1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation Firefighter safety at emergency scenes.

    I am in search of information on laws, bills or some other type of legislation that is in effect or being discussed concerning safety of firefighters at emergency scenes. This "safety" information that I am seeking deals specifically with citizens driving through emergency scenes (of any type) and striking, damaging, injuring, killing emergency workers or property.
    A few days ago we had a firefighter in our state that was struck by a driver at a wreck scene. The firefighter was wearing all appropriate safety markings and was struck by a vehicle and thrown over 50'! Only by the Grace of God did he survive without a broken bone! HOWEVER, this does not minimize the fact that he was struck by a car that was going over 45 mph through an accident scene! If anyone has any information from your state that might help us, please forward it to my e-mail at sconfire@home.com or post it here. We are currently gathering information to attempt to have legislation passed in our state. Also if you have any information about firefighters being injured in this manner, please send that as well. I have all LODD's for the past 5 years, however we would like to get data on injuries sustained to help us with evidence.

    Captain Grant Mishoe
    North Charleston Fire Department
    North Charleston, SC

    [This message has been edited by sconfire (edited 06-03-2001).]

  2. #2
    Captain Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We request that the Police come to the scene for traffic control whenever the situation warrants it. Drivers may ignore the big red truck, but the sight of a police cruiser at an incident sure gets their attention!

    Firefighters: Today's heroes protecting everyone's tomorrows!
    Captain Gonzo

    [This message has been edited by Captain Gonzo (edited 06-03-2001).]

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I know that in my state it is illegal to run over a fire hose and is punishable by a fine.
    Surely if it is illegal to run over a fire hose, there should be something in place to protect the men and women who are using those hoses.
    We also try to call law enforcement to the scene for traffic control. And if we have enough man power on scene, we will go ahead and begin traffic control until law enforcement gets there.

    I agree, there definately needs to be laws in place for when emergency vehicles are in or near a roadway.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Check out this article that appeared a while back.

    It deals with a state (IL I believe) passing a law to make it harder on people who violate the safety of emergency workers on scenes. Getting a similar law passed would be no easy task..but it might be worth a try!

    On the short term I'd work on developing a real good working relationship with local law enforcement and DOT. Many times DOT can block roads and put up barriers (temporary or long term) to detour traffic the same way the PD can...at times more effectively because they have bigger toys to do it with!

    Susan Bednar
    Forsyth Rescue Squad (Captain)
    Griffith Volunteer FD

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    This is a serious problem. Of course legislation is a good idea, but as noted earlier, getting a piece of legislation passed generally takes a long time and is a difficult process.

    We took an aggressive approach to this problem in this area (southeastern Virginia) and developed a task force comprised of representatives from area fire departments,emergency medical service providers (in most cases this was the local FD), local police, state police, the state department of transportation and even a representative from the local wrecker's association. We ended up with about fifteen different local/state and private associations working together on this serious problem, with the goal of minimizing the chance of one of our own getting hit while working an interstate accident. We jointly developed a plan for interstate incident response, starting with an incident command system that will allow all of these different agencies to work together under a unified command. We also wrote some SOP's (apparatus placement, distances, etc.) that were agreed to by all parties (by signature of the Chiefs and other CEO types). A video was then produced on this plan, and copies of it were distributed to all involved agencies to be used for training their personnel.

    I guarantee that this approach will be quicker than getting legislation passed at the state level, and it also provides training for all personnel involved. In this way, these agencies are now beginning to work together with common goals at interstate incidents, resolving some of the inter-agency squabbling that used to go on (i.e. "who is in charge..state police or fire dept." or "we need to get this fire apparatus out of the way so we can get traffic moving")

    If you'd like more information, feel free to e-mail me.

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