PRATT, W.Va. (WOWK) – Possibly the deadliest volunteer firefighter accident in Kanawha County history is now helping others learn how to stay safe. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health released their report on the March 24, 2018, crash that killed two Pratt firefighters and injured three others. The 41-page report details the accident and what they believe caused it. It lists contributing factors as:
- Failure to wear seat belts
- The distraction of the fire apparatus operator
- Speed of the apparatus
- Road conditions (wet roadway)
- Limited space between the roadway, roadway shoulder, and the rock outcrop.
Pratt Fire Chief Bob Shanklin told WOWK 13 News that the report gives his department some closure but nothing will ever make the loss of their two brothers easier. He said they have already worked to improve their driving and standard operating procedure training but will also be using the report’s recommendations to continue to improve.
According to C.W. Sigman, Director of Kanawha County Emergency Service they have also been using the report to improve how things are done in departments across the county. Sigman says all reports from NIOSH, not just the ones from our area can help with training fire departments.