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Robert Wayne Crump


Firefighter Crump and members of his squirt company were directing traffic away from an area that had been flooded by a very heavy rain. Firefighter Crump was wearing full structural protective clothing including a protective coat, protective trousers, and a helmet. According to the police report, 2½ inches of rain had fallen in the 2 hours prior to this incident.

As the firefighters were working, a woman who was attempting to cross a flooded area stalled her car in the high water and was attempting to walk to a nearby bank to make a phone call. She attempted to cross a rain-filled ditch and fell into the water. She became stuck in a pool of water that covered a culvert but was able to grab onto a pipe to prevent being drawn underwater. Unbeknownst to anyone on the scene, the ditch led to a 64-inch concrete drainpipe that was not equipped with any type of grating.

Firefighter Crump and another firefighter were summoned by the calls of citizens who saw the woman’s predicament. Both firefighters entered the water to rescue the woman. As they made their way to the woman, Firefighter Crump was immediately drawn under the water. Citizens assisted the other firefighter from the water, he returned to rescue the woman, and then turned his efforts toward attempting to locate Firefighter Crump.

Approximately 5 hours later, Firefighter Crump’s body was located by a police officer near an outlet of the stormwater system. His cause of death was listed as drowning.

photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Robert Wayne Crump was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.

Department information

Denver Fire Department
745 West Colfax Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80204

Chief: Richard Gonzales

View NIOSH Report

Age: 37
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Career
Incident date: August 17, 2000 17:44
Date of death: August 17, 2000
Cause of death: Caught or Trapped
Nature of death: Drowning
Activity type: Search and Rescue
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Non-Fire
Fixed property use: Street/Road

Last updated: May 30, 2018