On September 2 a Honolulu Fire Department firefighter was seriously injured after falling from a rescue basket while being hoisted to a helicopter. The incident occurred during the rescue of a hiker. KHON-TV now has new details and video of the accident.
This incident occurred months after a Honolulu firefighter died during an ocean rescue drill. Union officials tell the TV station they are concerned about HFD safety.
He dropped 25 feet according to a federal investigation, about 30 feet per HFD, and the injuries were serious according to the National Transportation Safety Board and first-hand accounts. The fall left him with broken bones, cracked ribs, internal injuries, and he felt a jolt of electricity. He is still off work recovering from surgery.
We’ve learned the NTSB is investigating, and a state labor department workplace safety review is underway.
HFD grounded the helicopter pilot, and an internal investigation is ongoing, but the head of the firefighter union says they have major concerns coming so soon after Cliff Rigsbee died from personal watercraft training injuries.
“We have a lot of issues with an administration we feel is not focused on firefighter safety,” Hawaii Fire Fighters Association president Bobby Lee said Tuesday.