Lawsuit Says Equipment Led Delaware Firefighter to Fall from Helicopter

July 31, 2018

A lawsuit charges that improper equipment led a Delaware firefighter to fall to his death from a helicopter during a 2016 training exercise.

The News Journal of Wilmington reported that firefighter Timothy McClanahan’s family filed the lawsuit this month. The 46-year-old volunteer firefighter and Delaware Air Rescue Team member was performing a helicopter training exercise in 2016 when he stepped onto the aircraft’s skid and fell.

The lawsuit blames the aluminum connector, known as a carabiner, that McClanahan used to tether his safety harness to the helicopter. It charges that Priority 1 Air Rescue sold the state “non-locking” carabiners that aren’t used in air rescues because they open more easily than other types. Priority 1 attorney Bruce McKissock denies the carabiners were “non-locking.”

The lawsuit seeks compensation for McClanahan’s children.

Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del.

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