Playing in Traffic
When on traffic detail I've noticed a lot of people don't even act like there's a big fire truck on the highway and they should slow down when they near it for safety.
In Kentucky,the police and Sheriff's can ticket a driver who doesn't slow down or passes an emergency vehicle responding but they have to be notified or see it themselves.
Even wearing reflective vests,turnout gear with reflectors and carrying a traffic wand and staying inside the traffic cones is not a guarantee that you won't have a near miss.
This past Monday,we had a vehicle fire and I was thinking that I know how the arresting gear guy on an aircraft carrier who unhook the just landed plane from the cable must feel when a plane whizzes by his/her head.
If there is one thing Ive learned from 22 years on the job its that the world is full of idiots.:rolleyes:
that is ALMOST on the verge of a power duh post.
While I will agree this borders on being the obvious I will bite....
Not only do they not slow down, the usually speed up because they were stuck stopped in traffic for so long and on top of that they are usually looking right at you vs. the road ahead of them!
Yep. Always been that way. Always will be that way. The only thing you can do is make yourself as conspicuous as possible and setup the apparatus blocking road carefully to not cause glare and blindness. Then, be ready to make a fast exit stage left.
We tell our people to presume that every car they see will try to run them over! Keeps them awake.
Dodge ,Duck and Dodge!
I apply the three secrets to dodgeball when working highway incident emergencies.
They are Dodge ,Duck and Dodge.The game sucks however when the other teams wins.
Dodge :To evade by a sudden shift in place.
Duck :Water fowel as in a sitting DUCK OR DUCK shoot!
It has gotten so bad out there that I wouldn't second guess blocking the WHOLE road for safety. It really is a matter of life and death, not only for any possible victim's but also for us emergency responders. Saving lives should come before convenience of moving traffic. Law enforcement needs to play a larger role in traffic control on theses scenes. In my area, the squad cars are usually parked in our way and the officers just stand there watching us. They need to be directing and rerouting traffic so we have a safe scene to work in which in turn will enable us to get the job done quicker so we can clear the scene and reopen the road quicker. Just my opinion.
Working municipal EMS is, I think, the worst. There I was with ine other medic trying to extract a patient with probable broken femur from a MVA on a two lane highway in the fog at daybreak. I asked the attending officer to block traffic while we drew the patient out. He said, 'You'd better hurry'. As I looked up to see what he meant, I realized that I could barely see him at 15 feet. What was a vehicle (18 wheeler) travelling 60mph going to see? That will raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
Live long and watch out for that other guy!
Should use the train principle. They block the entire roadway and your only means around is to back travel and take a different route. If you are late to work..you say 'caught by a train' around here it happens frequently.
Just shut down the road on both sides..just block it off and make them wait.
Being a victim of a vehicle strike at an accident scene, even though the lanes might be shut down that you are operating in, be alert.
When I was struck, we had the entire stretch of the road shut down, but the guy who hit me was on drugs and found a way around everything. Fluke incident, probably, but everyone probably knows how people drive in their local. There is always one person who tries to beat the system, whether it they are doped up, too aggressive, stupid, whatever.
If possible, place your extra apparatus in both lanes in both directions and make sure the shoulder (if there is one) is blocked. This is only way you can keep everyone safe. Hopefully, the local authority allows it. I know for a fact that the Penn. State Police try to keep at least one lane open, but they will shut it down when required.
Stay safe out there.
I know this thread is a few months old but it has some good points.
Can't emphasize enough to shut down the entire roadway with the big red trucks. When you first arrive at the scene there is NO control, only chaos. By shutting down the roadway even if you don't need to at first, you get your firefighters off the truck and the officer can get a better idea of whats going on and what traffic (if any) you want to let through.
The other thing to consider is when you are on a busy roadway is to have a person dedicated to watching traffic and making sure people are behaving. Granted you might not have enough people to do this and in that case then nothing beats closing the roadway.
They even threaten to run you over when you dont let them down their own street.
I even head of someone running over a flagman for a construction company because he was late for work. The cool thing is that the guy got a pickaxe through the hood and lost his lawsuit because the workers were protecting the public from a wreckless endangerment.
Or the one who flips you off because they are going slow, or the one who blows a red light and then gets beligerent because they are so rich and important. Or the person who parks infront of a hydrant and get mad because their vehicle was towed. Or the person who parks on the RAMP infront of the BIG red truck trying to leave on an emergency (true story). I just wish that the people who works in the courts would stop letting people just pay their way out of stuff.
It really makes me want to punch the mayor of where i live when I see someone get a ticket for speeding 22over and they pay their way out of it, or the person who gets their 5th ticket and still pays their way out of it.
The worst thing I ever heard of was when someone crashed through a funneral procession, and then started a fight because he thought that he had the right of way. WRONG, he got the living crap beaten out of him, and the people were aquitted on self defense.
It is true, people are idiots... Cell phones, only make it worse...
People don't seem to realize what flashing lights, directional arrows, cones, flares, flagmen, etc are. Yeah, the move over law is great, but it is physically impossible to ticket all of the people who don't yield to emergency vehicles. I would be willing to say that maybe only 1 in 5 people actually follow the rule. Everyone else is in too much of a hurry and don't care if they end up taking someone out. For example, on 4 of our last 5 highway calls, we have had cars passing us and then cut back over right after they get around us. I think that instead of ticketing people that they do actually catch, they should make those people go out and try to direct traffic at an accident or a fire and see how big of a risk they are putting on emergency personel. Maybe dodging cars is what it will take to get through to people!
Couple things I've learned over the years on traffic detali, never turn your back on traffic and when something hard smacks the drivers windsheild it usually gets their attention, went thru a few flashlights by bouncing them off the glass.
Why do people call when somthing almost hits you a near miss? It's a NEAR HIT!!!!!
They did nearly miss you they NEARLY HIT YOU!!!
These signs are kind of pricy. If they work half as well as they say, it might be worth it.
Originally Posted by PFVFRWFD1
Dumb ***es trying to act smarter than they are.
If you'll notice, there's a LOT of the "desk types" laying in bed at night beside their wives with nothing better to do than dream up another "safety reg" to slap us with.
I actually like, and have used, the "VEST" thing for a few years now.
But those stupid yellow lights on the back of my truck that make me look like a highway worker instead of a fire truck....
And those ugly "chevron" stripes that ALSO make our Emergency vehicle look like a highway department work truck....
And now someone wants to prevent laws that would hold inattentive drivers accountable for their actions???
There's a LOT of ignorance in this world.
And it has infected our services as well.
I'm sure of it now.
You might want to understand the regulations before you bad mouth them. There is NO requirement for you to use yellow lights on apparatus. There never has been. The only requirement is that the lights be red, blue, green, or yellow (not clear) and meet a certain candlepower. The only reason you see yellow is because you get more candlepower out of a yellow light than you do out of a red light. So you can meet the candlepower requirement with two yellow lights rather than paying for four red lights. Its cheaper.
I have never seen a contruction or highway maintanence vehicle with red/white or red/orange chevrons. Maybe yellow and black on a crash attenuator but thats it.
We consider playing in traffic worse than conducting an interior attack...you don't know what will suddenly come at you.
I have no qualms about closing the roadway...and the Highway Patrol will show up quicker when you tell their dispatch "we have closed the roadway". The safety of my crew is always number one, if their late for work, sorry about that but safety is paramount. And we will work to open the road as soon as we can.