Lives of firefighters are put on the line during devastating wildfires in California every summer. Workplace accidents in these circumstances are not surprising because of the unpredictability of the fires. This year’s blazes have already claimed the life of one firefighter, and flags in California’s capital are flying at half-staff in honor of the deceased man.
Authorities report that the 36-year-old man was operating a bulldozer not far from Yosemite National Park when he suffered fatal injuries on a recent Saturday. The fire chief said the man used the machine to establish a fire break to prevent the spreading of the blaze when the bulldozer rolled over. The massive machine landed on top of the firefighter, causing his death.
The circumstances that led to the rollover is still being investigated. Reportedly, the firefighter worked through the night since the fire broke out on Friday evening, and he was trying to make his way out of the burning area when the incident occurred. Officials said the deceased firefighter’s father was a heavy equipment operator for CalFire, and he followed in his father’s footsteps. He had worked as a firefighter for 10 years before this tragic accident.
When loved ones are killed in workplace accidents, surviving family members are naturally overwhelmed by grief and shock. Having to cope with the financial consequences typically exacerbates the trauma. However, help is available through the California workers’ compensation insurance program, and an experienced attorney can assist with filing death benefits claims that will cover the costs of a funeral and burial while also providing a financial package to make up for lost wages.