Posts Tagged FF/PM Chris Wheatley

A visit to Chicago FD Engine 2

This from Drew Smith:

Got to go on E2, the Christopher Wheatley the other day. In the pilot house/bridge there is this bronze helmet memorial as shown in the two attached photos.


Chicago Fire Department memorial

Bronze Truck 2 helmet aboard the fire boat named in memory of FF Chris Wheatley. Drew Smith photo

Chicago Fire Department memorial

CFD bronze memorial aboard the fire boat named in memory of FF Chris Wheatley. Drew Smith photo

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NIOSH report on Christopher Wheatley LODD

The NIOSH report on the August 9, 2010 LODD of Chicago FF/PM Christopher Wheatley has been released. FF/PM Wheatley died from injuries sustained when he fell from a fire escape at commercial fire.

Executive Summary

On August 09, 2010, a 31 year-old male career fire fighter (the victim) died from a fall while climbing a fire escape ladder. Crews were responding to an alarm at a 4 story mixed occupancy structure. When crews arrived at 0031 hours, they noticed sparks emitting from the top of the roof near an external exhaust duct that originated in a street level restaurant. The victim and three other fire fighters were using an exterior fire escape to access the roof. At the fourth floor landing the victim started to ascend the vertical ladder to the roof carrying a 63 pound hand pump in his right hand while being supported by a fire fighter on the landing. When out of reach of the supporting fire fighter, the victim lost his grip on the ladder falling 53 feet to the pavement. The victim was transported to the local medical center where he was pronounced dead.

Contributing Factors

  • Using a fire escape to access the roof rather than a safer means such as an aerial ladder or interior stairway
  • Victim unable to maintain contact with the vertical portion of fire escape due to carrying the hand pump.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that standard operating guidelines (SOGs)on the use of fire escapes are developed, implemented, and enforced
  • Ensure that tactical level accountability is implemented and enforced
  • Ensure that companies are rigorously trained in safe procedures for roof operations and climbing ladders of any type
  • Ensure that fire fighters are rigorously trained in safe procedures for carrying and/or hoisting equipment when ascending or descending elevations
  • Evaluate the fire prevention inspection guidelines and process to ensure that they address high hazard occupancies, such as restaurant, and incorporate operational crew participation.


The complete report can be found HERE.

The Chicago Tribune has a related article HERE.

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CFD LODD FF/PM Chris Wheatley

CFD FF/PM Chris Wheatley

This is one of four commemorative markings that now adorns Truck 2.

Last Monday, the 9th of August, CFD FF/PM Chris Wheatley of Truck Co 2 succumbed to injuries incurred after he fell from a ladder near the roof line while working at a fire at 615 W. Randolph. Chris was laid to rest yesterday, August 13, 2010 at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Alsip following a mass at St. John Fisher Church on South Washtenaw.

CFD FF/PM Chris Wheatley

The casket is loaded onto Engine 5 for the journey to the church.

CFD FF/PM Chris Wheatley funeral

Chicago Fire Department commissioners and chiefs salute as the casket is brought out of the funeral home.

CFD FF/PM Chris Wheatley funeral

Chicago Fire Department personnel line the street in front of St John Fisher Church. Beyond the city firefighters and officers are members of the AFFI Honor Guard representing many suburban Chicago fire departments.

CFD FF/PM Chris Wheatley funeral

Members carry the casket from the church.

Images documenting the ceremonies and service can be viewed at Tim Olk’s website HERE and Larry Shapiro’s website HERE.

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