Wildland/WUI On-Duty Death

Fremont County deputy fire chief was severely burned in a 2015 fire

United States Fire Administration

The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the official on-duty death of Deputy Chief Clarence “Speed” Hartbank, 79, of the Fremont County Fire District on January 13, 2016.

On September 10, 2015, Deputy Chief Clarence “Speed” Hartbank fell approximately 15 feet through the ceiling of a bunker while fighting a grass and structure fire in rural Fremont County, near Lander, Wyoming. Hartbank suffered second- and third-degree burns over 38 percent of his body, seven broken ribs and a punctured lung. Hartbank was flown to Swedish Medical Center in Colorado and went through numerous surgeries in the months since the incident. On January 13, 2016, Hartbank passed away at the Swedish Medical Center from the injuries he sustained.

Tribute is being paid to Deputy Chief Clarence “Speed” Hartbank at http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/

To date, four firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2016.  Year-to-date and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/fatalityData/statistics

Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information