Washington, D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced it is joining the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in an ongoing study of ambulance and emergency medical vehicles crash data.
“With vehicle crashes the second leading cause of firefighter fatalities, our work with NIOSH is important in order to enhance the safety of firefighters and emergency responders and to prevent these heart-breaking line of duty deaths,” said Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. “Secretary Ridge and U.S. Fire Administrator Paulison join me in support for this study, with the hopes of ensuring firefighters go home to their families after each event.”
The NIOSH Evaluation of Emergency Services Vehicle Occupant Safety Project involves the review of data on ambulance crash statistics, hazard identification and task analysis, determination of appropriate crash testing methodologies, development of occupant restraint systems and modeling of ambulance crash scenarios. NIOSH expects to complete the analysis by the fall of 2004.
“This innovative partnership bolsters our efforts to protect the health and safety of firefighters and emergency responders,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “This project reflects NIOSH’s commitment to enhance occupational safety through research and outreach.”
More information about this research initiative as well as other emergency vehicle projects can be found at: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/inside-usfa/research/vehicle.shtm.