Improving the Health & Safety of all Emergency Responders

NIOSH FF Fatality Report 2014-18

On August 5, 2014, Assistant Fire Chief Jamie Middlebrook of New Carlisle (IN) FD died in the Line of Duty after being trapped under a roof collapse while fighting a fire at a commercial storage building.

Links are provided below for the full report – we wanted to highlight the contributing factors and recommendations. Do you have a certified Incident Safety Officer??

Contributing Factors

• Incident management
• Incident action plan and risk assessment
• Offensive action in a defensive fire (hidden fire above pan ceiling)
• Communications/Mutual aid • Collapse/exclusion zones and situational awareness
Lack of a safety officer

Key Recommendations

• Fire departments should ensure that a single, effective incident management system is established with a single, designated incident commander, especially when multiple fire departments respond together.
• Fire departments should ensure that an incident action plan is developed and a risk assessment is performed throughout the incident and the tactics match the conditions encountered.
• Fire departments should ensure offensive actions are not performed in a defensive strategy and enforce clear procedures for strategic mode changes.
• Fire departments should work together to develop mutual aid SOPs for fireground operations that include incident management, communications, and operations and train on those procedures.
• Incident commanders should ensure that collapse zones and exclusion zones are established, marked, and enforced on defensive fires and incidents where dangerous or hazardous conditions exist and that a RIC is assigned even on defensive fires.
Fire departments should ensure that a safety officer is appointed at working structural fires.


For a one page summary to post in your fire department – Click here  

For the full NIOSH report Click here