Ronda Sylvest Varnado, Firefighter

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Firefighter Varnado was the driver and sole occupant of a 2007 Peterbilt tanker (tender) responding to a structure fire. As the apparatus headed downhill into a curve, Firefighter Varnado lost control of the vehicle, the apparatus rolled, left the roadway, and came to rest when it struck an embankment.

As the apparatus struck the embankment, the water tank detached from the vehicle and struck the cab of the apparatus, killing Firefighter Varnado. Firefighter Varnado was wearing her seat belt at the time of the crash. Excessive speed and a load shift are cited as factors in the crash in the law enforcement report.

Incident Location: Near Mt Pisgah Rd & Burch Rd, Mt Hermon, LA 70450 (U.S. National Grid: 15R YQ 6491 2156)

Department information

Washington Parish Fire Protection District #2
41280 Highway 10
U.S. National Grid: 15R YQ 6649 1674
Franklinton, Louisiana 70438

Chief: Larry Sylvest

Ronda Sylvest Varnado 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: 54
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Volunteer
Incident date: July 6, 2017 20:01
Date of death: July 6, 2017
Cause of death: Vehicle Collision - Includes Aircraft
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: Responding
Fixed property use: Street/Road