Mayday Monday: Operating on Roadways

Lt. Brad Clark fallen firefighter

On October 11, 2018, we here at Mayday Monday lost a friend. The fire service lost a shooting star who was helping train firefighters around the Country. Still others lost a father, a brother firefighter, a son, and a husband. Lieutenant Brad Clark of the Hanover County (VA) Fire Department was killed on a rain-soaked highway near Richmond, Virginia. A hydroplaning tractor trailer crashed into Lieutenant Clark and his crew as they worked another collision. In typical Brad fashion, he worked to ensure the safety of his crew in the face of the danger which took his life. Read more about the incident here and watch the Mayday Monday podcast where we talk to friends and coworkers of Brad below.

Mayday Monday/YouTube

Lieutenant Bradford T. Clark Honored with the 2019 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award

Fallen Virginia Firefighter Pens Farewell Letter

Each year, we continue to see firefighters and other responders struck and killed on our highways. We must recognize the hazards of working in roadways. Whether it is distracted driving, reckless driving, or the crumbling infrastructure, the roadway can be an IDLH zone. Firefighters and fire leaders must make yourself hard to kill when working on the highway. Use all of the available tools to ensure you will be seen and be safe. High-visibility vests, appropriate traffic cones, and using the apparatus to block and protect are all techniques and tactics to help reduce our risk of operating in the roadway. 

This month’s skill/drill is to research the resources available to you for traffic management. Reach out to your Department of Transportation and see what they provide. Practice setting up a “safe work zone” using traffic cones and proper apparatus placement. In addition, examine other fire department’s traffic tools, like blocking apparatus/vehicles, signage and training. Start here: Responder Safety.  

Practicing the skill/drill and reviewing the information will honor the memory of Lieutenant Brad Clark and help reduce your risk from this danger! Now, get to work!! 

RELATED FIREFIGHTER TRAINING

Jack Sullivan: Strategies & Tactics for Roadway Incidents

Safe Interstate Highway Response

The New Chapter in NFPA 1500-2018: Traffic Incident Management

“D” Drivers and Other Hazards at Highway Operations

Audio only version below:

Tony Carroll is a captain/shift commander with the Louisa County (VA) Fire & EMS Department.  

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