This is from the 2018 Incident Review Summary.
By Travis Dotson
We recorded the work-related death of 19 wildland firefighters in 2018.
But not everyone is on the same page about which ones should be considered a “Line of Duty Death.” Everyone agrees that if you are overrun by fire or get hit by a tree on the fireline—that is death in the line of duty. But what if a fire crew member doing project work begins convulsing, goes unconscious, and is pronounced dead at the hospital? What if a fire crew member gets home from a fire assignment and dies the next day due to complications from pneumonia? Tough questions. But for us here at the Lessons Learned Center we list them all because we are concerned with LESSONS—not numbers. Each of these tragic instances provides an opportunity for collective and individual solemn introspection.
In small groups discuss these topics:
- What does the term “Line of Duty Death” mean to you?
- What are the lessons from a non-typical firefighter death?
- Should we honor people differently based on how they died?