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Vehicle Safety Still a Big Issue in ’06

An informal review of the 2006 firefighter fatality statistics reveals that once again, vehicle collisions are a leading cause of death in our nation’s fire service. While the official numbers aren’t in, it would appear that as of November 2006, 18 firefighters were killed as the result of “Vehicle Collisions.”

These numbers are slightly misleading, as they fail to count the number of civilians killed, or the number of firefighters and civilians injured as a result of motor vehicle crashes involving emergency apparatus. I’m sure an examination of these types of statistics would be startling.

On a positive note, it would seem that the issue of emergency vehicle safety has been thrust into the fire service spotlight. This year’s Safety Stand Down focused on emergency vehicle safety while training publications and training organizations seemed to show an increased interest in the issue. Hopefully, through a combined effort of training, standard operating guidelines and increased firefighter awareness, the number of vehicle related fatalities will decrease in 2007.


For more on this issue, read “Leader’s Edge: It’s As Simple As Wearing Your Seatbelt,” from the May 2006 FireRescue Magazine.

Make fire trucks safer with Chris Daly’s colum, ‘Drive to Survive.’ Daly is a safety expert who has spent years developing a curriculum to educate fire apparatus operators about the keys to staying safe on the road.