One of the primary duties in any emergency response is to get to the scene with the right assets and personnel in a timely fashion. We’ve conditioned ourselves to respond quickly to alarms and pride ourselves on quick turnout times. The reporter in this featured report reminds us of how important it is for the whole crew to check and cross check itself before the brake is released.
Brackets  denote reviewer de-identification.
“…the unit I was riding on got a call and was acknowledged by the station officer. While going to get on the fire engine, the driver with 20 years experience and the driver riding in the officer position, who cleared the call, began to drive out of the bay. I had begun to open the rear door of the engine when it started rolling forward. I closed the door rapidly, not getting in the truck, and jumping away to keep from getting caught between the truck door and bay door. After the driver heard the door slam shut he…”
Being aware of response elements such as, crew size and where the crew is when the apparatus are in quarters are essential to timely and safe response. After you have read the entire account (CLICK HERE), consider the following:
Whose responsibility is it (in your company) to ensure all members are seated, belted and ready for response?
1. What practices do you have in place to ensure all members are properly seated, belted and ready for response?
2. When do you (as the crew member) let the officer know you are properly prepared for the apparatus to start its response?
3. How often do you as a company review basic safety and survival skills related to safe response?
4. What is your Department’s policy on a member who misses a call? Is the accountability totally on the member, or are there implications for the driver and officer as well. Is this policy fair in your mind?
Have you been involved in a near miss while boarding apparatus? Avoid a mishap by using boarding best practices? Submit your account today to ensure tomorrow’s attack teams can benefit from your knowledge. Submit your incident to www.firefighternearmiss.com today so everyone goes home 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.