High Visibility Firefighter Safety Vests Save Lives

July 8, 2008

View: Be Right Be Bright Video

Firefighters and all other responders will be soon required to wear ANSI approved High Visibility Vests effective Nov. 24, 2008. A new federal rule requires responders to wear the vests while conducting operations on roadways supported by federal dollars. It only makes sense; after all, wouldn't your family want you to be visible while operating on the roadway?

Many organizations including the Safety Health and Survival Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Traffic Incident Management Coalition, and the CVVFA Emergency Responder Safety Institute, along with numerous fire departments support this rule as a way to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries. Most firefighters have been using reflective safety vests for years because it simply makes sense to be seen. These groups and more are submitting clarification on some operations such as suppression and hazmat responses when the vests may not be appropriate while these operations are being carried out.

Recently a few self interested for profit businesses have suggested that turn out gear alone is as visible as turn out gear and an ANSI approved vest. No surprise, their motivation is strictly from a business perspective.

Fire service safety experts have prepared a two minute video "Be Right Be Bright" with the real story. Shot on the street with an engine company at the Harrisburg PA Bureau of Fire, this no nonsense video shows firefighters working with and without vests. Spend two minutes viewing the program and make up your own mind. The rule has little fiscal impact on your department but it has a major safety impact on your ability to be seen on the roadway

See the video at www.respondersafety.com. Need more information? Check out the free downloads including a full power point program to help your department comply with the new rule. Other supporting information including vest "push cards" may be ordered free of charge. When it comes to firefighter safety, don't be fooled. Be safe. Be Right Be Bright!


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