City Slapped With $95,000 Fine In Phoenix Firefighter’s Death

October 22, 2013

(Photo courtesy of Phoenix Fire Department)
Phoenix firefighter Brad Harper died May 18, 2013.

The city of Phoenix has been fined $95,000 for creating dangerous workplace conditions that lead to the death of a firefighter this year.

On May 18, Bradley Harper was at the scene of a Phoenix mulch fire at 39th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road when he was pinned between a fire truck and another emergency vehicle. Harper was extracted from the tangle of metal with the Jaws of Life, but he died at the hospital.

The Industrial Commission of Arizona, which enforces workplace safety laws, issued a report that said the department did not use a spotter while the fire truck was backing up, and as a result did not provide a safe place to work.

The city can contest the fine.

In a separate report released Tuesday, the department blamed the crash on poor situational awareness and inattention. It recommended using backup cameras, a sonar warning system or automatic braking equipment on all fire department vehicles.

“This tragic incident reminds us that extreme danger is constantly present at even the most routine of incidents,” the department report said.