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Firefighter trainer suspended for recruit's death

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  • #16
    Jeff did mention to the academy staff about the heat and was still advised to do p.t., but shorten the run, which he did.
    If 3.7 miles was a shortened run, I would hate to know how long they would have ran were it not so hot. And I agree with CFDEng3. I'm not a fan of the recruits being made to run that much either. I think calisthenics and weight training are best for firemen. Leave out the running, it only takes away your muscle mass.

    On the subject of the drinking water, you don't just tell them "You might wanna bring some water with you later when we run." It is your responsiblity to provide them with it.


    • #17

      Associated Press Writer
      FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - When Frederick County reopens its
      firefighter academy Monday, more than two years after the
      heatstroke death of a recruit, instructors aim to keep the trainees
      The county has made numerous changes since Andrew Waybright's
      death to correct problems identified by occupational safety
      regulators and a local board of inquiry. Chief among them is a
      better way of measuring the heat-stress danger level, communicated
      to students by color-coded flags flown from a pole near the
      entrance to the complex southeast of Frederick.
      The academy also has added a full-time safety officer and a
      wellness administrator who will monitor the 27 recruits' health
      individually throughout the 17-week program.
      Each recruit will be issued a half-gallon water backpack. A
      water-toting vehicle will follow them on fitness runs through a
      nearby county park.
      Should a student become ill or injured, an emergency action plan
      requires all training to stop while supervisors are notified,
      emergency equipment is summoned and 911 is called.
      "What happened in the past was past practice, and where we're
      headed from here is down a new road, and I think the safety and
      welfare of our employees is the first rule," said Richard Himes,
      chief of training for the Frederick County Fire Emergency Division.
      The academy had no emergency action plan when Waybright, 23, of
      Gettysburg, Pa., collapsed in July 2002, in humid, 84-degree heat
      near the end of an hour-long morning workout without water. The
      instructor, thinking Waybright was just tired out, refused help
      from two passers-by who offered to call 911, according to the board
      of inquiry's report.
      Waybright's parents, James and Shirley Waybright, have filed a
      wrongful death lawsuit against Frederick County, which denies any
      The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration found
      that the heat that morning exceeded the recommended level for heavy
      work under the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature Index, a measurement
      widely used for industrial worker safety. The readings are produced
      by a machine that factors in air temperature, humidity and heat
      When firefighting classes begin Monday, academy staffers will
      use such a machine to determine whether a white, yellow, green, red
      or black flag will fly from the pole.
      Himes said the new safeguards won't compromise the academy's
      ability to produce graduates who meet National Fire Protection
      Association standards for firefighting knowledge and skill.
      "We train people to intervene in emergency, unstable
      situations, to go into buildings that everybody else is running out
      of, to use specialized equipment - and we can't do that without
      incurring some additional stress on those people," he said. "I
      think the real key is that we need to make sure that they're
      physically fit and that we don't do anything to harm them."
      On the Net:
      Frederick County government: http://www.co.frederick.md.us/

      (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
      Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
      Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

      *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
      On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


      • #18

        Associated Press Writer
        FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - The parents of a Frederick County
        firefighter who died from heat exhaustion during training have
        added civil-rights violations to their claims against the county.
        The amendment broadens the options that a Frederick County
        Circuit Court judge can consider as she weighs arguments on the
        county's pending motion to dismiss James and Shirley Waybright's
        wrongful death lawsuit, their lawyer, Kenneth M. Berman, said.
        The original complaint claimed that fire academy training
        officers and other county officials were negligent in Andrew
        Waybright's death. In the amended lawsuit, the Waybrights, of
        Gettysburg, Pa., allege that the defendants permitted practices and
        procedures that deprived their son of his constitutional rights,
        namely his life, Berman said in a written statement Thursday.
        "Our research clearly shows that the county's policies
        deliberately permitted the training officer to put Andrew
        Waybright's life at grave risk. The state and federal constitutions
        do not allow public officials to do that to either its employees or
        its citizens," Berman said.
        The county's lawyer, Thomas V. McCarron, didn't immediately
        respond to requests for comment on the amended complaint.
        Andrew Waybright, 23, of Gettysburg, collapsed in humid,
        84-degree heat near the end of an hour-long workout on July 2,
        2002. A local board of inquiry found that trainees were denied
        water and that an instructor refused help from passers-by after
        failing to recognize Waybright's symptoms as heatstroke.
        At a hearing Nov. 17, Circuit Judge Julie Stevenson Solt
        dismissed four of the 13 counts in the original complaint after
        both sides agreed that the parents were not dependents of the
        deceased. She said she would rule in writing by mid-December on the
        county's motion to dismiss the remaining counts, but she had not
        done so as of Thursday. The courthouse was closed Friday.
        In seeking dismissal, the county argued that since its insurer
        paid Waybright's medical and funeral expenses, it is immune from
        the wrongful death claim under the Workers Compensation Act. Local
        government employers are shielded from wrongful death claims in
        cases covered by workers compensation.
        Berman countered that no benefits were paid directly to the
        Waybrights, leaving them free to sue the county.

