Firefighter's Fall Prompted New Firefighting Guidelines

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011  |  Updated 8:49 PM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
New Boat Dedicated to Fallen Firefighter

File Image

advertisement
Photos and Videos

Thousands of Firefighters Say Goodbye to Wheatley

An estimated 2,000 Chicago firefighters turned out Friday morning to say goodbye to one of their own.

New Boat Dedicated to Fallen Firefighter

Christopher Wheatley died fighting a West Loop blaze last August.
More Photos and Videos

The Chicago Fire Department says a number of regulations, released Wednesday in a federal government report, were implemented within days of a firefighter's death.

Christopher Wheatley died in August 2010 after falling 52 feet from a fire escape as he was trying to reach the roof of a restaurant burning on the 600 block of West Randolph Street.

The report, issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, said the Chicago Fire Department needs better roof and ladder training, adding that "fire escapes are not usually a viable option." Better, the report said, would have been for Wheatley to use an aerial ladder or inside stairwell.

The fire department lacked a formal written policy on using fire escapes at the time of Wheatley’s death, though there was an "unwritten policy" to only use them as a last resort, the report said.

But that all changed within days of Wheatley's death, with new guidelines issued by the fire department which mirror those issued this week by the federal government.  The new guidelines allow firefighters to maintain two hands and a foot on ladders at all times.

"We must learn all we can from this," Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff said after Wheatley's death.  "We owe our fallen member nothing less."

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get Our Weather App
Stay ahead of the storm with the NBC... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out