Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Slowing Down

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
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3 comments:

  1. First of all, I wish to extend my best wishes for speedy recoveries to everyone injured.
    The only thing that I will add is:
    avoidable, preventable, didn't have to happen, lives put at risk once again at an intersection, the data is there, WE HAVE TO TAKE CONTROL.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chris:
    Good stuff.
    First of all, two apparatus collide at an intersection. Reason? Someone/both didn't exercise due caution and someone else didn't stop.
    My question: what happens if both rigs are equipped with Opticons, both rigs are employing their Opticons and in other words, both want the green. If I have an Opticon and my light is red, I want green and the same for the other apparatus.
    Who wins? Or does the Opticon get confused in this case?
    Plus, if we "assume" that the Opticon is going to work properly, then are we not anticipating that the red light is going to turn green?
    I am thankful that no one died, but it is a bad situation nonetheless.
    Thanks for an excellent article.
    TCSS.
    Art

    ReplyDelete
  3. Chris:
    Good stuff.
    First of all, two apparatus collide at an intersection. Reason? Someone/both didn't exercise due caution and someone else didn't stop.
    My question: what happens if both rigs are equipped with Opticons, both rigs are employing their Opticons and in other words, both want the green. If I have an Opticon and my light is red, I want green and the same for the other apparatus.
    Who wins? Or does the Opticon get confused in this case?
    Plus, if we "assume" that the Opticon is going to work properly, then are we not anticipating that the red light is going to turn green?
    I am thankful that no one died, but it is a bad situation nonetheless.
    Thanks for an excellent article.
    TCSS.
    Art

    ReplyDelete

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