Corrections Officer Collapses, Dies, While Fighting a Wildfire

A 46-year-old prison guard collapsed and died on Oct. 1 while working with an inmate firefighting crew on a fire line near Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

Douglas Falconer was working on a fire line near the Arizona/California border with the Globe Wildland Fire Crew fighting the Sacramento Fire when he complained of feeling dizzy and after sitting, collapsed from a cause still to be determined.

Other officer and inmate firefighters responded immediately to provide emergency medical assistance and made every effort to revive Falconer. Sun City paramedics were summoned to the scene and initiated basic life support measures.

Falconer subsequently was transported to the Colorado River Medical Center in Needles, Calif. for emergency medical treatment, where he was pronounced dead.

According to statistics released by the National Fire Protection Association, in 2007, exertion/stress was listed as the cause of injury in 39.2 percent of firefighter fatalities, with sudden cardiac death listed as the nature of the injury in 37.3 percent of firefighter fatalities.

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