Emmitsburg, MD. – The Department of Homeland Security’s United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) announced today the release of a Guide to Model Policies and Procedures for Emergency Vehicle Safety. This innovative, web-based educational program is aimed to reduce the impact of vehicle related incidents on the fire service and the communities they protect. This guide provides in-depth information for developing policies and procedures required to support the safe and effective operation of all fire and emergency vehicles, as well as privately-owned vehicles which are the leading cause of volunteer firefighter on-duty fatalities responding and returning to emergencies.
“Vehicle crashes remain the second leading cause of on-duty firefighter deaths,” said Charlie Dickinson, USFA Acting Administrator. “We are proud to work with the IAFC to develop information for fire service leadership to enhance the safety of the fire service. Vehicle accidents terminate the mission of all firefighters to arrive first, and then assist individuals needing emergency help. A firefighter that does not get to the scene safely, helps no one.”
This program is a result of one of the partnerships with several leading fire service membership organizations as a follow on to the Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative, a USFA project developed to reduce the number of firefighters killed while responding to or returning from the emergency scene.
“The IAFC understands the challenges faced by fire departments face with respect to emergency vehicle safety” stated IAFC President James B. Harmes. “We hope that you find the tools and resources provided in this comprehensive guide developed in partnership with the USFA to improve the safety, health, and survival of firefighters and the citizens they serve.”
Further information about this program, as well as other USFA efforts in emergency vehicle safety, may be found on the USFA Web site at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/research/safety/vehicle.shtm. It may also be accessed from the IAFC Web site at: http://www.iafc.org.