April 19, 2019
The McMicken Explosion
Surprise Fire-Medical Captain and Paramedic Shawn Marty recounts the 2019 lithium ion battery plant explosion that resulted in several near misses. His ability to recall the specifics of this unfortunate experience over a year later speaks to the lasting impact of this event. This is an amazing story of survival and bravery not to be missed.
Joining Captain Marty are National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Director of Fire Programs, Chief John Tippett; Surprise Fire-Medical Chief, Tom Abbott; Peoria Fire Department Fire Chief, Bobby Ruiz; and Surprise Fire-Medical Fire Marshal, Keith Tanner. This is an inspiring episode that shines light on emerging technology such as lithium ion battery energy storage that we do not necessarily understand. How do we mitigate these unknowns?
From the host, Jon Nelson: “In Episode 6, we discuss the 2019 McMicken Explosion and Near Miss Incident of Surprise, Arizona where multiple first responders were blasted over 75 feet as a result of an explosion of a lithium ion battery energy storage facility. With these emerging technologies, we often do not a) have the answers, b) have the up to the minute fire code that addresses the problem, and/or c) have the subject matter experts on hand to mitigate the issue. Listening to Captain Marty as he outlines his reliance on tried and true practices to manage a dangerous unknown: one of our more enlightening interviews to date.”
The mission of the After The Fire Podcast is to reduce the number of preventable fireground fatalities by learning from the unintended outcomes of firefighter line-of-duty deaths and near misses, through intimate conversations with those connected to the incidents and subject matter experts. The After The Fire Podcast is geared toward professional and aspiring firefighters and their families. The podcasts are suitable for all ages.
Injured Firefighters of the 2019 McMicken Incident
HAZMAT Captain Hunter Claire, Engineer Justin Lopez, Firefighter Matt Cottini,
and Firefighter Jake Ciulla
Episode Bonus Materials:
- Unofficial Draft Timeline of the 2019 McMicken Incident
- NFPA Conference: APS McMicken Incident PowerPoint
- Arizona Public Service Report
- UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute: Report Investigating Near-Miss Lithium-Ion Battery Storage System Explosion