vehicle crashes. These should be among the most preventable types for
all emergency responders.
What Can Be Done?
Selection and Training —Have a selection process on who drives emergency vehicles as well as those who are allowed to respond in their own personally owned vehicle (POV). Ensure adequate training for all who drive emergency vehicles.
Professional Qualifications specifies the job performance requirements for personnel who drive and operate fire apparatus. In addition, NFPA 1451, Standard for a Fire Service Vehicle Operations Training Program establishes minimum requirements in this area. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Emergency Vehicle Operator Course, and similar courses, provides classroom and operational (driving range) instruction. For POVs, training that details relevant safety procedures and your State law/motor vehicle code related to personal vehicle response should be provided.
Seatbelts —There is no reason that anyone driving or riding as a passenger in any fire department vehicle
or personal vehicle should not be wearing a seatbelt.
Slow Down —Slower means safer in any fire department vehicle or while responding in a POV. A good
safety guideline is not to exceed the posted speed limit. Drive even slower when road conditions or
visibility are poor.
Stop—When driving an emergency response vehicle, always stop at intersections with a negative right of
way. Proceed through these intersections and railroad crossings only after coming to a complete stop and
when you are sure that other vehicles have stopped and given you the right of way. Never assume that
another vehicle is aware of your presence. Today’s vehicles have noise insulation, powerful radios, and
air conditioning that lessens the effectiveness of horns and sirens. Dark tinted windows may also impact
the ability of drivers to see emergency lights.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has developed the numerous initiatives, programs, and partnerships
aimed to prevent vehicle crashes.