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View Poll Results: Should Fire/Rescue/EMS apparatus be concerned with traffic safety

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  • Yes - With the use of cones and signs

    21 72.41%
  • Yes - Forget all the MSC. stuff and stop traffic by other means

    8 27.59%
  • No - Leave it up to the LEO Officers

    1 3.45%
  • No - Otherwise

    0 0%
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Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber ems18909's Avatar
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    Exclamation Regarding Accidents (MVA)

    I was not working on the volunteer department, the day our Engine got wrekce.d I was working ym career job as a Medic and repsonded to the same call. The call came in as a vehicle fire, therefore EMS responds with the fire department. We arrived on scene, the engine pulled in and we pulled in front of them. It was not the driver's fault, he had the lights on and there was no other place to go. I feel LEO should have helped block the lane. nyway this Semi-truck comes hauling butt and side swipes the Engine, totalling it. All the firefighters were out of the way, The driver had seen the vehicle coming and ducked over the seats and center console to get out of the way. MY partner (The driver of the ambulance) and also a fellow fireman saw everything happen in the rearview mirror of the EMS Unit. THANK GOD no-one was hurt. After everything was said and done, I approach a few of the officers about purchasing the protable LED road signs that are customizable with a PDA or Laptopt to throw out behind these trucks on such scenes. The scenes where we have to block traffic or have some kind of incident, is frequent. I provided the information and DISCS to go with this and it got totally ignored. As much as I love ym department, I know had this been a career department that there would have been more thoguht put into obtaining these signallign devices. This particulalr captain who was in charge of the deparmtent as the time as both the Chief and Asst. Chief were away. The Capt. Blew it off as if it was nothing, "We don't need that" with a very non-chalante attitude. So therefore for mainly the volunteer departmentrs out there and also the career, becuase I dont think money was an issue here and neither does it matter as there are grants available, but how is everyone else delaing with traffic redirection in the abscence of Law enforcement. MY beef is that the captain could have eben hurt as another firemen had to pull him ouf of the way of the oncoming semi that hit our apparatus, so what do you think?


  2. #2
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Unhappy This is emotion only talking ... I have no expertise in FFing or responding to MVA's

    Tell him about Amy Pennywitt or any of the many other firefighters that have been injured or killed by this very thing.

    Do a search and print off all the reports of the many line of duty deaths that have been caused by drivers crashing into emergency scenes on the roadways of North America.

    Good luck.
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  3. #3
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    It's pretty sad that many "senior" people in the fire service don't know how to spell "L.O.D.D." or understand what can be done to assist in preventing it...
    Luke

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Cones are ok, but to do the job right it takes quite a few of them. In my department at least we don't really have the manpower to be doing effective traffic control. Blocking traffic with an engine gets you visibility and crash attenuation (the $10 word that traffic engineers use for sacrificing your truck to stop a vehicle that has strayed onto your scene).
    ullrichk
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  5. #5
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ullrichk
    (the $10 word that traffic engineers use for sacrificing your truck to stop a vehicle that has strayed onto your scene).
    I love that word. However it is the best way to protect ourselves from the oblivious and stupid. You can put out 25 cones in each direction and a line of flares at the end. Hell, you can deploy an FAA compliant MALSF approach lighting system. However the idiot that isn't paying attention, or is too old to notice will run them all over and keep going until they hit something bigger and heavier than their own vehicle.

    LED signs might be a little overkill. You can do a lot with big reflective cones and signs. If they don't notice them, they won't notice an expensive LED sign.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    we use cones, signage, and flares and call for ODOT if it will be a lenghthy shut down. Also our PD and State PD are great to work with.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
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  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
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    IACOJ 2003

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber rualfire's Avatar
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    Default Obligitory link

    Also, http://respondersafety.com/

    Lots of good information and a sample SOG

    Our truck mounted LED VMSB (Vairable Message Sign Board) has been very effective at slowing drivers down when used as part of an advance warning system which includes a Coral pink post reflective sign @ 500 feet out, 36" traffic cones set at a taper from the bumper of the blocking apparatus to the edge of the roadway @ 15' intervals for at least 150' (11 cones), plus illumination of the cones during nightime operations.

    The entire budget for outfitting our crew with all of the signage, cones, vests, etc has been about $14,000 Canadian dollars. A sound investment in safety that I believe has already paid for itself.

    And when we have our blocking engine written off (I said WHEN not IF), I will be glad that it was the engine and not our firefighters. Ron Moore's presenation refferanced above and the responder safetey website and the VFIS training available are all excellent sources of information to back up your requests to implement better policies regarding hiway safety.

    I've posted some pics in this thread

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=38754
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  9. #9
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    We have cones, but I dont usually use them. One, we dont have enough and two, all they do is give traffic something to aim for. Besides, I think puting out the cones puts people at risk in and of itself. I think signs are a waste of money. Drunks probably wouldnt read them anyway. I would rather just shut down the road till were done doing our "thing". Its what our SOG says to do anyway.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

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  10. #10
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    Default Traffic Directional Help

    This is an issue that I think is becoming more critical due to the increase in traffic and not all the time can you get the PD to be on scene as quick and their warning lights aren't much better than most apparatus.

