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Apparatus placement during lane closure

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  • Apparatus placement during lane closure

    In relation to a thread on shutting down the road, I would like to pose this question....

    When performing a lane closure, on a divided highway, how do you place your first due piece?

    What I am looking for is this scenario...

    Single vehicle accident. Vehicle is on the right shoulder. IC has decided to close only the right lane. How do you position your engine to provide the safest work area for personnel?

    Would you do anything different on a two-lane highway?
    Begin with the end in mind.

    Be safe out there!!

  • #2
    what we do is park it across the shoulder and the lane so if some rubbernecker hits the truck theres no chance of it rolling into our accident scene.
    Live everyday like it's your last!!
    Carpe Diem
    IACOJ Probie


    • #3
      Our first due apparatus on a crash call is the squad (ambulance) which is normally placed jest beyond the accident scene and normally stradles the burm to allow access to the passenger side doors and compartments. When the crash truck arrives, it would be placed just before the accident in the lane that is being closed off. Idealy, it would be angled with the front end pointed out into the next lane so as to deflect a strike and moved the errant vehicle away from those working on the scene. As soon as practical after placing this apparatus, we post traffic cones, portable strobes and/or highway flares ahead of this truck to develop the safety zone.
      Richard Nester
      Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

      "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter


      • #4

        If the MVA is on the right shoulder of a divided highway. Then what we do is park the initial apparatus at a 30-45 degree angle (facing the median) blocking lane #1 and the shoulder. Rule of thumb I teach is to "take the lane" the MVA is in "Plus One more" for safety. (Especially on freeways/highways)Drivers should ensure that the angle allows all exiting crew members to safely exit on the MVA side. Park far enough back to leave a "woking area" and so your exhaust does NOT pollute the adjascent area. (If there is a fatality you may want to park further back to preserve the area (skid marks, debris, etc.)to be "investigated" by Law enforcement. If working close to the shoulders at a MVA park far enough away from them so as NOT to have your exiting rescuers fall or trip down an embankment. (particularly important at night). Set -up lighting ASAP and deploy an angled cone and flare pattern behind the apparartus and incident far enough back to forewarn motorists. Of course Never say always, and never say never, but as a rule of thumb this method has been very successful for the twenty years I have been runnin' up and down the Interstate here.

        I hope this offers help.

        "Making Sense with Common Sense"
        Motor Vehicle Rescue Consultants
        ( Jordan Sr.


        • #5
          Thanks for the replies.

          So far the answers are exactly what I have been taught. Reason for asking this is I had an officer tell me to park the opposite way - angled toward the shoulder instead of the median! Anyway, I know the + 1 rule on lanes, but unless it is an extremely rare case, our chief will not let us do that.

          Anyway, thanks for the input.
          Begin with the end in mind.

          Be safe out there!!


          • #6
            A Posting from Ron Moore, University of Extrication

            Goal of "Safe Parking" at a vehicle-related incident is to maximize safety of operating personnel first, then protect involved vehicles and occupants, then protect other motorists.

            First-due apparatus must arrive on-scene and either 'block-to-the-right' or 'block-to-the-left', "upstream" of the incident.

            The protected area this block creates is the "work zone".

            The space between moving traffic and operating personnel is the "buffer zone".

            Ambulances always position within the work zone with a block that positions their patient loading back doors AWAY from the nearest moving traffic.

            There is no right or wrong for which way the first-due company must block; block to the right or block to the left. But there is a significant difference for operating personnel.

            Block to the right exposes the officer's side of the apparatus.

            Block to the left exposes the driver's side which is most commonly the pump panel. An important difference if you're fighting a vehicle fire or stretching a protective handline at an extrication.

            Operators always cut their front wheels "away" from the work zone as their vehicle comes to a final stop.

            Now for the Fire Chief who won't let personnel exercise the "crash clogged lane plus 1" procedure, compare this image without blocking the the second image with a great block to the right and a great buffer zone for the crews on scene.

            If this doesn't make sense to the Chief, vote him out in December!
            Attached Files
            Ron Moore, Forum Moderator


            • #7
              With proper "Safe Parking" protocols in effect.
              Attached Files
              Ron Moore, Forum Moderator


              • #8
                This is a three lane highway traveiling in one direction. Crash is blocking Lane 3. Engine 177 approached in Lane 3 and with a block to the right, created a protected work zone downstream of their apparatus is Lane 3 and Lane 3.

                With a block-to-the-right, only the officer should be getting out into exposed upstream traffic. Crew members and the driver should exit out the downstream side of the apparatus.

                With proper "advance warning", upstream of this block, traffic can slow and be "tapered" into Lane 1 to proceed at reduced speed past the crash scene.

                You can't see the ambulance and that's the way it should be. The med unit is downstream of the damaged vehicles sitting in Lane 3 with a block to the right position to get its back doors aimed away from Lane 1's moving traffic.

                That's how it should work every time!
                Attached Files
                Ron Moore, Forum Moderator


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