1. #1
    Senior Member
    Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Mar 2000

    Default Really Random Thought...

    Beautiful, sunny, dry day. Perfect day for multiple MVAs on the local interstate (!?!?!?!?)

    I'm on my Saturday afternoon dump run, here the dispatch center directing an ambulance that had been released from the 1st accident to check on another MVA -- they really didn't have a choice since they'd come across it anyway. None of the cell phone callers had reported injuries, yet...

    But being I had nothing else to think about other than dodging the pot-holes on the dump road, I was thinking of that poor ambulance crew that was going to be arriving on an Interstate MVA before the police or fire departments had arrived to set up traffic.

    You know, we won't send someone into a domestic or most pysch calls until the police report the scene is secured...but in a different perspective, rather than someone with a weapon, just people driving two ton SUVs, probably distracted, we send in units before the scene is safe. The ambulance crew did end reporting that there where injuries, they'd handle, but needed the FD for traffic control (Not a lot of Troopers out here, so Fire often does traffic...)

    We do similiar stuff with SCUBA & SCBA -- don't see many people going into the water without one-to-one tender outside, diver inside; double checking equipment; and careful time recording. Go into smoke? Most of us just tighten the straps and go.

    Not that we necessarily need to change everything we do, and not that we can't prepare to do the unusual (I know our ambulances carry traffic vests & flashlights...when they where last used, Lord only knows!). But does make you wonder what makes some situations require they be secured, while other equally if not more dangerous aren't; or similiarly why diving in water has lots of safety points when diving into smoke has few. Just food for thought!
    IACOJ Canine Officer

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Fire304's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
    At the Helm


    I'm with you Dal, my FD has been trying to reduce the number of apparatus sent onto I-95, but personally I'd like to see the tower roll on every MVA on the interstate. You can block 3 lanes with that truck and it will delfect even a run away tractor trailer.

    I can't tell you how many times I've been out in the median cutting a car apart and when I had a minute to look around I'd see the skid marks from the car leading right into oncoming traffic w/o a single cop or FD vechile to protect us.

    Right now SOG's are the Rescue/Pumper and Ambulance only roll unless another crew is specifically requested. I'd roll a 2nd big-red to better block the scene every time and maybe call the tower to block traffic in the opposite direction if the scene is in the median.
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  3. #3
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    Apr 2004
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana


    I agree as well ... hell I can remember a few classic "battles" between us and the state police (in NY and VT) about closing the interstate. In fact I can remember one incident when our Asst. Chief was only a few more words away from being arrested.

    Its really not a good deal when a state trooper is more concerned with traffic backups than personal safety of the fire/ems personnel on scene.

    I think everyone of us who has worked more than a few calls on any interstate or high speed roadway can recall a close call or two ... unfortunatly some of the those close calls turn into tradgeies ...we al need to keep that in mind and do what we need to do to keep them from happening.

    Just my thoughts.

  4. #4
    FlyingKiwi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    New Zealand

    Thumbs up

    Number 1 rule down here Dal.

    a. Yourself and your Brothers.

    b. The victims

    c. The property.


    You are stuff all use to anybody getting yourself hurt or nailed on the job, keep safe and then look after the people you were sent to help.

    Doing a snap rescue when needed is a calculted risk.

    Doing an MVA without traffic control is suicide.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  5. #5
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    nmfire's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
    Maryland (DC Suburb)


    Some snipits of my response to a similar thread in the Vol forum.

    We don't have a "fire police" group or any speicific people whos specific duty is traffic control. We usually just assign a few people from those that respond to do it at each call. So far, it works fine and we havn't seen a need to make someone's only job traffic control.

    Now, there are several departments around us that DO have a "fire police" devision and it works quite well for them. Everyone's dept is different and if it works for you, great.

    However, I do have a real problem with taking the old guys who can't do normal fireground work and sticking them in the middle of the road with a traffic wand. I do the traffic thing very often. I don't mind doing it at all and I actually enjoy it sometimes. But I can recall many occasions where I and others have had to make some hasty tactical maneuvers with our feet to avoid getting killed by an inattentive motorist. This includes the "run away maneuver", the "jump over the guard rail maneuver", and "wave your arms and yell franticly at the approaching SUV tactic." If some 70yr old life member was in that spot, they would be dead.

    When I teach traffic scene safety to our Explorers and to the EMT-B class, I can't think of a way to do it that really says how important it is. I usually explain how the guys in the burning building are probably safer than you stading on the side of the road a 1/2 mile from the fire. We can use PPE to protect us from the fire. We can just leave the burning building when it gets too unsafe to be there. No PPE in the world will protect you from a 3,600lb SUV going 50mph with the driver on a cell phone.

    When I'm driving the rescue, it is usually the first apparatus on the scene. I park it in such as was as to provide protection and still be accesible when we need something out of it. Some people try to put the truck "out of the way of the road". Screw that. I put it as IN THE WAY as I can. I'll leave it in the lane on and angle. I usually leave enough room for a large vehicle to get around it so other units can get past. I could care less if someone is inconvinenced by the traffic delay. I can assure them that their inconvinience pales in comparison to that of the person we are cutting out of the mangled car. The police hear are not exactly over-staffed so they appriciate any effort we make on the scene. They know we will do what we need to do and will support us with enforcement action on drivers who want to act otherwise. We haven't had to fight with the PD over it yet. They have pretty much the same attitude I expressed above.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ROOKIELZ's Avatar
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    Jan 2004


    Our Vol. dept has had these issues also.
    One of the things I'm trying to do as a Public Safety Educator is get into the local schools with the Driver's Education Instructors. My goal is to get these young drivers to understand and respect our flashing lights: what to do, what NOT to do.
    A fart in a windstorm maybe. But if I can educate the youngsters every year, eventually they will replace the older drivers thus reducing these kinds of incidents.
    I'm trying to be pro-active rather than reactive. I intend to take my first swing at this course in fall 2004.

    Thoughts and comments from the Bretheren???

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Western Canada


    One of the byproducts of stressful situations is that your vision physically narrows affecting your peripheral vision. The amount of this varies from person to person and from situation to situation. The bottom line is that I tell our guys to make a conscious effort to actually turn their heads just to see what they are normally accustomed to. This comes in real handy when working around traffic not to mention the other things that we do.

    Stay Safe

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