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Alcohol Involved In Fatal Oregon Firefighter Crash

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  • Alcohol Involved In Fatal Oregon Firefighter Crash

    A toxicology report confirms alcohol was involved in the fatal crash that killed eight members of a contract firefighting crew in August.....Bentz said the final toxicology report - including the blood-alcohol levels of the firefighters - will not be released until the Malheur County District Attorney has decided whether to file charges in the case.


    I will, of course, await the final report before making any judgement.

    8 firefighters dead. For those of you that have a few and respond......think about it. 8 lives snuffed out in a heartbeat.

    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

  • #2
    Very sad....if this doesnt drive home the "no alcohol in the station/forest" concept nothing will!

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    • #3
      very very disturbing.....
      09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
      ------------------------------
      IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
      "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
      BMI Investigator
      ------------------------------
      The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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      • #4
        Criminal charges were filed Thursday afternoon against a Roseberg, Ore.-based contract firefighting firm in connection with a deadly van crash near here that claimed the lives of eight firefighters.

        First Strike Enviornmental faces 20 counts: 18 of reckless endangerment and 1 count each of reckless driving and driving under the influence, according to court papers filed in Malheur County Circuit Court.

        Mark Ransdell, the driver of the van carrying the firefighters, was legally drunk when the vehicle collided with a truck, said Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris.
        They escaped the perils of wildfire....then met the dangers of DUI head-on. They paid with their lives.

        Drinking and driving. 8 firefighters dead.

        But why are they charging the company? What purpose does it serve?
        Does this allow the families to file suit? Yet another litigation to follow.......
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          Update-October 26th

          PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - State officials were concerned about
          "drunk and disorderly" incidents involving crews from First
          Strike Environmental for more than a year before a fatal van crash
          killed eight firefighters, according to a published report.
          One state forestry official warned in an internal e-mail that
          the problems were so pervasive that the company needed an
          "attitude adjustment," The Oregonian reported Sunday.
          The questions about the company's performance, including an
          instance in which three employees fell asleep on a fire line during
          dangerous midday conditions, prompted brief suspensions of two
          crews in August 2002.
          State forestry officials acknowledge that they took no special
          steps to keep an eye on First Strike during this year's fire
          season, and some reports on the company reflected positive
          evaluations of crews.
          Eight firefighters died in a fiery head-on collision with a
          tractor-trailer on a blind curve on U.S. 20 near Vale on Aug. 24,
          and tests determined driver Mark Ransdell's blood alcohol was above
          the legal limit.
          Don Moritz, Oregon Department of Forestry contract services
          manager, said First Strike's 2002 problems should not have
          triggered any closer scrutiny from state officials in 2003.
          Companies should be allowed to "start fresh each year because
          they have new crews," Moritz said. "They do not start out with a
          black mark."
          Oregon officials say they are struggling to establish oversight
          of the burgeoning and highly profitable fire-fighting industry that
          hires thousands of people each year for arduous, physically
          demanding work.
          The state requires no background checks and each company has its
          own hiring standards.
          Of the 20 First Strike crew members assigned to fight the Idaho
          fire in August, eight had police records relating to alcohol or
          marijuana. Three had been convicted of possessing less than an
          ounce of marijuana and four had convictions for being minors in
          possession of alcohol.
          The crew's leader, Justin M. Krueger, whose father owns First
          Strike, has twice been convicted of driving under the influence of
          intoxicants, records show.
          Leslie Habetler, a company spokeswoman, said First Strike owner
          Bob Krueger had been aware of his employees' criminal records but
          was "not just going to throw people away because they've made
          mistakes in their lives."
          Until August, the company had operated for 17 years without a
          fatality because of proper training, support and supervision, she
          said.
          Owner Bob Krueger said the drug and alcohol issues faced by his
          company were no different from those in the industry and society in
          general.
          Harry Winston, the company's project manager, said First Strike
          had been diligent in establishing procedures for its employees and
          taking action when problems have arisen.
          "I have been around a lot of firefighting companies and I can
          tell you they have the same problems as everybody else," Winston
          said. "No one's immune from this."


          (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

          All I can say is !
          Last edited by NJFFSA16; 10-27-2003, 12:30 AM.
          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

          Comment

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