        (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
        Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
        Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

        *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
        On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


        • #19

          On a slightly different note, a few years ago (ok it was almost 10yrs ago) we had a bout of similar incidents with the Canadian Army. On at least two separate occasions there were two deaths that were attributated directly to trainee physical training. The first was a young infanteer in the CFB Petawawa area, who died while on a company route march in the middle of summer, heat exhaustion was given as cause. Not long after that another infanteer (what is it with these guys???) also died due to heat exhaustion while training for the DANCON march in the Golan Heights. This march is to celebrate a historical event of which I cannot remember the details, but it's an annual event for the troops who are deployed on United Nations ops.

          Okay pal. Tell the truth. Prior to your stint as local firefighter you played Higgins on Magnum P.I.


          Lt. Robert Kramer, Jr.
          Engine Co. 34-A
          Memphis Fire Department
          cell #901-494-9437

          Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

          "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.

          Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.


          • #20

            Firefighter death lawsuit moves to federal court

            FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - A wrongful death lawsuit filed by parents
            of a Pennsylvania firefighter trainee has been moved to federal
            court in Baltimore, Maryland.
            The case was shifted from Frederick County Circuit Court to U-S
            District Court in Baltimore earlier this month at the request of
            the defendants, a group of current and former Frederick County
            officials. That's according to court records.
            They exercised their right to have the case removed after the
            parents of Andrew Waybright amended their complaint last month,
            alleging that policies and procedures at the county firefighter
            academy deprived Waybright of his right to life under the U-S
            Lawyers for both sides have until June 27th to submit motions to
            U-S District Judge Richard Bennett.
            The 23-year-old Waybright, of Gettysburg, died of heat
            exhaustion July Second, 2002, his first full day of training. He
            collapsed in humid, 84-degree heat near the end of an hour-long
            outdoor workout.
            A board of inquiry found trainees were denied water, and that an
            instructor who failed to recognize Waybright's heatstroke symptoms
            refused help from passers-by.

            (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
            Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
            Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

            *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
            On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


            • #21
              UPDATE on LODD

              HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - The heatstroke death of a Frederick
              County firefighter trainee wasn't shocking enough to support
              constitutional claims against the training officer and county
              officials, a federal judge has ruled in dismissing those
              U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett of Baltimore ordered the
              case sent back to Frederick County Circuit Court for rulings on
              other issues. But a lawyer for victim Andrew Waybright's parents
              said Tuesday that Bennett applied the wrong standard and the
              plaintiffs may appeal.
              "It leaves the possibility that the Waybrights may have no
              remedy at all after this tragic incident," attorney Kenneth M.
              Berman said.
              The case arose from Waybright's death July 2, 2002, at the
              Frederick County Public Safety Training Center near Frederick.
              Waybright, 23, of Gettysburg, Pa., collapsed during an outdoor
              workout supervised by an officer who didn't recognize his
              hyperthermia symptoms and didn't administer first aid, according to
              court records.
              Parents James and Shirley Waybright filed a $1 million wrongful
              death lawsuit in March 2004, alleging negligence by training
              officer Jeffrey Coombe, training academy leaders and the Board of
              County Commissioners. The case was moved to federal court in
              January 2005 after the Waybrights amended their complaint to allege
              that Waybright was deprived of his life in violation of the 14th
              Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and a provision in the Maryland
              Bennett dismissed those allegations Thursday. He wrote that the
              circumstances of Waybright's death did not "shock the conscience"
              - a standard he said must be met for a court to find that
              governmental conduct violated the 14th Amendment.
              Bennett wrote that only if the plaintiffs could show that Coombe
              had intended to injure Waybright could his conduct be said to shock
              the conscience.
              "Regardless of the level of Coombe's alleged negligence, the
              evidence simply does not permit an inference of intent to harm,"
              the judge wrote.
              Berman, of Gaithersburg, said Bennett should have applied a
              different standard, deliberate indifference, and left that issue
              for a jury to decide.
              "We're extremely disappointed and, quite honestly, surprised,"
              by Bennett's ruling, Berman said.
              Baltimore attorney Thomas V. McCarron, who represents 10
              defendants other than Coombe, said he was hopeful of prevailing on
              the remaining issues but "I don't think anybody loses sight that
              at the end of the day, this is about a young man who passed away."
              Coombe's lawyer, Scott M. Hartinger, didn't immediately return a
              telephone call from The Associated Press.
              Training deaths accounted for about 10 percent of all on-duty
              U.S. firefighters deaths in the past decade, according to the
              National Fire Protection Association.
              Baltimore firefighter recruit Racheal Wilson died Feb. 9 of
              burns and asphyxia after collapsing during an exercise in a burning
              Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
              Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

              *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
              On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


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