There was yet another news report yesterday of a collision between two responding fire apparatus; an aerial ladder and an engine that violently collided and resulted in serious personal injuries to eleven people, nine of which were firefighters. The resulting collision caused significant property damage to the six month old aerial ladder and the year old engine. Reports and video HERE and HERE
According to published provisional reports from the USFA, of the 114 LODD in 2008, there were nineteen (19) LODD of firefighters responding to incidents (16.6%). The provisional report of On-Duty Firefighter fatalities in the United States for the period of 01/01/2009 to 02/28/2009 indicates there were three (3) LODD of firefighters responding to incidents (18.7%).
The job of firefighting has enough numerous challenges related to on-scene operations at structural fires and other incidents. Why is it we can’t seem to understand that at least we have the opportunity to control to some degree our safety while responding to a call?
Although there are numerous safety variables and risk in emergency response mode; effective situational awareness, attentive, defensive and focused driving, expanded peripheral vision and just plain and simple-slowing down, would go a long way at incident reduction. Pay particular attention when approaching intersections, and right of ways. STOP, then proceed. Look HERE and the St.Louis Engine Crash HERE
While you’re waiting for that bell to hit today and you get ready to board the apparatus and hit the streets on the way to the next alarm; stop and think. Think about Buckling up, Slowing Down and Arriving Alive. As an apparatus operator- think about your crew, your driving and the public....Slow down. More safety stuff HERE, HERE and HERE