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November 20, 2002
Are they safe under your command???
Chief Billy Goldfeder
TWO police officers were struck and killed on Tuesday, on a roadway while assisting a disabled motorist. (See  Article)
If you haven't figured out our opinion on this continuing problem for fire, rescue and the cops...the answer is to BLOCK and even SHUT DOWN the highway down when operating. READ THIS: We are forwarding some other "critical stuff" for ya below. This is bad stuff...I recently arrived at a fatal crash on an Interstate and found myself "looking behind me" at least every 30 seconds. The cops had the traffic diverted, but a car definitely could have made it through and struck us....I was concerned and you gotta be too!! 
  • www.respondersafety.com (Simply put...a "save your firefighters lives on the scene" site with free samples, policies, procedures, examples, case studies and related stuff ...all set and ready to be used at your fire department)
  • www.emergencyvehicleresponse.com (A "save your firefighters and civilians lives while responding" site focused on fire apparatus safety including preparedness, training, response, arrival, etc...)
IN CASE you are too tired to go to the above sites right now...and your fingers are in "re-hab" (lazy bastid!!)...Here is a "check list" for ya to determine the level of opportunity your members have to get struck on the roadways while operating under your command:
  • Does your FD have established, implemented and enforced written and practiced standard operating procedures (SOP's) regarding emergency operations for highway incidents? Do you train on them regularly? Do you follow 'em?
  • Is there a standard written policy in your FD to position apparatus to take advantage of topography and weather conditions (uphill / upwind) & protect YOUR firefighters from traffic?
    • Does your FD first control the issue of oncoming vehicles before addressing the emergency event, in the event the cops have not arrived?
    • When the cops arrive, are you and them "reading off the same sheet of music" when it comes to roadway operations?
    • Do you ensure that your fire and EMS personnel position themselves and victims in a secure area, when it's not possible to protect the incident scene?
  • Can your FD access the use of "variable message signs" to inform motorists of hazardous conditions or vehicular accidents?
  • Do you ensure (and have written SOP's) that require personnel to park or stage unneeded vehicles off the street / highway whenever possible?
  • Do you require your firefighters and EMS personnel to wear personal protective clothing that is suitable to that incident while operating at an emergency scene such as a highly reflective vest (strong yellow green and orange )?
  • Yeah...I know...you are wayyy too busy to worry about this right now. How about this--just FORWARD this article to your Safety Officers/Safety Division and tell'm to draft up a plan for your FD with the above stuff as well as the stuff from the sites. WHY DO THIS?
    1-YOU get all the credit ....oh great one!
    2-The Safety Officers finally get to do the stuff they wanna do!
    3-The entire GOAL of my writing is once again, met: "Everyone Goes Home"

    Two officers hit and killed by car
    (Summerville-AP) Nov. 19, 2002 -- Two police officers died in Summerville Tuesday night as they tried to help a driver of a disabled vehicle. Authorities say the man who hit the officers has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence as a felony. State Public Safety Department spokesman Sid Gualden says a pick-up truck veered off the road and struck the officers. Gualden says the state Highway Patrol is investigating the accident. One of the officers worked for the Summerville Police Department and the other was Berkeley County deputy who was off-duty.