Safety Alert Number 0712110

The Office of Fire Prevention & Control received this Safety Alert from the International Association of Fire Chiefs (www.iafc.org). OFPC joins with the IAFC in urging all NYS fire departments to review their apparatus operations procedures. OFPC recommends that the next drill or training session be dedicated to vehicle and driver safety. Take the time to review with all personnel the SOPs and SOGs you have in place for apparatus operation. If you do not have SOPs/SOGs written and in place, now would be the time to establish these procedures. The IAFC has included some very useful web links to assist you with training your personnel in safe apparatus operation.

Remember, if we cannot get to the scene of the emergency – we cannot help those we are sworn to protect.

Safety Alert: Fire and EMS Personnel Urged to Review Apparatus Safety

Slow Down• Stop at Intersections •Use Extreme Caution While Responding
Fairfax, Va. , Dec. 14, 2007. . . The IAFC, in cooperation with the IAFC Safety Health and Survival Section, urges fire departments to review their vehicle operations policies and safety procedures in response to the increasing number of critical vehicle crashes involving fire and EMS response vehicles in the past several weeks. "Holiday traffic and winter storms can exacerbate the vehicle hazards associated with responding quickly to a call," said Chief Steven P. Westermann, IAFC president.  "We are calling on our members to review their safety procedures to address the recent spate of accidents before the trend progresses. "
All departments are urged to:

  1. Review vehicle operations policies and any applicable state laws, particularly regarding stopping at controlled intersections, and during weather events such as snow/ice, floods and high winds.  If policies do not exist, the IAFC recommends drafting them (samples are available at the links listed below).
  2. Hold training and structured discussions with all personnel on those policies to provide clarification and direction as to what is expected and required when responding to emergency calls.
  3. Check the qualifications and training of all vehicle operators.
  4. Ensure that jurisdiction insurance providers are aware of our vehicle operations policies.

Further information and resources on emergency vehicle safety can be found at:
IAFC Vehicle Safety Guide and Resources
www.iafc.org/vehiclesafety
IAFC Safety Health and Survival Section
www.IAFCSafety.org
IAFF Emergency Vehicle Safety Program
www.iaff.org/hs/EVSP/home.html
Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association Emergency Responder Safety Institute
www.respondersafety.com