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Thread: Traffic Control

  1. #1
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    Default Traffic Control

    We were paged out last night to a MVA, the main thing we did was traffic control. I was wondering, how many other VFD's do traffic control so the SD can do "paper work"?
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    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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    We don't do traffic control until all extrication and any other fire related tasks are done...Generally...The RC's or DOT will be around to do it...Once we're done our stuff we'll switch over and let the RC's do their thang... Unless of course we have boat loads of manpower in which case we may just do it from the begining...But that generally doesn't happen
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    Our policy on traffic control is "ALL" traffic is stopped until the patient(s), are loaded in the EMS unit and it leaves the scene....this is really for a safety factor we have had ems and fire personal almost get hit by on lookers....The local police dont like it but oh well SAFETY FIRST!!!...After the scene is cleared of patients and all hazards are cleared if the local police need help with traffic they must goto the OIC then he/she will assign a few members to that task..our insurance company told us we had to be requested by the police to do traffic control we couldnt just assume that action with out the police requesting us...

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    Forum Member THEFIRENUT's Avatar
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    We do our own traffic control on all calls. If we didn't do it, it wouldn't get done.

    Depending on what type of road it is on, we usually get one Deputy Sheriff or one State Trooper. All our firefighters are trained on traffic control duties so that they stay safe while protecting the ones working the incident. We try not to shut down the road unless necessary due to possible secondary accidents caused by the backup of traffic.

    The roads we work are Farm to Market and County roads.
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    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
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    It's usually a combination of the PD and our own fire police that handle traffic control for us. There are also times we may use a piece of apparatus and its crew to block off a road. It really depends on the specific situation and location as well as available resources. Our district is pretty large and diverse and we cover a lot of busy main roads and a long section of a very heavily traveled interstate parkway. We also deal with no less than 6 different policy agencies ranging from the state, county, 3 towns and a village, and we have a good working relationship with them all.

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    Forum Member Adam07003's Avatar
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    We do our own traffic control also from what i know. We have "fire police" and thats their job, to block off the road at a scene, protect us and keep traffic moving away from us. While we focus on extrication/patient care
    Adam, EMT-B

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    My department handles the bulk of traffic control on scenes on the roadway. Mainly due to the fact that we have the cones and signs and the guys trained to do it. It also frees up the LEO's to do their investigations, measurements, etc. The quicker they get that done, the quicker the cars get hauled off when the wrecker arrives.

    We also make it a policy to stay on scene until all vehicles are either towed or off the road. That way we can take care of any spills we couldn't get to under the vehicle, or in case something lights up while they're moving the cars. The guys on the wrecker appreciate it, the LEO's appreciate it, and if they're all happy, they work better with us in the future, which makes us happy. It's been a LONG time since we've had a trooper or deputy get ****y with us for some little thing because it's always in the back of their mind that we're there to help them out with whatever we can do instead of taking off as soon as patients are gone.

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    Like I've said before I dont remember any traffic control training in any of my fire training/schooling or in the IFSTA ESSENTIALS book we used.

    We will shut the road down until we clear. I can't risk some one talking on their cell phone not paying attention and hitting one of my people. So I'd rather have them hit my truck (because it's replaceable) I know some disagree but I'd rather be safe then sorry. BE SAFE

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    Exclamation

    Where I Vol. we are part of a PSD, so we almost always have a pd unit on scene, it makes it nice but I tell my guys its not only my job to keep you safe, its yours also, assume nothing,keep your head on a swivle!!!
    Fight Fire Aggressively,But Provide for SAFTEY First!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dday05
    Like I've said before I dont remember any traffic control training in any of my fire training/schooling or in the IFSTA ESSENTIALS book we used.
    Check NFPA 1001: Chapter 5.3.3 in the 2002 standard. Traffic control is part of the Firefighter I qualifications now. It's actually part of setting up a safe scene, but it's in there nonetheless.

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    Our policy... do what we want (BLOCK the road) to protect ourselves, if PD isn't already enroute, call for PD, let PD handle traffic control.
    Do it because you love it, not because you love being seen doing it.

  12. #12
    Forum Member SpartanGuy's Avatar
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    We hate traffic control, but if we're putting firefighters onto the interstate to do work, we'll do it for our own protection. We have two levels of traffic control. We either take a lane or shut it down. When we take the lane, we put up accident/emergency ahead signs on the approaches to the scene, along with flares to signify a lane change.

    If we take the lane, there's a big yellow truck across the interstate and it's done
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22
    Check NFPA 1001: Chapter 5.3.3 in the 2002 standard. Traffic control is part of the Firefighter I qualifications now. It's actually part of setting up a safe scene, but it's in there nonetheless.

