1. #1
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    thank you,
    jim
    Last edited by TowRecovery; 08-25-2008 at 04:20 PM.

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    Trust me, they are shutting down lanes for a reason. It is standard practice and it is a necessity. You of all people working on a highway all day should know better. If you almost got hit, it was because of the idiot driving the car, not because of the FD closing lanes.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Jim, spend a little time at www.respondersafety.com and see what some of the industry experts have to say about this.

    As for your specific case, have all of the interested parties (state police, fire, EMS, wrecker service, etc) sat down ahead of time and talked about this? You be amazed at the information and idea sharing that occurs. It can be a lot more productive than a screaming match on the side of the highway, and might get everyone to see different points of view. Not only that, but it's a way to start associating faces and ranks, which helps out on the side of the road too.

    All of these things have been implemented successfully in my state.
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    also in ohio, the fire dept has control and is in charge of every emergency scene. So if they say they want a lane closed it is closed...regardless of what PD or anyone else has to say...once the emergency is cleared then the control returns to whoever may be the AHJ. However that being said I dont know of any fire dept that will flex the muscles just because they can...usually they are very good at working with the pd or whoever on keeping as many lanes as safe open.

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    Good luck and be safe out there!
    Last edited by TowRecovery; 08-25-2008 at 04:16 PM.

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    Default still thinking......

    after my last post, i got to thinking.
    Last edited by TowRecovery; 08-25-2008 at 04:16 PM.

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    00000000000000000
    Last edited by TowRecovery; 08-25-2008 at 04:17 PM.

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    Look, like I said earlier, I understand the mentality, protect your men. But when an incident is already confined to a shoulder, and the FD shows up and takes a lane, I have to put my life and my equipment at risk because I have to put myself behind the FD and in front of people flying down the road completely oblivious to anyone else.
    If people are flying down the road completely oblivious to anyone else, wouldn’t' you want your tow truck or fire vehicle between you and the traffic??

    wich brought me to this question: is there a medical or practical reason as to why a triage has to be done on scene? i have seen major accident with serious trauma injuries and they cant get that person in that ambulance fast enugh and they are out of there as fast as they came in, so odviously triage doesn't have to be done on scene, it can be done enroute and the ambulance can move with a patiant inside b4 the triage is done, right?
    Triage has to be done at the scene by definition. Triage is the process of prioritizing patients. In general, once you begin treating a patient, you have to continue treatment until you can hand over to someone with a higher level of training, or obtain a refusal of care. I don't think triage is the word you are looking for. The EMTs may be doing a variety of things on scene that are easier done while sitting still, including starting an IV or taking blood pressures, among other things.

    i was thinking that i would be tickled pink if they would just leave as soon as they are done.
    Around here, we often stay at the request of the sheriff. They like having a piece of metal larger than their cruiser between them and the traffic too.

    Just for reference, in Maryland, when hose is in the street at an accident, the FD is in charge. We are taught and it is standard to pull a line if any extrication is required. I will work with the police if I can safely move the vehicle and not endanger my crew. In general they don't have a problem closing a road if we need to. When you take into account that we are on a peninsula with very few alternate routes, that's a good working relationship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TowRecovery View Post
    i was thinking that i would be tickled pink if they would just leave as soon as they are done.
    You and I agree on this 100%. Whenever we're operating on scene, as soon as it's reasonably practical, we get out of there. The less our exposure time to the the traffic, the less chance of us getting struck.

    Last week, we had a single vehicle roll-over on the right shoulder about 25' off the edge of the improved shoulder. We had 7 patients, with 2 ejected, and the two ejections were suffering from life threatening injuries. We took the shoulder and the right lane (3 lane interstate). This allowed us room to maneuver the six ambulances into place, while providing a safe work area for the state police, local police, and other persons to work in and around. However, as soon as that last ambulance took off, so did we.

    wich brought me to this question: is there a medical or practical reason as to why a triage has to be done on scene? i have seen major accident with serious trauma injuries and they cant get that person in that ambulance fast enugh and they are out of there as fast as they came in, so odviously triage doesn't have to be done on scene, it can be done enroute and the ambulance can move with a patiant inside b4 the triage is done, right?
    Triage HAS to be done on scene. In the example cited above, I did triage immediately upon my arrival, determining that the two persons ejected were most critical, and the other patients were "walking wounded." The meant that all of the resources on-scene were directed to these two patients, and then as the other ambulances arrived, they assumed the other patients.

