.

Below are excerpts from an article at TriniBuzz:

…Co-worker Kishan Ramcharan, a Forester I, who worked with Campbell in the division since 2003, described the event as “a complete horror.”

He said Campbell remained in the raging fire for close to 30 minutes as he and other workers looked on in tears, unable to help.

Ramcharan said, “I never experienced anything so devastating and terrifying in my life.” He said Campbell was well-experienced in fighting fires and had a wealth of knowledge of fires habits and how fires operated in specific types of terrains.

He said, Keith was more or less on supervision duties but “everyone lends a helping hand in trying to suppress fires.” They arrived on the scene around 1 pm and conducted a fire assessment but decided it was best to wait on the Fire Service.

On realizing the fire had somewhat cooled down, they ventured in “since nothing was burning as much.” It was Campbell who went in first, equipped with full safety gear and a backpack water pump. Ramcharan said he then went in with his fire rake which Campbell advised him to use. Campbell was about 100 meters away and in his sight. Bain was also inside the forest. But as fate would have it, the winds intensified and it was suddenly “a furnace of fire blazing.”

Ramcharan said, “From a distance, the fire was raging from the valley and our drivers on the hills started screaming, get out! get out!”

He used the fire rake to pull himself out of the precipice and when he got to the top, he saw Bain badly burnt and screamed out for Campbell who was trapped. Satram then arrived on the scene and was joined by Carrington and Duprey who attempted to head down and await rescue from the Fire Service and ambulance who arrived ten minutes later.

Ramcharan said, “I was in a state of shock and disbelief. When they finally got to Campbell and I saw him, he was moving his head just a bit.”

He said Campbell was a dynamic human being with a range of skills and one of the best officers he had worked with.

Our sincere condolences go out to the friends, co-workers, and family of Mr. Campbell. And we hope for a speedy recovery for the three injured firefighters.