Baltimore County Firefighter Died in Training Exercise

The firefighter went into cardiac arrest, Baltimore County public safety officials said.

Robert William Fogle, 58. (Credit: Baltimore County Police and Fire)
Robert William Fogle, 58. (Credit: Baltimore County Police and Fire)

A Baltimore County firefighter has died after going into cardiac arrest during a training exercise Friday afternoon, according to officials.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Baltimore County Fire Chief John Hohman held a press conference at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center to deliver the news.

At the conference, officials said Robert William Fogle III, 58, was going through a maze-like obstacle in the Sparrows Point training facility when he collapsed, according to ABC 2 News, which broke the story.

Chief Hohman said the exercise involved putting on breathing apparatus and crawling through a maze, and Fogle became ill when he was in the obstacle, WJZ reported.

Fogle went into cardiac arrest and was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased, according to Cpl. John Wachter, spokesman for the Baltimore County Police Department

He died from a heart attack, Wachter said.

Fogle was an engine driver with the Pikesville station, according to WJZ, which reported this was the only death that has been reported at the facility. Fogle was nearing retirement, according to ABC 2.

The 27-year veteran of the Baltimore County Fire Department was "very well liked" and "very efficient at what he did," Hohman said, according to a report from Fox 45.

Baltimore County police reported Fogle is survived by his wife and two adult children.

Truthfrominside June 01, 2014 at 02:57 PM
Another sad day for the Baltimore County Fire Department but don’t worry, by now they should be used to it. This is the 3 Firefighter death in 3 years for this Department led under Chief John Hohman. To this date the Department have done nothing to change the situation or policies. An internal investigation will be done by the infamous Assistant Chief Hubbard. He will make sure the report is squeaky clean not pointing fault at any one thing and ultimately blaming the victim. It’s been the exact way for the past two firefighters regardless of overwhelming evidence and autopsy reports. For the record this man was participating in Operational Readiness training flowed by going through the maz trailer. Now this Operational Readiness training is a competition. They will tell you it’s not but it is. You want to beat you previous years’ time and peer pressure make it that was coupled by someone standing there with a stop watch. On a day to day basis this operational training is not managed or supervised by any one with higher education in proper fitness techniques. Employees aren’t even medically assessed prior to going through the training. That’s right, not even a blood pressure to assure safety. This training does not reflect a bona fide job qualification. I don’t know of any fire ground operation that requires a firefighter to go through obstacles with repetitive heavy physical requirements while being timed, followed by going through a confined space Maze on breathing apparatus. By the way, you are in the Maze by yourself, your help only knows your in trouble if you are lucky enough to bang on the side of the Maze before you get in to trouble, or someone hears your pass device if you render unconscious. And that’s only if someone is close by to hear it. Way to go Chief John Hohman and Kaminetz on a well research and safe training operation. Hurry Chief John, rush to get the grieving spouse to sign off on workman’s compensation so she can’t sue the piss out of you.
Freddy June 01, 2014 at 03:33 PM
There all kind off issues with the maze. They told you the maze represents what a firefighter does when going into a structure. The maze is a series of small confined channels sometime having to crawl up and over obstacles, at times there are ramps and drop offs and diminishing tight areas. I can’t recall the last house fire where firefighters experienced these types of conditions. These types of training props are designed for new firefighters to build a confidence to dark spaces and making sure they keep in mind there is always 6 sides to a box, as well as getting them use to wearing a SCBA in an environment. I don’t think any veteran of the department gets anything from this maze training. As for the ORT portion of the training it is a simulation of all the skills one person “can do” on a fireground but not done normally by one person due to having other crews completing those task. Meaning a member will not jump over a 4’ wall, drag about 250’ of hose, Carry a highrise pack up 3 stories then reach over a 3 floor railing and pull up by rope a 50’ section of hose and carry back down the highrise pack, Walk up and down a 5 story tower, Raise a 30’ extension ladder, Simulate pulling ceilings and then finally crawl through a tube. All this being done in full turnout gear (NO SCBA). Like someone stated it is timed and it also becomes a completion between people.
Dave A. June 02, 2014 at 06:42 AM
"Kill Another Public Safety Emplyee Kamenetz" and "Hang'em All Homan" at their finest! Let's see where we can cut corners, gut a budget and put it on the employees back yet again!
Gary Elwards June 02, 2014 at 07:18 PM
"B Co FD has NO PHYSICALS FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES!" Maybe one should know his/her limitations. Go get a physical on your own. Don't wait for the government to take care of everything for you.
Dave A. June 03, 2014 at 12:37 AM
It is not the point of knowing limitations so much as continuity. They are required to fill out a form, signed by a doctor that may have No clue as to what is entailed. The industry standard is set by the NFPA and the BCoFD does not follow it at all. Take their number of employees (I am guessing it is around 1200 or more) get 1200 plus different answers from the physicians. Having the physical supplied by a county contracted occupational medical specialist would mini alive the risk, not only to the individual employee, but to other employee's as well as a citizen in time of critical need. Not to mention the fact that the ORT TRAINING they are doing is a ridiculous, dangerous racing task. There is no way one person should be expected to perform all of the tasks alone on a fire scene. If this was true the rigs would be responding with 1 or 2 personnel! The county has set themselves up here and I certainly hope it is driven home on them!


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