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  • Fire Station Traffic Control

    Should firefighters be in the street stopping traffic to back into station?

    Even with emergency lights operating and traffic vests on we have had so many close calls with firefighters almost being struck by vehicles. Not to mention personnel could suffer sprains or falls while dismounting the apparatus.

    The argument has been made that personnel would be safer just staying on the apparatus. We had a class where the instructor said firefighters should not be in the street stopping traffic if they have not been certified in traffic control which our firefighters are not.

    How does everyone do it? Specifically looking for points against having the guys do it.

  • #2
    When needed...yes.


    Not to mention personnel could suffer sprains or falls while dismounting the apparatus.
    Uh, at calls...do you get on/off the truck? Aren't you facing that same "hazard" at those times? And at a fire scene you are probably in a bit more stressful time than stopping in front of your firehouse...
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    • #3
      Only if they have a 450' buffer zone with bump trucks, a flare line and safety vests (wearing 2 would be optimal).


      We just stay on the rigs and patiently wait for traffic to be clear before we back in.
      I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

      "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

      "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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      • #4
        SOP...If the apparatus is going to back up, someone is going to (read SHALL) get off of the rig and serve as a back-up person. Too many crashes during backing.

        "Traffic control" training is not in any OSHA or other guiding documents I have read. If you were in a "perfect world" we would have a police officer there to direct traffic.

        Visit respondersafety.com for some good traffic-related training stuff.
        everyonegoeshome.com

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        • #5
          If it is deemed that someone should get out and stop traffic we have no problem having someone do it.

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          • #6
            Yes, our department is on main street, Were pretty busy here, and traffic doesn't care that were backing in, We always block the road on each lane to pull in.
            Firefighter 1/ PA EMT-B

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            • #7
              We are required to have someone directing backing.
              We're not coming off a street, just backing from drive that goes by station.
              Backer is supposed to have a radio with hand on mic so they can immediately holler if driver happens to be checking other mirror or window fogs up.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by scottmillernj View Post
                Should firefighters be in the street stopping traffic to back into station?

                Even with emergency lights operating and traffic vests on we have had so many close calls with firefighters almost being struck by vehicles. Not to mention personnel could suffer sprains or falls while dismounting the apparatus.

                The argument has been made that personnel would be safer just staying on the apparatus. We had a class where the instructor said firefighters should not be in the street stopping traffic if they have not been certified in traffic control which our firefighters are not.

                How does everyone do it? Specifically looking for points against having the guys do it.
                So you don't like having to get out and back the apparatus, and you are looking only for points that will support your desires and not the best interest of the department?

                You should run for public office.

                Our apparatus is ALWAYS backed by someone - even the ones with a backup camera.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LVFD301 View Post
                  So you don't like having to get out and back the apparatus, and you are looking only for points that will support your desires and not the best interest of the department?

                  You should run for public office.

                  Our apparatus is ALWAYS backed by someone - even the ones with a backup camera.
                  There's almost never anyone to back the truck in at a hospital where you have to back in to drop off a patient. We do have camera's though.

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                  • #10
                    Spotter YES, but to put guys out on the street to try to control traffic while backing NO. We have a new station that is positioned of course on a busy main street. When the municipality built this facility, they felt that a signal system or any kind of warning devices would not be necessary, or maybe they just didn’t want to spend the extra $. We have had at least 3 dozen near miss crashes and one crash, luckily with no one being injured. We took on the mentality, if there is going to be a crash in front of the station because someone is in such a rush to get somewhere, the best chance for the firefighters is to just let them plow into the apparatus and not a firefighter standing in the street. We are working very hard to find funding for a signal system to warn motorist of the station, but from what I have seen, not sure it will help much, because they can’t see 30-40’ bright red rigs with reflective stripes and flashing LED/ strobes all over the place.

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                    • #11
                      guys dismount to back apparatus in and to clear pedestrians. They don't get out to do traffic control, but if signalling to drivers helps them stop it is done.

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