Firefighter Safety at Vehicle Extrications

Issue 1 and Volume 157.

By Steve Bernocco Firefighter safety is arguably the most important aspect of any vehicle extrication. Minimizing hazards and maximizing safety are the responsibility of the company officer in charge of the extrication scene. However, safety should be on all firefighters’ minds as they respond to any vehicle extrication. RESPONDING TO THE ALARM Safety begins on receipt of the alarm. After climbing onto the apparatus, all firefighters should remember to put on their seat belts. There is a common misconception in the fire service that since our engines and ladder trucks outweigh many of the vehicles on the road, firefighters do not need to wear their seat belts. This misconception kills a number of firefighters each year. Fire apparatus can and do get into accidents, and firefighters who are not buckled up do die in these accidents. Apparatus drivers should make it a point to slow down when they respond out…

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