Aerial Waterway Failure: Final Report

A friend that works for the City of Fairfax (VA) Fire Department provided this report. It’s an excellent summary of the incident, and highlights some major failures during (and before) the training evolution that ultimately resulted in the sudden failure of the aerial waterway.

Moving the pinnable waterway from the ‘rescue mode’ to the end of the aerial is something that has to occur on our ladder trucks prior to placing an elevated master stream into service. It is important to understand the process that needs to occur prior to the start of flowing water. If you have any questions, ask the Engineer assigned to station 155 on your shift.

In addition to this incident in Fairfax, there was a fatality caused by the same lack of appropriate actions. You can read about that here.

One of the things that blaringly stands out in the report as a contributor to the failure was the fact that there were several people nearby that saw it happen, knew it was wrong, and didn’t take any actions to prevent the accident. We all know that somebody training for a new position needs a little rope to work with, but if anyone sees anything that will cause potential injury or damage to equipment, it is up to you to put a stop to it. Don’t be afraid to say something…even if you are the newest member. It’s all part of Crew Resource Management….

Here’s the report (click on the link, then on the next page, download it): fxcity-aerial-ladder-failure-final-report

Provided for training and learning purposes by Chief Tim Butters (Assistant Chief of Operations) City of Fairfax (VA) Fire Department.


~ by littlehippie on January 23, 2009.

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