Cherry Hill Firefighter Injured in Training Exercise


The victim, a senior firefighter of 15 years with the department, remains hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Training exercises remain vital to department operations, Chief Chris Callan says.

By Matt Skoufalos | December 17, 2021

A veteran Cherry Hill firefighter was transported to the hospital Friday after sustaining injuries in a training exercise.

The incident occurred at the Cherry Hill Fire Department live fire training prop at its campus on Marlkress Road around 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Cherry Hill Fire Chief Chris Callan said the victim was a senior firefighter with 15 years of service to the department who was exposed to fire during the exercise.

To escape the building, the officer also performed a hang-and-drop descent from its second story. His fall was cushioned by a fellow firefighter on the ground below.

Callan said the firefighter’s injuries were related to heat exposure and not the fall.

He was transported to the trauma unit at Cooper University Hospital in Camden City, and subsequently, to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

File Photo: Cherry Hill Fire Chief Chris Callan oversees a delivery of PPE. Credit: Rich Ratner.

“We try to negate every risk we can, but injuries happen,” Callan said.

“Our firefighters accept that.”

The chief said the department is certified to practice live exercises at its training building, and that working with active fires better prepares crews to face the risks of the job.

“Firefighting is dangerous,” Callan said.

“it’s not something we can wait to happen” for people to get the necessary experience,” he said. “We have to practice regularly.”

The chief asked for township residents to keep the firefighter and his family in their thoughts.

“He’s going to be okay,” Callan said. “He’s being evaluated right now.”

Anyone interested in supporting his recovery is advised to connect with the Cherry Hill Professional Firefighters Union – IAFF Locals 2663 and 3198 by e-mail or on social media.

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