    Calgary FD initiated what they call a SSD (Scene Support Vehicle) plan where they respond with an aerial (they run 2 persons on most) and they block the scene on any road/highway with a 40 MPH? speed limit..I know before you say anything that's a pretty expensive road cone but it does the job better than the alternatives todate. They also have the larger LED Traffic Board on the rear of their newest Aerial and have the same on some Engines.

    Command Light now offers a TFB (Traffic Flow Board) that tilts up and also can rotate 45 deg to each side so that when the apparatus is blocking the roadway they can direct the board towards the traffic. The Vaughan Fire & Rescue Service (Just N of Toronto) are getting 3 new Smeal Engines with this board mounted above the pump module so when they respond to one of their 8 lane highways they've got better protection than just the old "arrow-stick" on the rear face of the apparatus to provide a larger/brighter warning to the oncoming traffic. (Check out www.commandlight.com) and you can see how it works.

    Just another way of making the scene safer for personnel IMHO.

  11. #11
    Dispatch Dweller Jay911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerialguy1
    I know before you say anything that's a pretty expensive road cone but it does the job better than the alternatives todate.
    Definitely. Ask the crews who were working a scene last winter, when an SUV skidded sideways into the back of the aerial, requiring extrication on both of the SUV's occupants... Note that you can ask the crews, because without the aerial, there wouldn't be much left of the scene.
    --jay.

  12. #12
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    A driver who does not notice a full size fire truck with all it's lights on, is NOT going to notice a sign board.
    AZDOT has some trucks with a sand filled extended (4') rear bumper, sign board, flashing lights, etc, that they use as a blocker. Some of them have been hit as well.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    This is part of the reason for MUTCD. As far as cones go they provide three (or more)useful purposes.A visual signal to traffic,an audible one (when they get hit)and a "flagging" one(when they get hit and go sailing past you).Either of the last two are signs to IMMEDIATELY move to your escape route. T.C.

  14. #14
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    This is a very hard thing to get a handle on due to the variables. The MUTCD standard is what you should be trying to do since it is the DOT standard if I am not mistaken. I have looked at it and thought and it takes a lot of manpower to do correctly/safely quickly.....

    Just shutting down a road or highway at any point without advanced warning to approaching drivers will create other problems. IE other accidents happen so you now have another one to deal with.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefDog
    I have looked at it and thought and it takes a lot of manpower to do correctly/safely quickly.....
    Exactly! We can't possibly put enough feet on the ground at all the MVA's we respond to, to do this. We shut down the road if our personnel are going to work in the travel portion at all and request the PD to conduct traffic control. Even more difficult is getting some of the smaller depts. we run aid to, to do anything at all. They, as we used to, direct traffic right through the scene, because they've yet to learn that keeping traffic moving is not priority one! I personnaly learned by being grazed by a car as I stepped out of an ambulance side door into the roadway where the accident involved both travel lanes. This old dude saw enough room to pass through and wasn't concerned with all the wreckage he was driving over and came on through. Luckily it just got my attention!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM
    Exactly! We can't possibly put enough feet on the ground at all the MVA's we respond to, to do this. We shut down the road if our personnel are going to work in the travel portion at all and request the PD to conduct traffic control. Even more difficult is getting some of the smaller depts. we run aid to, to do anything at all. They, as we used to, direct traffic right through the scene, because they've yet to learn that keeping traffic moving is not priority one! I personnaly learned by being grazed by a car as I stepped out of an ambulance side door into the roadway where the accident involved both travel lanes. This old dude saw enough room to pass through and wasn't concerned with all the wreckage he was driving over and came on through. Luckily it just got my attention!
    We don't have enough LEO's to handle the traffic in most cases. We recently responded to a fatal MVA with all 4 State Troopers for the County at our scene. So it becomes a safety issue that "we" have to deal with. We have had first hand knowledge of trying to "just shut it down" and have not had great success in that. That is what I was eluding to in my first post. If you shut it down and do not think of what will happen as a result of it for the specific location you are at you can create more issues.

    We have the nice pink signs but have found that their placement etc is directly related to their effectiveness. It is dependant on the speed of the traffic and many other factors.

    Obviously, if you are having to work in the travel portion you need to shut some or all of the lanes down, but my point is that you need to think about that impact on a case by case, location by location basis.

    That is why we are struggling with it like it appears others are too....

  17. #17
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    My FD was out doing a ladder truck drill yesterday. The drill required us to shut down a short section of a one-way street in a residential area for about 10 minutes. We placed cones across the street and had a chiefs car, with the light bar on, across the street, blocking the lane. Fortunatley, we left a firefighter stationed there because a car came to the blocked road and tried to go around it by heading towards the sidewalk. When the firefighter stopped the car, the driver insisted it was OK because she was sure she could fit around the cones.

    Cones and vehicles blocking lanes help, but idiots will ignore them or drive over them. Always keep a large vehicle between you and oncoming traffic.
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  18. #18
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    Just had a major brush fire that threatened 8 homes, had a pumper at the corner pumping a hydrant, cones across the road, AND a police officer with lights on. In 4 hours he had 15/20 people tell him they wanted to (in some cases "had to") get through so they could see the fire!

    What did they think he was doing?

  19. #19
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Testing the hydrant? Hehe T.C.

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