WORCESTER, Mass. - A report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [NIOSH] finds numerous contributing factors in the 2018 death of Worcester firefighter Christopher Roy.
Roy died in Dec. 2018 while battling a fire on Lowell St. Momoh Kamara, the man accused of setting the fire, was taken into custody in 2019.
But the report also says a lack of continuous scene size-up and risk assessment, lack of incident management and command safety, and a lack of forecasting played roles the night of Roy's death.
The report goes on to make recommendations, saying incident commanders should continually reevaluate the strategy and adjust the incident action plan based upon the continuous size-up and risk assessment.
In a joint statement in response to the NIOSH report, City Manager Edward Augustus and Worcester Fire Dept. Chief Michael Lavoie said the City has already implemented measures to address the department's shortcomings during the 2018 fire, including adding a shift incident safety officer and extensive command-level training for all chief officers and officers.
The statement reads: "Along with the steps already being taken, we will use the results of the NIOSH investigation and the assessment in our continued efforts to improve the Department and provide the residents of Worcester with the best fire services possible.”
Here is Augustus' and Lavoie's statement in full:
“First and foremost, the family of Firefighter Christopher Roy remains in our thoughts as we continue to heal and grow from the tragic events that claimed his life in the line of duty on Dec. 9, 2018. We acknowledge and accept the findings of the NIOSH investigation into that incident and are fully committed to addressing and correcting any areas of concern. Specifically, the City has already taken or initiated several actions, including the addition of a shift incident safety officer; extensive command-level training for all chief officers and officers, which will culminate in Blue Card Command certifications; the dispatch of a second district chief to reported structure fires for additional command support; deploying more resources to fires by striking additional alarms more quickly to ensure a steady supply of resources; fire dynamics training; mayday training; and new guidelines and revisions to existing guidelines. In addition, the results of a third-party assessment of the Worcester Fire Department and its operations are expected this summer. Along with the steps already being taken, we will use the results of the NIOSH investigation and the assessment in our continued efforts to improve the Department and provide the residents of Worcester with the best fire services possible.”