By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
The possibility of injury or even death, although rare, is always present whenever firefighters respond to a call. A fatality during a training exercise is even rarer, but it can happen.
Firefighter Kelly Wong, 29, died Monday from injuries suffered in a fall. He fell from an aerial ladder during a weekend training exercise Saturday in downtown Los Angeles, LA Observed reported.
“Fellow firefighters and paramedics rendered immediate medical attention and transported him in critical condition to a local trauma center,” the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement. “Despite the heroic efforts of doctors and nurses at the hospital, Firefighter Wong succumbed to his injuries early Monday morning.”
LA Mayor Promises Thorough Investigation and Review of Firefighter Training Procedures
The accident is under investigation by the department and safety agencies. Mayor Eric Garcetti promised “a thorough inquiry into the tragic accident” as well as “a full review of training protocols and procedures, so that we can take every possible step to prevent such an incident from ever happening again.”
Wong was a two-year veteran of the LAFD assigned to Fire Station 92 in Rancho Park. He was scheduled to transfer on June 12 to Fire Station 9, which serves downtown LA and Skid Row. He was training at his new station at the time of the accident.
In a statement, LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said, “I join the men and women of the LAFD in mourning Firefighter Wong's sudden passing. It is always a tragedy to lose one of our own, especially an accomplished individual who was still at the beginning of what was certainly going to be a promising career.”
Wong was the top academic performer in his class when he graduated from the LAFD Recruit Academy in 2015.
Wong is survived by wife Danielle and infant son Colton.
About the Author
David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. David’s 2015 book, “The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation’s Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever,” was recently published in paperback by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.