1. #1
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    May 2005

    Exclamation Inquiry in to Driver Accidents Leads to New Training

    Interesting Developement for Phoenix. This all comes on the heels fo a accident involving a Engine that killed the other driver.

    Firetruck drivers to undergo training

    Phoenix fire asks for extra $480,000 to ensure the program is permanent

    Judi Villa
    The Arizona Republic
    Jan. 18, 2006 12:00 AM

    A new training program for Phoenix's firetruck drivers will take shape in the next three months, with drivers undergoing not only annual refresher courses but also remedial training if they are involved in accidents.

    Phoenix fire officials also are asking for an additional $480,000 in the next fiscal year to make sure the training becomes permanent.

    "It needs to be done," said Phoenix fire Capt. Steve Beuerlein. "We need to be safe in all our responses."

    The department's lack of driver's training became a hot-button issue after a Phoenix firetruck caused a fatal accident in October. The firetruck's driver was traveling 57 mph in an oncoming traffic lane, a violation of department procedure, when an impaired driver turned in front of him and was killed.

    A subsequent Arizona Republic analysis found Phoenix firefighters had been involved in more than 500 accidents in the past three years, and two-thirds of those were deemed preventable. Since 2002, two people have been killed, a third was nearly killed, and the city has shelled out more than $5.5 million to settle auto liability claims and to fix or replace damaged fire vehicles.

    The United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association has pushed for a comprehensive drivers training program for two years, but, until now, it hasn't materialized.

    "We have issues now and needs now that need to be addressed," said Capt. Mike Gibson, who is co-chairing a new driver's training committee. "We have to do this for the safety of our members and the safety of the public."

    Among the training in the works:

    Implement a process to recertified drivers every two years. This training would involve a classroom module with a written test, as well as work on driving simulators and a hands-on driving course. Other Valley fire departments, including Chandler, Mesa and Glendale, already require drivers to recertify regularly.

    Expand training for ambulance drivers by requiring them to return for a follow-up course after driving 100 shifts.

    Require firefighters who are found at-fault in accidents to undergo remedial training. Although accidents are reviewed by a committee, recommended follow-up training has fallen by the wayside.

    "One of the components to providing good customer service is being able to get to the call safely and not injure anyone on the way there or on the way back," Capt. David Knobbe said. "We're doing everything we possibly can to make sure we're driving as safely as we can. This is going to be one of our main focuses from here on out.

    "We certainly don't want to put drivers out there that aren't safe."

    Last week, Knobbe was assigned full-time to the training academy to manage the driver's training program.

    Gibson said the goal is to begin classroom training for all drivers and remedial training for those involved in accidents within 90 days. After that the two-year re-certification process will be fast-tracked.

    A new driver's training track should be ready this summer, and the department is purchasing driving simulators that can mimic real-life driving scenarios.

    "We're headed in a positive direction," Assistant Chief Bob Khan said. "This training will become institutionalized for safer responses, so we can get to the emergencies and provide that care that people are in need of."

    With more money and resources put into drivers training, accidents should begin to decline, Gibson said.

    "We're never going to be at zero," he said, "but we need to be as close as we can."
    Warm Regards,
    Shawn Stoner

  2. #2
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    Dave1983's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    Gator Country


    Well duh. And here I thought PFD was so advanced, cutting edge, progressive. There just now getting around to this kind of thing?
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer


    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  3. #3
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    Nov 2005


    maybe they were too busy worrying about the "customer service" aspect of the job.. NO disrespect to the PFD Brothers, but management needs a change

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