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Roadway Incident Safety

Question asked by jack.sullivan on Jul 27, 2015
Latest reply on Sep 20, 2015 by rmoore

Tough weekend! There was a FD ladder truck struck while blocking at a motor vehicle crash (caused by a DUI driver) in TX over the weekend. Three firefighters sent to the hospital. Truck was hit by a tractor trailer and the driver of that rig died in the incident. In Georgia a fire chief working a "boot drive" was struck by a vehicle and hospitalized. The chief was standing on the center line when a driver reportedly drifted over and the left front of his truck struck the chief from behind. The impact knocked the chief approximately 15 feet, according to the Georgia State Patrol report.


It's a fairly common practice to use fire apparatus to block at roadway incidents to protect responders and any victims of the original incident. The TX incident is one of several struck-by-vehicle incidents recently where fire apparatus has been significantly damaged and in many cases taken out of service for an extended period of time. Imagine what the headlines would be if the truck had not been blocking........


Gordon Graham says "Predictable is Preventable". If a fire truck is used as a block at a roadway incident is it "predictable" that it will be struck at some point? If a firefighter stands in the road at a non-emergency event is it "predictable" that their chance of being struck by a vehicle is increased significantly? If so, what else can be done to "prevent" these incidents from occurring? in 2015 we're dealing with "D" Drivers who tend to operate on a "me first" basis while often multi-tasking. What innovative ways can we use to get the attention of a "D" driver BEFORE they strike any of our personnel or one of our rigs? It seems like all the strategies, tactics and ideas implemented in the last 10 years have not solved the problem. Maybe we need a fresh approach.