According to the U.S. Fire Administration, of the 106 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2005, 26 were the result of vehicle accidents. Emergency vehicle accidents can occur in several situations: while a vehicle is backing up; when firefighters are riding on the outside of a moving apparatus; while occupants are not wearing seatbelts; or when a vehicle does not come to a complete stop at an intersection. Many of these accidents occur when apparatus are responding to calls that turn out to be non-emergency in nature.
Tip: Company officers should ensure that firefighters operate safely when responding to emergency incidents just as they do at a fire or a hazardous material scene. While every firefighter must take personal responsibility for their own safety, the company officer is obligated to watch out for and stop any unsafe actions. Safety guidelines and procedures must be enforced when operating emergency vehicles.