Jonathan Wayne Burgess

Firefighter Burgess and another firefighter were performing a safety check of a runway at the South Alabama Regional Airport. During the check, Firefighter Burgess noticed a deer near the runway. He exited the vehicle and prepared to shoot the animal with a rifle. As he aimed, he suddenly collapsed.

The other firefighter in the vehicle requested the response of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and began Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). An ambulance arrived on the scene at 1747hrs, it departed for the hospital at 1800hrs, and arrived at the hospital at 1811hrs.

In addition to CPR provided by his partner, Firefighter Burgess received Advanced Life Support (ALS) care from ambulance personnel. Firefighter Burgess did not respond to treatment in the hospital emergency room and was pronounced dead at 1820hrs.

According to the NIOSH investigation, the cause of death reported at autopsy was “cardiac dysrythmia due to systemic sarcoidosis with cardiac involvement”.

For additional information regarding this incident, please refer to NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program report F2013-03 (

Incident Location: Runway 29, South Alabama Regional Airport (USNG: 16R EV 5767 6398)

Department Information

South Alabama Regional Airport Fire Department
21861 Bill Benton LN
USNG: 16R EV 4917 6391
Andalusia, Alabama 36421

Chief: Michael Ellis

View NIOSH Report »

Jonathan Wayne Burgess was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.
Age: 33 
Rank: Firefighter 
Classification: Career 
Incident date: Jan 8, 2013 17:36
Date of death: Jan 8, 2013 
Cause of death: Other 
Nature of death: Other 
Activity type: Not On Scene 
Emergency duty: No
Duty type: Other On-Duty 
Fixed property use:  

Memorial fund information

The family requests that memorials in honor of Fire Captain Jonathan Wayne Burgess be made to the Opp Fire Department, 200 N Main ST POB 610, Opp, AL 36467