IAFC: ‘Pay attention and move over! For firefighter survival’

IAFC releases message to national media, plus safety tips for firefighters, following recent roadway incident LODDs


By FireRescue1 Staff

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has released a message for fire departments to share with national media focused on the dangers of roadway incidents, as well as a set of safety tips for first responders.

Titled “Pay Attention and Move Over!! For Firefighter Survival,” the message to national media comes on the heels of the recent line-of-duty deaths (LODDs) of first responders struck by vehicles while operating on roadways.

On Jan. 11, Lubbock Fire Lt. David Eric Hill and Lubbock Police Officer Nicholas Reyna died after being struck at a crash scene. (Photo/Lubbock FD Facebook)
On Jan. 11, Lubbock Fire Lt. David Eric Hill and Lubbock Police Officer Nicholas Reyna died after being struck at a crash scene. (Photo/Lubbock FD Facebook)

On Jan. 11, Lubbock (Texas) Fire Lt. David Eric Hill and Lubbock Police Officer Nicholas Reyna died after being struck at a crash scene. Lubbock Firefighter-Paramedic Matthew Kenneth Dawson, 30, was also injured in the crash.

The full message – a joint release from multiple fire service organizations – reads as follows:

“Firefighters from across the nation are urging motorists to respect the move-over laws and use caution when approaching emergency vehicles on interstates and roads.

“Move over laws require motorists to approach with caution and yield to emergency vehicles, including highway maintenance vehicles displaying flashing lights. Drivers must cautiously change lanes if they can do so safely or reduce speed and proceed with caution if unable to change lanes.

“The move over laws apply to all interstates and state highways and is enforceable by any law enforcement officer.

“Firefighters and first responders urge your heightened awareness and attention so that they can do their jobs – in helping you and your families – without the further risk of being struck on a roadway.

Today, several fire service organizations widely distributed a resource: 10 Practical Tips for Responding and Operating on Roadway and Highway Incidents. It contains the best practices for first responders conducting emergency response operations on our roads and highways. For more information, please contact the IAFC, the IAFF or any of the other organizations who signed onto the fire service message.”  

Fire departments are encouraged to share the message with the media.

Additionally, the IAFC posted a “Joint North American Firefighter Survival Message,” offering 10 tips to minimize the risk of danger while working on roadways:

  1. Dispatch the Appropriate Apparatus
  2. Train for On-scene Positioning (blocking, safe positioning)
  3. Conduct On-scene Size-up Report
  4. Set Up Lights for Scene Safety
  5. Follow Protocols for Temporary Traffic Controls (TTC)
  6. Wear Appropriate PPE Upon Arrival
  7. Establish IC and/or Unified Command
  8. Monitor and Adjust TTC
  9. Manage Non-involved Personnel
  10. Incident Scene Demobilization

Read full descriptions of the tips at “10 Practical Tips for Responding and Operating on Roadway and Highway Incidents.”

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