Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System: Make a hole…coming through!

Emergency vehicles come in all shapes and sizes. Power plants, gear boxes, and gross vehicle weights determine speed and overall agility. There is an additional factor that comes into play; impatience instigated by urgency (real or perceived). As this week’s featured report indicates, the prudence in patience is a huge payoff.

“As a driver of a pumper responding to a structure fire, a small rescue squad was trying to pass my pumper on a four lane road, in route to the call. The rescue tried to pass in the curb lane and I moved over to let him pass and hit the rescue. Both units…”

There is an old adage in the fire service that says, “You can’t do any good if you don’t get there.” In this report, the units are going to the same place, a structure fire, although the slower engine responded first. The smaller, more agile rescue squad gains on the engine and tries to pass. The rest of the report tells the ending of the tale. There is a positive ending, but not without serious consequences. After you have read the entire account (CLICK HERE), consider the following:

1. Is there a time when allowing units to pass during emergency response should be allowed?
2. Does your station/department have an SOP/SOG on unit “order of response” from a station?
3. If a following unit was attempting to pass you during emergency response, what would you do?
4. If a leading unit tells you to come around and pass during emergency response, what would you do?
5. What steps did you take to correct your last emergency vehicle driving conflict?

Have you been passed by another emergency vehicle? Have you been on a rig that unsafely passed another rig? Nearly collide with an emergency vehicle at an intersection? Submit a report to today to prevent a tragedy tomorrow

Note: The questions posed by the reviewers are designed to generate discussion and thought in the name of promoting firefighter safety. They are not intended to pass judgment on the actions and performance of individuals in the reports.

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