Thomas “Emmett” James Kuehl, Firefighter

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Firefighter/EMT Kuehl and the members of his fire department were dispatched to a controlled burn that had become out of control. The incident was located approximately 10 miles outside of the city. During the fire fight, two fire apparatus became stuck in a field. Firefighter/EMT Kuehl was at the wheel of one of the trucks as it was being pulled by a tractor. The tow rope disengaged from the tractor and the tension in the rope caused it to recoil toward the fire apparatus operated by Firefighter/EMT Kuehl. Firefighter/EMT Kuehl was struck in the forehead area by a shackle attached to the tow rope. Emergency responders were called to the scene and treatment was provided to Firefighter/EMT Kuehl. He was transported by ambulance to a local hospital and subsequently transferred by medical helicopter to a regional care facility. Firefighter/EMT Kuehl had sustained a severe head injury and died on April 11, 2006.

Department information

Elkton Volunteer Fire Department
PO Box 264
503 Antelope Street
Elkton, South Dakota 57026

Chief: Ryan Bebensee

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Thomas “Emmett” James Kuehl 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.
Age: 38
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Volunteer
Incident date: April 8, 2006 16:27
Date of death: April 11, 2006
Cause of death: Struck By
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property

Memorial fund information

No memorial fund designated at this time.