1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question How does your company handle closing down roadways

    I was just curious to hear other ways of closing down roadways. In my company we primarily rely on the local police or fire police. Every now and then, we install road blacks. This usually works. however, this method does not always work. I know first hand.

  2. #2
    Kelly Tool
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In our small dept. we if we need a road close we call apon our fire police, this is the only thing they do and there are just two guys that do this, If we need more we can call some more fire police from another dept. or we designate some of our own firefighters to act as fire police, if it is on a major hiway then we will use police

    Put the wet stuff on the red stuff!
    Visit our Dept. Schodack Valley

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We use local law enforcement also. We have had several cases however where some of our back roads are actually state roads and fall under the NC highway patrol.

    It can be a while before they arrive so we've had to use apparatus to block roads. We don't have fire police, or generally enough personnel to put out on the road so we just shut it down at the nearest cross street providing a detour or place to turn around.

    Susan Bednar
    Captain - Forsyth Rescue
    North Carolina Strike Force 1

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In Alberta, technically, the only one that is able to authorize the closure of a highway is the Minister of Transportation. I don't think there is a fire department in the province that is stupid enough to wait until they get authorization.

    In our area, 9 times out of ten we will arrive first to a traffic accident. We will close the road to all traffic until all emergency units have arrived, and until the RCMP give us the go ahead to move traffic. The main reason for this is to preserve the scene for the traffic investigators. From then on we will control traffic until we are released. There are not enough RCMP officers in our area to conduct an investigation and control traffic.

    It works well. We control traffic at an accident, and they provide crowd control at a fire scene.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We close the road with apparatus when and as long as necessary. We will gladly turn traffic control over to the law enforcement officers any time we can get them to do it. How do fire police work? We don't have them in Indiana.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Fire-Police are just volunteers who direct traffic and control crowds around fire/emergency scenes and are normally members of the fire department and/or a special squad in the fire department.

    Our department doesn't appoint specific fire-police officers. All firefighters are trained in it, and usually it's the youngest and oldest members who get traffic detail (never just a bunch of youngsters though!)...but I'll still end up in an orange vest a couple times a year if that's what's most important when I get there.

    We normally handle all traffic issues from time of call till the roadway is cleared -- not enough State Police coverage to conduct the investigation and control traffic. Closing highways is not a legal problem for us -- the fire department has the legal authority to do so, plus in CT state law is the overall incident command on all calls it's involved with

    Usually, if we can safely and the scene allows, we try to maintain a lane of traffic open. We'll use cones down the center line, and a few people down the length of the incident to move traffic in alternate directions. If we can, we'll setup detours.

    If we need to close the road, we don't hesitate to do so. But we do try when safe and reasonable to maintain a lane of traffic open and/or setup detours.

    BTW, once a year or so we'll get called by the State Police to assist them with traffic control -- last time was a no-injuries accident on a bad curve. I've even heard departments toned out to assist the State Police on our local interstate with traffic control from accidents or disabled vehicles in the highspeed lane. We only have 5 Troopers covering roughly 600 square miles and 70,000 people on an average shift out of our Barracks.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    We let a combo of our fire police and police take that job to close or limit access to a road. It works out nicely for us. The fp (fire Police) do it without us normally have to tell them. They just do it. They are the biggest help to us for an accident. One less thing to worry about. If you want some more info on FP, go to our website, www.chalfontfireco.8m.com We have some good info on what they do!


  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    On the interstate, a great big red engine in the closest lane! Although most of our state patrol get it. For anything residential, our local police do a great job securing the scene. Though we have had a time or two when they are making time with the locals and had to run to their cars to move them out of the way.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We usually end up with traffic control half the time... except when it's on the interstate. VA law says that while on the interstate, State Police have final say in whether or not it gets closed down.. we actually had a captain arrested by state for closing down the interstate after state told him not to because he thought it necessary to do so in order protect his men. Seems pretty stupid to me, but hey, I'm just a dumb FireMedic

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    What I have seen is that traffic control can be as important as the ems and extrication response. I have felt many times the risk of injury to emergency workers was higher than the risk to the injured, because of passing vehicles and opportunity to cause additional damage. How many times has a second accident occurred at the primary accident site. Consequently our department controls the traffic until we are cleared. We stop and hold traffic, and I will, within reason, stop all traffic as long as emergency responders are at risk. On highway 93 in MT, that is every man jack within 1000 feet of the roadway. We have had runaways through the scene, and compromised LZ with the helicopter turning rotors at night. All because we were not inplace and in control of the traffic. We have the best and most reliable commo with the scene, and know what the risks are. MHP is interested in keeping the traffic moving. Different agendas that manifest into higher risk for us sometimes.

    [This message has been edited by monte (edited May 09, 2000).]

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'm from a combo dept. in Colorado. We have a great relationship with city PD and CSP. PD will shut a street down for us quicker that you can blink an eye. CSP wants to keep their highways open, but usually do what you ask them. (very nicely, because they have the guns) Sometimes on county roads, we block them ourselves. (obviously, not my favorite choice).

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Most of the time at large Fires structures Mostly We have fire police Block Traffic and Police, For all other calls Wires down,Mvas, Small Fires we have The trucks block hte road so we can free up the police. Since my town is REALLY small and we have only 3 patrol cars on duty normally we use hte apparatus to block the roads if we are gonna be on scene for a long time. Just like hte MVa the other night We had a mVa on the highway PD came first Blocked it off made sure it was safe..then apparatus came in and blocked it and released the Extra pd cars and the only PD that stayed was the ones doing an investigation. I think it works out good this way Because if your fd doesnt get alot of calls like mine and PD gets a decent amount of calls Why use up the PD when the trucks can sit there.Sometimes if we are low on Manpower We use Firefighters to control the scene & traffic. And No matter if that Big Red trucks blocking both lanes in the road and we got guys standing there PEOPLE IN A HURRY STILL TRY TO PASS US!...its amazing what people do when they are in a hurry. But Thats a whole other story....

    "Looks Like you Gotcha Self a hot one First Time up Kid"


  13. #13
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    We also rely on Fire Police. For more info on Fire Police in PA, go to:

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Two words; State Police.

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