Fire/EMS Safety Week
First of Four Key Areas: Safety - Emergency Driving

Fairfax, Va., Apr. 6, 2009... The IAFC and the IAFF are asking you to Protect Yourself: Your Safety, Health and Survival Are Your Responsibility. We’re calling on all fire/EMS departments and all IAFF affiliates to participate in the 2009 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week scheduled for June 14-20.

The recommended focus of this year’s Safety Week will incorporate four key areas where standard operating procedures, policies and initiatives—along with the training and enforcement that support them—can limit fire and EMS personnel’s risk of injury or death:

Safety: Emergency Driving (Enough Is Enough—End Senseless Deaths)
Health: Fire Fighter Heart Disease and Cancer Education and Prevention
Survival: Structural Size-Up and Situational Awareness
Chiefs: Be the Leader in Safety

To support your planning, we’ll provide you with information about each of the 2009 key areas. Below is the first area for your consideration. Look for the second key area to be included in the May 1 On Scene.

First of Four Key Areas:
Safety: Emergency Driving
(Enough Is Enough—End Senseless Death)

During Safety Week, we encourage all fire/EMS personnel to demonstrate they are truly dedicated to protecting themselves and the lives and safety of others by adopting an individual safe-driving code.

Start by never driving above posted speeds any time you’re responding to or returning from an alarm or incident. Drive the fire apparatus or your personal vehicle with great respect for your coworkers and the community you serve, allowing for your safe arrival on the scene to provide assistance to others. Response times are important, but not at the expense of losing a life in the process.

It’s been proven time and time again that wearing a seatbelt save lives. Start by saving your own by wearing a seatbelt every time you ride in any type of vehicle! No exceptions!

Driving through an intersection in front of oncoming traffic is one of the most dangerous things we do, putting all of the crew at high risk. You should always stop and ensure every other vehicle at the intersection sees your vehicle and allows you to drive through. Never assume they’ll stop for you. Look the other driver in the eye and make sure they are stopped to allow you to proceed.

Keep watching the Safety Week website for more information on this year’s program and planning resources developed by the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section.

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Replies to This Discussion

We are made and broken at the company officer level in the fire service......although a personal responsibility for sure, it is without a doubt, the CO's responsibility to assure it...every time. Nothing is more important than our people....
True, but: For the volunteers we must change there whole way of thinking, to use a borrowed term, turn a bunch of addreniline junkies into a safety consious mentalitiy, in other words we need to change the culture in which they are trained, and the most difficult ones to reach are going to be the ones with more tha 1 year on and less than 20 years on, I hear it every day, we've done it this wy for 40 years and nobody on our department has been killed yet.
I too have heard it.....
I am sure that is not what folks who are/have gone through what our brothers/sisters in Houston are thinking....prayers for all involved there.
Why can't we learn BEFORE? (That statement is not fair EVERY time, but certainly a good deal of it). Why does it have to happen to US to make it real? Gotta be some psychological thing involved here.........I guess one could say we must police ourselves, or there will be those who will do it for us....
This is a hard area to address to certain FF's. As previously stated.."noone has died yet". Operative word "yet". So how many times does "yet" count for? Days, Months, Years..or until..? As Rescue/Safety people, we MUST set the example to others!! As an Engr I will not move that engine until everyne is seated and buckled upped. That said, I have gone over the posted speed Ill we are allowed 10 mph over. However, I have not gone that much over..regardless. An Engine with 1500 gallons of water, wet or dry pavement/traffic or not...demands respect and care.


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