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Steven Reid Whitfield II


Cadet Whitfield was a member of Houston Fire Department Cadet Class 2015G. He and other cadets were participating in SCBA training in the Survival House located at the Houston Fire Department training facility. He was wearing full structural personal protective clothing and SCBA. The interior of the Survival House is air conditioned and no live fire is used. A smoke generator is used in some parts of the house. Instructors are able to monitor the progress of students through the course by direct observation and video.

Cadet Whitfield complained to another cadet that he was hot prior to entering the course. He entered the course at 1025hrs. At approximately 1107hrs, an instructor heard Cadet Whitfield stop, followed shortly by the activation of his PASS device. A MAYDAY was called and Cadet Whitfield was removed from the course. CPR was initiated and a medic unit at the training facility was summoned.

Cadet Whitfield was provided with paramedic-level EMS care including aggressive cooling. He was transported to the hospital but did not recover. He was pronounced dead at 1248hrs. The cause of death is listed as hyperthermia and dehydration.

The Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office prepared a detailed report on this incident. The report is available at

Incident Location: US National Grid 15R TN 7932 8038

photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Steven Reid Whitfield II 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

Houston Fire Department
600 Jefferson Street, Ste. 700
USNG: 15R TN 7055 9373
Houston, Texas 77002

Chief: Interim Fire Chief Rodney West

Age: 32
Rank: Cadet
Classification: Career
Incident date: March 31, 2016 12:48
Date of death: March 31, 2016
Cause of death: Exposure
Nature of death: Heat Exhaustion
Activity type: Not On Scene
Emergency duty: No
Duty type: Training

Last updated: August 29, 2017

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