Want to get everyones thought on how you position your apparatus on the fwy? I was taught to angle your apparatus into traffic so if you we hit it would move away from the scene, but into traffic. I have seen a lot of rigs doing the opposite and turning into the scene. Advantage is safe exiting route for your crew , down fall is the rig is parked facing towards your scene. If done right and you park a safe distance away this could be a safe option. I am an Engineer and seeing what everyone else does. Whats your thought? 

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Great SOP Mike, I have always been an advocate of angle into traffic, leave a buffer zone, make the traffic lane narrow so the traffic has to slow. Pleanty of advanced warning, IE: hills, curves and such. Sometimes one rig there just as a blockade vehicle a little ahead to the crash scene.
Fend off position away from the scene so as if it is struck, it moves away from us.

On the angle also increase visibility of the whole truck and warning lights.
Chris is your first due frwy barriered or open sholders and medians??
Has barriers, Mike thank you for the great info.
We angle toward the middle (left side) of the highway for several reasons. The best reason is the direction the truck is pointing supposedly tells the motorists the direction we want them to merge when they go around the scene. We then put all our road rescue tools on the right side of the engine so they would be safely accessible. Finally, driving away when clearing is usually easier for the operator. Our roads are open with shoulders and medians --- no walls.
We try to block facing out, approx. 150 feet back. If we know the accident is on a hill or curve we respond the second engine as a blocker/warning device.

We try to make as narrow a lane as possible on serious accidents, but there are the fools that think slowing down is not for them, even if the shoulder is all that's open. That's when we shut it down completely. Had an accident awhile back with both engines blocking, cones deployed, and they were still going through like there was nothing there. After the second near miss the trooper pulled his car beside the second engine and shut down the interstate.
Your crew on scene if your first priority, the patients and other traffic are secondary. Park to protect your crew, point away from the scene, use caution when dismounting. The pump operator needs to use caution when working at the panel. If someone hits you.. oh well better the engine than your crew and patients.
In my area we have a major highway we cover. As the driver I have done exactaly as you stated. I have even given a longer distance to the scene, so in the event the truck gets hit by a semi, the crash (hopefully) will be over 'before' the debri gets the crew. Of course this doesn't apply if a car fire, field fire. In positioning the truck, I try to imagine if it does get hit, where it would get hit...in turn, how will the truck respond..(will it go left/right..spin around, be pushed forward...apprx distance). In any case I do what I can to protect the crew and offer an egress route.

Whenever possible, try to angle your rig to prevent personnel from exiting the apparatus with exposure to the traffic lane. Depending on the number of lanes, and whether the accident is located in the center divider, off to the shoulder or in the middle of the highway dictates whether or not you have to actually close the highway and divert traffic. No accident is worth a firefighter getting hurt or killed.

Engine companies weigh a lot. Let the drunk driver hit the back of your engine, not you, the involved vehicles, the ambulance or patrol car. Use your engine to protect yourselves.

This graphic ripped off from Fire Engineering does an exceptional job illustrating and defining the various zones of concern. The original forum post provided below focused on the use of safety cones. All fire apparatus responding to an incident should have cones to delineate safety zones for firefighters.


This is a good safety orientated FFN post Chris. Like fire engines getting hit never happens or anything...

THIS ACCIDENT INVOLVING SAN DIEGO Engine 31 took place in April, but the exact date is not given. The engine was stopped and strategically positioned while the crew was extinguishing an auto fire. The videographer was traveling behind the Volvo that is pictured and witnessed it driving into the rear of the parked apparatus at full speed without ever applying its brakes. The rest of the story is narrated on the video.

Be careful out there and watch each others backs...

Fend-off position, angled toward the opposing traffic to protect the scene and deflect idiot drivers that hit your vehicle away from the incident... Bloody rubber-neckers... I've seen several Ambulances and Fire Appliances struck at MVC's by people too busy looking at the accident scene, and this fend-off position has saved responders lives.

depending on the trucks available we usually don't stand in a fend-off position but in driving direction, behind and alongside e.g. the car wrecks.

For a normal MVA on the highway with up to 5 cars we don't send out a Rescue truck, but one Engine and one Tanker from our station, and another Engine as well as Utility from one of the Volunteer FDs.

When the car wrecks are standing on the fast lane, then we position the Engine right next to them in the right lane, directing traffic onto the shoulder. The Tanker is positioned in some distance behind the Engine in the same lane. The Tanker pulls a traffic safety trailer which is 13 ft high when set up and then has directional arrows (both a simple reflective sign which can be turned into 3 different positions as well as lighted arrows above). As soon as the Engine and Utility of the VFD arrive the position themselves again in the same lane in some distance, and also the Utility sets up a traffic safety trailer. The distance between the single units is covered with cones, and the left lane is kept free for further emergency vehicles arriving

This is how it might look like:


Chris, this is great table talk shop. I have just in the past two months completed the FEMA TIM's Class. I highly recommend that you or someone from your department take this class. It clearly points out what your state DOT (Department of Transportation) has adopted into law for Emergency Vehicle (Police, Fire, EMS, and DOT) while operating on highways in emergency and none emergency mood. Every state has to follow and or adapt something close to or better than the Federal Government. Depending what type of fire apparatus that responds to these incidents various on how you position your apparatus. Very enlightening class and an awesome job.

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