Firefighting

SAFE RESPONSE TO HIGHWAY AND TRAFFIC INCIDENTS

Issue 6 and Volume 154.

BY JACK SULLIVAN, CSP, CFPS Since 1987, 45 firefighters have died as a result of being struck by vehicles. Almost 50 percent of these incidents occurred within the past four years. In addition, far more “struck by” incidents that resulted in apparatus damage and injuries have taken place within the same time frame; more than 30 incidents were recorded last year alone. The trend for “struck by” incidents is on the upswing and shows no signs of dropping off in the near future. Fire officers need to take steps to protect their personnel by increasing training, providing guidelines and procedures, enforcing the use of appropriate personal protective equipment, and coaching drivers/operators on how to spot fire apparatus and how to protect the scene and emergency responders. Impatient drivers are showing a decided lack of respect for emergency responders, and their “me-first” attitude is threatening our safety. Add in the drivers…

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