Update: CDC highlights several factors in fatal 2018 firefighter crash


KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has highlighted several factors involved in a fatal accident in Kanawha County that killed two firefighters and injured three in 2018.

On March 24th, 2018, a pumper from the Pratt Volunteer Fire Department crashed while enroute to a a report of an accident. The assistant chief and the lieutenant died when the pumper struck a rock outcrop that paralleled the roadway.

The CDC highlights in a new report several contributing factors to the crash, including failure to wear seat belts, distraction of the fire apparatus operator, speed, road conditions (wet roadway), and limited space between the roadway, shoulder, and the rock outcrop.

The CDC has recommended in the report that ALL fire departments should require a written standard operating procedure for the use of seat belts is implemented and enforced while riding on any fire department vehicle. In addition, they recommend that fire department should ensure the vehicle operations training program includes topics such as road design, road conditions, and driving inclement weather, and that fire departments should ensure that operators are trained in techniques for maintaining control of their apparatus at all times.

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