National Honor Guard Commanders Association
This page was last updated: November 9, 2016

Recent Firefighter Fatalities

To date, 75 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2016 as a result of incidents that occurred so far in 2016. Please note, running totals of firefighter fatalities used on these initial notices do not necessarily reflect the number of firefighter fatalities used in totals for the (provisional) monthly year-to-date USFA firefighter fatality reports, or year-end (provisional) reports that are posted on the USFA website.

Firefighter fatalities in USFA reports are summarized by date/year-of-incident. 

Initial notices of Firefighter On-Duty Deaths are posted online at the USFA website and may be viewed by clicking here

and distributed via USFA listserve do not represent the final "on-duty" firefighter fatality determination by USFA for such reports, nor Line-of-Duty-Death (LODD) determination made by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for names added each subsequent year to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD, they are the beginning of a research process for each firefighter fatality reported so that such determinations can be made.

Name: Michael Payne  
Rank: Fire Chief
Age: 58
Gender: Male
Status: Volunteer
Years of Service: 25 
Date of Incident: 11/07/2016
Time of Incident: 2355hrs
Date of Death: 11/08/2016
Fire Department: Brookston Prairie Township Fire Department
Address: 501 S. South Street, Brookston, IN 47923
Fire Department Chief: Assistant Fire Chief Karl Stokes

Incident Description: Chief Michael Payne and members of his department responded to a truck fire on Interstate-65 north of Lafayette, IN, just before midnight on 11/07/2016. After the fire was extinguished, Chief Payne fell ill and collapsed. Lifesaving efforts were initiated and Chief Payne was transported to Indiana University Hospital (Lafayette) where those efforts continued until he passed away at approximately 0145hrs on 11/08/2016.

Incident Location: Southbound off-ramp, mile marker 188, Interstate-65, north of Lafayette, IN

Name: Alfred A. Stewart 
Rank: Firefighter (Former Fire Chief)
Age: 79
Gender: Male
Status: Volunteer
Years of Service: 52
Date of Incident: 11/06/2016
Time of Incident: 1053hrs
Date of Death: 11/06/2016
Fire Department: West Milford Volunteer Fire Company #6
Address: 1480 Union Valley Road, West Milford, NJ 07480
Fire Department Chief: Ed Aldrich

Incident Description: Firefighter Stewart reported to the fire station for a company drill. He remained alone at the station to perform maintenance duties while other company members attended the drill. At some point, Stewart ascended a ladder inside the station for these maintenance duties. When fire department personnel returned from the drill, they found Stewart entangled in the fallen ladder. Despite lifesaving efforts, Steward was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. It is unknown whether Stewart suffered a medical emergency while atop the ladder and then fell, or if the ladder had fallen while he was on it, causing his trauma. An autopsy is pending to determine the official cause of Firefighter Stewart's death

Incident Location: 605 Ridge Road, West Milford, NJ 07480

Name: Adam Long  
Rank: Firefighter 
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Status: Career
Years of Service: 20+ 
Date of Incident: 10/31/2016
Time of Incident: 1545hrs
Date of Death: 10/31/2016
Fire Department: Defense Supply Center Columbus Fire and Emergency Services
Address: 3990 E Broad ST, BLDG 46, Columbus, OH 43213
Fire Department Chief: Kenneth Pence

Incident Description: Firefighter Adam Long suffered a massive cardiac arrest while on-duty. Fellow responders treated Long and transported him to the hospital, but despite all efforts, Firefighter Long passed away.

Incident Location: 3990 E Broad ST, BLDG 46, Columbus, OH 43213

Name: John C. Brocker  
Rank: Firefighter 
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Status: Volunteer
Years of Service: 14 
Date of Incident: 10/31/2016
Time of Incident: 2200hrs
Date of Death: 10/31/2016
Fire Department: Town of Oneida Volunteer Fire Department
Address: N6631 County Road H, Oneida, WI 54155
Fire Department Chief: Chet Olson

Incident Description: Firefighter Brocker responded on a fire unit to a single vehicle vs. utility pole crash. The vehicle was occupied by five teenagers, one of whom died from injuries sustained. Upon arrival, Brocker advised the department chief he was having chest pain. After sitting down, he was given oxygen and began to feel better. A short time later, Firefighter Brocker collapsed in full arrest at the scene. He was transported to St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, WI, where he passed away.

Incident Location: 129-157 Bain Rd, De Pere, WI 54115

Name: Joseph Bichler 
Rank: Firefighter
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Status: Volunteer
Years of Service: 33
Date of Incident: 10/30/2016
Time of Incident: 2340hrs
Date of Death: 10/31/2016
Fire Department: Evesham Fire-Rescue (Evesham Fire District #1)
Address: 984 Tuckerton RD, POB 276, Marlton, NJ 08053
Fire Department Chief: Bryan Ward

Incident Description: Firefighter Bichler responded to two fire calls on October 30, 2016. These calls were at 1302hrs and 2340hrs, respectively. For both calls, he responded to the station and stood-by until fire apparatus returned and then assisted the apparatus with getting back into service. While at home the following morning, Bichler collapsed in the driveway of his residence. Emergency 911 was called and his home department, Evesham Fire Department, responded along with paramedics for the medical call. Firefighter Bichler was found to be in cardiac arrest. His fellow fire department members performed CPR and transported him to a local hospital where he succumbed. 

Incident Location: 984 Tuckerton RD, POB 276, Marlton, NJ 08053

Name: Jermaine Frye  
Rank: Firefighter/Paramedic
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Status: Career
Years of Service: 18
Date of Incident: 10/25/2016
Time of Incident: 1630hrs
Date of Death: 10/29/2016
Fire Department: Cimarron Hills Fire Department
Address: 1835 Tuskegee Pl, Colorado Springs, CO 80915
Fire Department Chief: Steve Conner

Incident Description: The day after being released from the hospital for treatment of a work-related injury he sustained during training, Firefighter/Paramedic Frye was found at his home in cardiac arrest. According to the fire department, Wescott Fire Protection District responders tried unsuccessfully to revive Frye, but he succumbed to a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined.

Incident Location: 1885 Peterson Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80915