Lewes firefighter falls, dies in training incident

GEORGETOWN — A firefighter died Monday evening when he fell from a Delaware State Police helicopter while on a training mission with the Delaware Air Rescue Team, state police said.

Delaware State Police said the Lewes Fire Department volunteer, Tim McClanahan, 46, of Lewes, was pronounced dead at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes.



Tim McClanahan

The incident occurred at 6:45 p.m. at the Delaware Coastal Airport located at 21553 Rudder Lane, Georgetown.

During the training exercise a pilot and trooper medic were on board along with the two volunteer firefighters, state police said.

As Mr. McClanahan stepped out onto the skid of the helicopter, he fell from an undetermined height onto a grassy area below the aircraft.

At that point the helicopter landed and the trooper medic and volunteer firefighter on board as well as nearby volunteer firefighters rushed over to the fallen victim and rendered medical assistance.

Sussex County Paramedics and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and transported Mr. McLanahan from Lewes to Beebe Healthcare where he was pronounced dead.

The investigation is in the early stages and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be the lead investigative agency with the assistance of the Delaware State Police.

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