It is the responsibility of the Police wether local, County or State to take care of traffic control. However, if we have available personel we will help out by doing it. I have no problem in my crews to shut down the road either. Bottom line we WILL have a safe scene.
We are in the business of life safety. Yes, our primary duty is fire or rescue, but we also must consider the safety of not only our crew, EMS, and patients, but even the others using the roadway.
In my AO, we are normally the first on scene and set up a safe working area, even if that means placing the big red crossing gate in the road. On a normal day there might be 1 or 2 officers make the scene. Their primary duty at that point in time is the accident investigation. It's kinda hard for a single officer to direct traffic on a high traffic road.
Most collisions involve fluid spills, so we are there until they get the vehicles moved anyway. So instead of standing around, we assume a secondary role of life safety, and provide traffic control. We work hand in hand with LE to open the road up as quickly as is safely possible. When possible, we open one lane and start traffic flowing a little at a time in each direction. LEO's have our back on potentially violent scenes, and they know we have their back on roadway incidents.
There may be occasional differences in opinion on the best way to regulate traffic, but we work together to come to a common understanding and goal. After all, we are both part of the public safety team.
For us, everything is taken on a case by case basis. We do not run enough volume to have standard guidelines regarding when are where to call for LEO traffic control. I find it is more effective to have a LEO doing traffic simply because any potential violators are usually more hesitant when the guy with the ticket book is telling you to stop. I was directing traffic one day when a lady drove her car into a snow bank to try and get around my parked BRT. I understand she was trying to get to the hospital, but in that white-out, I was trying to keep my 8 guys out of it.
In our response area its usually just the fire department doing traffic control but if its on the South side of town the township will send out their code enforcement officers to help with traffic control.
On the Inerstate or HW, We position our apperatus to form a box around th work area Cops handle the rest. On city streets the cops do the trffic stuff. Mostly they just turn people around cause we have enough pieces on scene that we effectivly shut down the road to civ traffic.
We usually handle it. Here the F.D. determines where and how long the road is shutdown for. Now and then the S.O., H.P., or P.D. will assist us but if they are not already there we do not bother to call.
Honestly, I prefer that the fire department does the traffic control at an accident scene. Fires are a different story.
It's simple; if we control the roadway, then we decide when to open it back to traffic, because the priority is the safety of our people.
If the cop has control, he may be more inclined to open it back up ASAP, because his priority is different than our priority.
Makes sense? And the cops love it when we do traffic, because, if it's hot, they can sit in air conditioning to do reports and if it's cold or raining, they can sit in the warmth of their vehicle to do the report. We have had them go back to town and get us coffee, water and donuts if we are going to be at the scene for a while.
That's why we have no problems with LEOs in our area.