USFA On-Duty Death: Virginia

United States Fire Administration
25 April 2023

Earlier: Virginia Deputy Chief Suffers Fatal Heart Attack after Wildfire

The United States Fire Administration has announced the death of Deputy Chief Chester Taylor Lauck, 66, of the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Department on 23 April 2023.

On Friday, April 21, 2023, multiple fire and rescue stations from Frederick County, Virginia and Hampshire County, West Virginia responded to a wildland fire in Frederick County. The wildland fire burned several acres of brush and woods with total incident duration lasting approximately 7 hours. Deputy Chief Chester Taylor Lauck was the operator of the ultra-terrain vehicle (UTV) and performed firefighting operations, to include extinguishment with a hose line and applying a fire line.

Approximately 2 hours after arriving home, Deputy Chief Lauck began to feel ill and 911 was immediately called. He was then transported to a heart specialty center where he was treated. During this time, he suffered multiple heart attacks and was put on life support. After additional diagnostic testing, the family decided to stop all life support. Deputy Chief Lauck passed away on Sunday, April 23, 2023.

Age: 66
Rank: Deputy Chief
Classification: Career
Incident date: April 21, 2023 4:31 p.m.
Date of death: April 23, 2023
Cause of fatal injury: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of fatal injury: Heart Attack
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property

The number of on-duty deaths for 2023 currently is 25.

Go here to read the number of interior line of duty deaths for 2023.

Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.

For more information about on-duty deaths as recorded by the United States Fire Administration go to “Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.”

Published by Data Not Drama

Data Not Drama is writings that provide a point of critical thought about firefighter fatality data and education, line of duty deaths, and risk. The main focus is to encourage less risk aversion and better knowledge on the subject of firefighter fatalities in firefighters, fire departments, and fire service organizations.

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