Report Sheds Light on DC Apparatus Striking Firefighter

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  • Published: 06/12/2018 12:00 AM

A DC Fire and EMS report says that improper positioning of equipment and a rookie's inexperience were the biggest contributing factors in an apparatus incident that left a young firefighter with severe injuries in August 2017. Probationary firefighter Dane Smothers Jr. was serving as a lineman (nozzle firefighter) during a Capitol Hill house fire on Aug. 2, 2017, when an arriving ladder truck struck him and temporarily pinned him against the rear of a parked engine. The 29-year-old, who had been on the job for only a few months, wound up in critical condition in an ICU. He had multiple broken bones and underwent several surgeries that included the removal of a lung while also suffering permanent injuries, most notably to his left hand.


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