    In EMS, we can't just grab a patient, put them in the back of the ambulance, and then pull of into a parking lot to "triage" them. We'd be in a bad spot if we grabbed a less-severe patient, while the more-severe patient laid back at the scene still.

    You bring some good points and observations to the table, thanks for attempting to see "our" side of things - a lot of people don't take the time to try to do that.
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    Here's your problem TowRecovery: too many fire departments are focused on their operations and don't take into consideration the impact on traffic and the potential for secondary accidents.

    Fire, EMS, and LE around the area where my career department is was forced to take another look at how wrecks are handled, particularly on the interstate. I believe it was 12 secondary accidents that resulted in injuries, 3 of which resulted in fatalities (don't quote me on the stats, I'm going off of memory) within a six month period that resulted in MoDOT getting everyone to take another look.

    As a result, we have stationary message signs on the interstate that our dispatch can access to post information on in the event of an accident. Our department (which protects about 12 miles of the interstate) and others surrounding us went through traffic control training. MoDOT put an emergency response vehicle into service to help us with traffic control and purchases us the signs and cones we needed to do it.

    I've seen more than once where the highway patrol had a wrecker push a truck that was blocking lanes when it tipped into the median to be picked up when traffic was lighter (night). We've gone to closing only those lanes we need to operate in safely and reopening them as soon as we're done with that operation. Very rarely do we shut down the entire interstate, unless vehicles are blocking both lanes. In that case, LEO's and MoDOT have predetermined detour routes they open up.

    The biggest factor in all this is the training of the company officers and their ability to determine what's going to happen as the incident progresses. If it's going to take more than 30 minutes or so of a lane closure, MoDOT is notified and made aware of the expected duration of lane closures. They then send out the truck to assist with traffic control. If more than one lane is blocked, MoDOT is notified of the situation and how long we think it will be blocked. They then respond accordingly.

    Now, how many departments have asked themselves how many people stand to be killed because they shut down the road without proper traffic control. The next question is: when are the ambulance chasing attorneys going to realize there's regulations of this sort and start suing FD's on a larger scale.

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    All great points catch22...

    My question is... isn't there more of a risk allowing several lanes of traffic to flow past a scene than there is with traffic at a dead standstill until the scene is safe enough to allow traffic past again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by S8ER95Z View Post
    All great points catch22...

    My question is... isn't there more of a risk allowing several lanes of traffic to flow past a scene than there is with traffic at a dead standstill until the scene is safe enough to allow traffic past again?
    There's a risk anytime there's traffic moving. I know what you're saying and yes, you'd be correct, it would be safer for us to have traffic completly stopped. However, it's not safer for the people driving up to where the end of that traffic is stopped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    There's a risk anytime there's traffic moving. I know what you're saying and yes, you'd be correct, it would be safer for us to have traffic completly stopped. However, it's not safer for the people driving up to where the end of that traffic is stopped.
    Once again..great point. There is no easy solution..which is why this conversation is even happening. It will be interesting to see how SOPs evolve over time to deal with this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by S8ER95Z View Post
    Once again..great point. There is no easy solution..which is why this conversation is even happening. It will be interesting to see how SOPs evolve over time to deal with this.
    You're right, there is no easy solution. Nor is there one solution that applies to all incidents. Traffic control is a fluid thing and has to be adapted to the circumstances and we have to take into account our safety, the safety of the victims, and the safety of the motorists using that roadway.

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    Default Shut it down

    My department's policy is simple; If personnel are operating on a highway for any reason, we shut it down - even if we have to put our trucks across the lanes to block traffic. As volunteers, we clearly do not get paid enough to take risks with our lives, or the livelihood of our families.

    We also are not afraid to say "we're outa' here" when our presence is not really needed. That definitely gets us out of harm's way!

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