Firefighting

Pierce Air Bag System

Issue 12 and Volume 160.

BY MIKE MOORE Statistics confirm what every firefighter knows: Firefighter safety begins with traffic safety. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), from 1994 to 2005, 250 firefighters died in vehicle collisions (an average of 20 deaths per year), making it the second leading cause, after heart attacks, of firefighter line-of-duty deaths. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2004 statistics, frontal collisions are the most common type of large truck crash, accounting for about 35 percent of all crashes. Driver’s frontal air bag test. (Photo courtesy of Scott Anderson.) Click here to enlarge image Many of these deaths are preventable—in fact, they’re being prevented in other types of vehicles. According to the NHTSA, frontal air bags saved the lives of 13,967 Americans between 1987 and 2003. Perhaps because firefighters have been so focused on securing the safety of others, firefighting apparatus has traditionally not been equipped with…

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