Attack hoses hauled into buildings are failing, and killing firefighters.
Boston Firefighter Michael Kennedy carried a hose into a burning building earlier this year, but it failed after it was burned through.
Kennedy and fellow firefighter Lt. Ed Walsh died in the basement after frantically calling for water, a WCVB investigative report showed.
“Engine 33, mayday. Charge Engine 33’s line now. It’s getting hot down here.”
The voices of Engine 33’s Walsh and Ladder 15’s Kennedy were silenced forever, the reporter wrote.
Kennedy’s mother, Kathy Crosby-Bell said the fact that they were calling for water is infuriating, sad and tragic.
“When I look at the firefighters and realize this can happen to any one of them, we need to do something,” she said.
The TV station’s probe unveiled it isn’t the first time fire hoses have failed in battling fires where firefighters were killed.
In 2008 two firefighters in North Carolina and one firefighter in Alabama died when an attack hose burned through. In 2010 an Illinois firefighter was killed when a hose failed, according to NIOSH.
Crosby-Bell said she hopes the tragic loss of her son and the failure of a key firefighting tool are a catalyst for change. She founded the Last Call Foundation, which is funding research into fireproof attack hoses.
Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts President Jack Grant said the fire hose is a lifeline.
“If your lifeline isn’t coming, you’re not in a good place, especially in a basement,” he said.
Right now the National Fire Protection Association standard on the hoses requires them to be heat resistant not fireproof.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute engineers are currently working on a fireproof hose.
Kennedy’s mother says she doesn’t want her son to have died in vain.