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Costello Nathaniel Robinson

Firefighter Technician

Firefighter Robinson was the most senior active firefighter on the District of Columbia Fire Department. He and his engine company were dispatched, along with other units, to the report of a fire in a densely populated area of the District. As Firefighter Robinson and other firefighters were searching for a fire, Firefighter Robinson was attacked from behind by an unrestrained pit bull terrier dog. Firefighter Robinson was injured by the attack and unable to walk. He was transported to a local hospital and scheduled for knee surgery to repair the damage caused by the dog attack. On July 9th, the day that his knee surgery was scheduled, Firefighter Robinson became acutely short of breath and unresponsive. Medical aid was provided, but Firefighter Robinson did not survive. Autopsy findings included “hypertensive cardiovascular disease” and “blunt impact trauma [to the knee] with avulsion of [the] right quadriceps tendon”. Additional information about this incident can be found in NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation 99-F-40.
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Costello Nathaniel Robinson 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

District of Columbia Fire Department
1923 Vermont Avenue, NW

Washington, District of Columbia 20001

Chief: Donald Edwards

View NIOSH Report

Age: 64
Rank: Firefighter Technician
Classification: Career
Incident date: July 7, 1999 05:06
Date of death: July 9, 1999
Cause of death: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of death: Heart Attack
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Residential

Last updated: June 13, 2012

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Honoring line-of-duty deaths in 2019