    Where were at the chief has the authority to do what he/she wants on the scene,so setting up a safe scene, is shutting the road down.BE SAFE


    I do have a question that I don't have an answer to lets say the fd is directing traffic and they cause a wreck.Would the fd be liable or would they be covered? Also should the fd have a mutual aid agreement with the local pd. I think a few depts.a little ways away from us have one.BE SAFE
    Last edited by dday05; 06-24-2006 at 11:58 PM.

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    Forum Member tbonetrexler's Avatar
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    THis is the exact Resaon that Fire Police were invented. They are our personal cops, just they cant arrest anybody. They carry cones and flares to close off any road that we want closed off. They also have blue lightbars on their POVs (the only ones in the state that are allowed to have lightbars) so that they are more easily visible at night.
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    Forum Member RES81CUE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dday05
    We will shut the road down until we clear. I can't risk some one talking on their cell phone not paying attention and hitting one of my people. So I'd rather have them hit my truck (because it's replaceable) I know some disagree but I'd rather be safe then sorry. BE SAFE
    I think this is the best policy.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by dday05
    I do have a question that I don't have an answer to lets say the fd is directing traffic and they cause a wreck.Would the fd be liable or would they be covered? Also should the fd have a mutual aid agreement with the local pd. I think a few depts.a little ways away from us have one.BE SAFE
    I won't pretend that I'm a lawyer, but we're always under some kind of liability. I do know in a train-the-trainer class I took to teach traffic control, we were informed of two departments in our state that had been found partialy liable for secondary accidents where they did no traffic control. The basis of that is the DOT's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. A direct quote from the MUTCD that puts that liability on us is "An essential part
    of fire, rescue, spill clean-up, highway agency, and enforcement activities is the proper control of road users through the traffic incident management area in order to protect responders, victims, and other personnel at the site while providing reasonably safe traffic flow." from Chapter 6I.

    At the same class they also talked about a department that shut down 5 lanes of freeway for a leaking saddle tank on a dump truck. These 5 lanes lead into a major airport, so UPS, FedEx, and scores of other trucks missed their deliveries, and the snowball effect began. I never heard any more, but there were supposed to be several suits against that city/dept. for overdoing it. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    I think the biggest thing is to make sure the department's trained on traffic control, when to do it and how to do it right. I'd feel a lot more comfortable going to court with a list showing how my guys were trained rather than nothing or saying that "it's PD's responsibility" when an attorney whips out the quote above.

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    Our dept has to do traffic due to the local sheriff office not running motor vehicle incidents.Our state troopers write and work wrecks in our area.We put a truck or chief car on each end and only run one lane.While EMS is on scene we shut it all down.We also require everyone to at least be in turnout pants,helmet and wear a vest with a lighted traffic wand.The troopers love us for doing it because they are always 30+ minutes from being on scene.

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    Default Traffic Control

    At our Dept we usually use the Probies or less experienced members for traffic so it gradually gives them a look at an emergency scene where they still have a job to do but not under as much pressure as the others.We also had some close calls with oncoming vehicles at night(even though our trucks have good warning beacons,strobes.LED'S etc).Headquarters sent us two of the large,fluorescent "Emergency Scene Ahead" signs which we deploy where we need to try & slow down some of the traffic before it reaches our Traffic guys.Another thing we did was thru our FF Association was,purchase 4 Cobra Hand held multi-channel radios which the traffic guys use to commicate to each other & stay off our Tac Channels.These radios have a distance use of 18 miles which is more than we need but also allows us to use them for other tasks where one would want to keep the Main radio channels as free as possible.All our people who do traffic(which is everyone at one time or another) is taught to never,never assume that car coming towards you is going to stop just because you have a little sign saying so.Always be alert!

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    Angry Please be careful!

    I cannot believe in 2006 A.D. we are still allowing firefighters to stand out in traffic. Use the apparatus! With all of the fatal/ career-ending injuries sustained in the US every year, why are we still doing this suicidal task? If you like dodging 2,000+ lb objects, go to Pamplona, Spain, and run around in front of the bulls. I think you'll have better odds there than dodging traffic over here. These are firefighters' lives we are talking about!
    "Now let's be careful out there."

  20. #20
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Our little town only has three cops on the road during day and sometimes only two at night. When we have an MVA, there are a lot more FF's and firetrucks than police. We handle the traffic so the one police officer at the incident can do his thing. We have all the cones, signs, wands, & flares you could ask for so we just do it. It is really no skin off our back. If we need the manpower for extrication, the truck goes across the road and traffic can (*$##) themselves for a little while.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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