Friday, July 15, 2011

Near-Miss Report of the Week


As an officer, you need to stay abreast of operational issues and situations in order to be knowledgeable and conversant with the variables that may affect company deployments and subsequent operations. The National Fire Fighter Near Miss Reporting System (FFNMRS) has a vast collection of resources that are a few keystrokes and links away.

One of the most useful tools in the FFNMRS Tool Box of resources is the Near-Miss Report of the Week (ROTW). The direct link to the page is here.

Take some time to look over the content and subject matter available to you in the form of the weekly publication. The information provides insights and examples of situational near miss events and close calls that provide the lessons learned so that, when confronted with similar precursors or subtle indications, you may be able to draw from the ROTW and the from the lessons and insights of other Near Miss Reports that may prevent a similar close-call/near miss event or from escalating into a more serious event.

Take the time to review the ROTW, sign up for the weekly email delivery and most importantly- read the reports and integrate them into your training, drills, discussions, tabletops, chalk board or podcast talks. Get the FFNMRS reports embedded into your psyche.

Here's what was sent out this week....

Multiple units responding to the same incident from different directions creates the potential for unscheduled arrivals at intersecting points. These points are most frequently intersections that are in one form or another controlled by devices ranging from stop signs to traffic lights. In this week's ROTW, report 11-179, reminds us that a green light does not necessarily guarantee the way is safe to proceed.

[ ] Brackets denote reviewer de-identification.

"A municipal ALS equipped engine and a third service county ALS ambulance were dispatched by the same dispatch, on the same radio channel, to a local park for a trauma patient. While enroute, and less than two miles from our station, we approached a heavy traffic intersection, which is blind to the south side. Upon approach, the [brand deleted] signal preemption system (which both the engine and ambulance are equipped with) was delayed in capturing the light. The driver of the engine began to reduce speed and decelerate toward the intersection. As we approached the intersection we captured the light with the signal preemption system, giving us a GREEN light, but for whatever reason, the driver of the engine made a complete stop at the intersection. Just then the ambulance blew through the intersection, not stopping for the RED light. To our surprise, we didn't hear or see this ambulance until they were in the intersection. Only because of the driver's situational awareness and intuition (gut feeling) did we come to a complete stop to avoid a collision."

Right of way rules, line of sight approaches, traffic light pre-emption devices and emergency response SOPs all support apparatus arriving at the scene of an emergency call. Despite all these efforts, human factor plays a role in the safe arrival of all units to their dispatched destination.

Once you have read the entire account of 11-179, and the related reports, consider the following with your colleagues.
  1. Many departments now have specific rules requiring units to stop at all red lights during emergency response. If your department has such rules in effect, are there any other recommendations for intersection travel to consider?
  2. The reporter states the driver's "situational awareness and intuition" contributed to collision avoidance. How large of a role do you believe the two factors played? How do you promote/teach the effect of the "gut feeling" in your driver training sessions?
  3. How often do you encounter intersection situations with crossing emergency vehicle traffic? Given your estimate, what is your assessment of the likelihood of a collision based on the frequency?
  4. If your agency uses traffic pre-emptive signaling, how often is the system calibrated/fault-checked to ensure accuracy?
  5. How many "blind side" intersections exist in your response area? What is the significance of knowing where they are?
Emergency response ranges from high frequency, high risk to low frequency and high risk depending on how many calls for service a department receives. Reducing the risk associated, whether the frequency is high or low is an essential element of keeping our promise to the communities we serve. Doing your part by keeping your speed under control and being on the lookout for hazardous situations like intersections, will promote getting you to the scene quickly and returning for the next run.

Related Reports - Topical Relation: Driving: Intersections
Experience a near miss with another piece of apparatus while responding? Submit your report to http://www.firefighternearmiss.com/ today.

Note: The questions posed by the reviewers are designed to generate discussion and thought in the name of promoting firefighter safety. They are not intended to pass judgment on the actions and performance of individuals in the reports.

To Sign up to receive the Near-Miss Report of the Week by email, forward your request to atippett@iafc.org

Firefighternearmiss.com is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. Founding dollars were also provided by Fireman's Fund Insurance Company. The project is managed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs and supported by FireFighterCloseCalls.com in mutual dedication to firefighter safety and survival.

We’ve provided some direct links from the ROTW webpage here, but there is a lot more on the firefighternearmiss.com site.



FFNMR - Report of the Week Archives [Direct Link, HERE]
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
File TitleFile SizeFile Description


  • ROTW Binder, Cover and Spine Label

  • 990 KBCover and Spine Label to make your own ROTW Binder.


  • 2006 Report of the Week Library

  • 14.8 MBComplete 2006 Report of the Week Library. ZIP File.


  • ROTW 122107: What's in your pockets? (07-1116)

  • 35 KBFF becomes entangled in wires.


  • ROTW 121407: The deafening silence of culture. (07-1142)

  • 38 KBSafety issues overlooked during emergency response.


  • ROTW 120707: 'Sun' and 'Block' take on a new meaning. (07-1119)

  • 36 KBSunshine fould driver's vision.


  • ROTW 113007: Use 3D for vacant and burning: distance, defensive, deluge. (05-618)

  • 49 KBFighting fire in a vacant structure, concerns addressed.


  • ROTW 111607: Probies are not expendable. (07-776)

  • 35 KBAerial stabilizer narrowly misses firefighter.


  • ROTW 110907: Nearly done in by our own kind. (07-1108)

  • 35 KBRe-opening a roadway requires coordination.


  • ROTW 110207: The importance of using wheel locks and its effects. (06-173)

  • 37 KBWildland/urban interface fire reveals personnel/equipment needs.


  • ROTW 102607: Contractor Mishap. (07-1043)

  • 37 KBApparatus electrified during test by contractor.


  • ROTW 101907: Asleep at the wheel and no one noticed. (07-752)

  • 35 KBDriver falls asleep on EMS call.


  • ROTW 101207: Faster than you can call a Mayday... (05-567)

  • 38 KBRoof collapse ignites bedroom injuring firefighter.


  • ROTW 100507: It's not 'just a car fire...' (07-800)

  • 28 KBEngine contacts downed powerline at accident scene.


  • ROTW 092807: Intuition adverts danger. (05-553)

  • 38 KBStructure fire in concealed ceiling causes collapse, nearly trapping interior crews.


  • ROTW 092107: Blowout on the front apron. (07-910)

  • 34 KBTire blows following apparatus check.


  • ROTW 091407: Leave your eyes to Z87.1. (07-964)

  • 35 KBSafety glasses do their job during extrication.
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7

    For some Program insights, check out the recent posting on CommandSafety.com: National Firefighter Near-Miss Reporting System; Untapped Resource or go Directly to the Firefighternearmiss.com site, HERE


    These are some of the Site File Categories;



    National Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System on Facebook, HERE

    For a direct point of contact at the NFFNMRS;

    Rynnel Gibbs, Program Coordinator
    National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System
    4025 Fair Ridge Drive Fairfax, VA 22033
    P: 703-537-4858 F: 703-273-0920 rgibbs@iafc.org http://www.firefighternearmiss.com/
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    2 comments:

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