On-scene roadside safety is everyone's job
It is vital to plan, train, communicate and execute road-safety plans
I'm sure you will join me in sending our collective thoughts and prayers to Firefighter Ayotte, his family, friends and the West Crescent (N.Y.) Fire Department.
This story and others recently, including a firefighter tragically killed in an apparatus backing accident, reinforces the many dangers of responding along roadways of all kinds — from parking areas and surface streets, to elevated highways and byways.
Beyond the constant need to be aware of, and protect ourselves from, passing traffic, every vehicle on an incident scene poses a potential threat to both responders and bystanders.
I vividly remember my own close call when, while responding to a multiple-casualty incident on an icy highway bridge, I was barely able to stop my vehicle when approaching (sliding into, actually) the scene.
On the very same call I was almost hit by a responding wrecker that encountered the same icing conditions and I was faced with the unpalatable option of jumping over the bridge rail onto the railroad tracks below. Fortunately, the sliding tow truck bumped into one of the crashed vehicles and ground to a halt before I had to make my decision.
Some states, regions, and local jurisdictions have adopted formal traffic incident management systems (TIMS) specifying roles and responsibilities for highway incidents. Regardless, law enforcement agencies, fire departments and our roadway response partners have a shared responsibility for incident scene safety. It's important to plan, train, communicate and exercise with everyone working on these potentially dangerous scenes.
Recommended for you
Join the discussion
The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FireRescue1.com or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
FireRescue1 top 5
- Official: FDNY firefighter may have been jolted from bucket
- NJ fire dept.'s apparatus fleet 'in dire need of replacing'
- Video: Volunteer firefighter-EMT rescues girl who fell out of bus
- Off-duty firefighter hospitalized after being shot multiple times
- More than 200 firefighters battle massive 5-alarm building blaze