Illinois LODD Leads to OSHA Citations

Two Illinois fire departments have been issued citations by the Illinois Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration, over a line of duty death fire that occurred in December, 2021. That fire claimed the life of Lieutenant Garrett Ramos of the Sterling Fire Department.

The fire occurred in Rock Falls on December 3-4, 2021. The Sterling Fire Department responded on automatic aid. Lt. Ramon, who was 38, was lost in the building when a floor collapsed, and apparently no one noticed until it was too late.

Rock Falls received two willful and one serious citations while Sterling received three willful and two serious citations.

The Rock Falls citations total $12,000 and are as follows:

  • a willful citation under the general duty requirement over lack of accountability
  • a willful citation for a two-in two-out violation
  • a serious citation under the respiratory protection standard/two-in two-out requirement due to lack of training for the two out personnel.

The City of Sterling has been fine $24,000 by Illinois State OSHA and are as follows:

  • a willful citation under the general duty requirement over lack of accountability
  • a willful citation of the respiratory protection standard for a two-in two-out violation
  • a willful citation of the fire brigade standard because the “incident operations chief” did not have documented annual or quarterly training
  • a serious citation for a firefighter not exiting the IDLH atmosphere prior to exhaustion of his air supply
  • a serious citation under the respiratory protection standard/two-in two-out requirement due to lack of training for the two out personnel.

According to NRG Media, Sterling and Rock Falls contend that OSHA’s report contains errors, and they may be appealing.

Here is a copy of Illinois OSHA’s investigation:

Here is a copy of the citation to the City of Sterling:

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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