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Chapter 5 Emergency Vehicle Characteristics and Driving. Objectives. Define the different types of emergency vehicles. Describe the operations of an emergency vehicle. Discuss the characteristics of an emergency vehicle. Describe how to avoid vehicle crashes.
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Objectives • Define the different types of emergency vehicles. • Describe the operations of an emergency vehicle. • Discuss the characteristics of an emergency vehicle. • Describe how to avoid vehicle crashes. • Discuss the different type of road surfaces. • Describe how to correct various types of situations you may encounter while driving an emergency vehicle.
Case Study • On August 19, 2001, a 52-year-old male volunteer firefighter (the victim) died after he lost control of the tanker truck he was driving when the right front tire ruptured, resulting in a blowout. The road on which the truck was traveling is an interstate highway and is comprised of two eastbound and two westbound lanes. The surface of the highway is constructed of a large, coarse, bituminous material.
Case Study • The highway had fog edge lines, rumble strips, and paved shoulders, and it was straight and level in the area of the collision. The road had a posted speed limit of 65 mph for cars and 55 mph for trucks. Weather conditions on the day of the incident were clear and the highway was dry. The truck struck a large boulder and tree, entrapping the victim in the cab. He was extricated from the truck, and the Medical Examiner pronounced him dead at the scene.
Emergency Medical, Fire, and Specialty Apparatus • Ambulance Types • Fire Apparatus
Operation • Size
Points to Ponder • What other problems can the size of the emergency vehicle cause? • In your area, what are some specific places where there is a need to exercise extra caution because of the size of the emergency vehicle?
Operation • Size • Weight • Weight restrictions
Points to Ponder • Locate the gross weight information and the payload information on each of your organization’s vehicles. Identify if the weight creates issue for any of the roadways in your jurisdiction.
Points to Ponder • What are the weight/patient restrictions with only the ambulance operator and an EMT as crew?
Operation • Size • Weight • Weight restrictions • Visibility
Reasons Drivers Do Not Yield • Emergency vehicle drivers outrun the siren’s effectiveness. • Field of view is blocked. • Direction of the sound of the siren is misinterpreted. • Hearing impaired driver.
Reasons Drivers Do Not Yield • Inattentive driver (loud music, cellular phone, kids, or stress). • The rate of closure by emergency vehicle driver is too fast and doesn’t allow the civilian driver to perceive the presence of the emergency vehicle.
Rate of Closure • Space Management • Speed Management
Speed Management Two Rules: • Emergency vehicles must not be driven in excess of the posted speed limits regardless of any traffic law exemption. • Emergency vehicles must not exceed cautionary speeds.
Steering • Use both hands on the steering wheel. Exceptions include operating another device on the vehicle, such as shifting, or turning on the windshield wipers. • Keep arms inside the vehicle. Do not engage in other activities, such as drinking, eating, or smoking. • Maintaining hands in the “2” and “10” position.
Proper Procedure ABS • On vehicles equipped with air brakes, the brake pedal should be initially firmly pressed. The driver must ease up as the braking continues, and ease the pressure on the brake pedal just before stopping to avoid a jerking motion.
Proper Procedure ABS • It is important to recognize that continuous braking over a period of time builds up a tremendous amount of heat.
Proper Procedure ABS • On vehicles equipped with a secondary braking system, apply the system in accordance with the directions of the manufacturer. Recognizing that some applications of secondary braking systems can cause a reduction in tire traction.
Proper Procedure ABS • In areas where there is a high probability of braking, passing through an intersection, or traveling against traffic, the driver should place his/her foot over (cover) the brake pedal. This action will reduce reaction time.
Backing Up • Park as to minimize the need for backing. • Give audible notice. • Use a spotter. • Understand hand signals and audible signals. • Use side mirrors. • Check the front corners. • Maintain speed control.
Lane Changing • Plan ahead • Signal intention • Practice space management • Change lanes smoothly
Lane Changing • Principles which need to be followed but are often ignored or violated: • Always signal before changing lanes.
Turning • Principles which need to be followed but are often ignored or violated: • Always signal before turning. • Whenever possible, turn from one proper lane into another proper lane.
Steps for Passing • Check traffic both ahead and behind. • Check sides and double check blind spots. • Signal before initiating the pass. • Accelerate while changing lanes.
Steps for Passing • Signal before returning to the driving lane. • Check mirror before returning to the driving lane. • Cancel directional signal and resume cruising speed.
Negotiating Intersections • Scan the intersection for possible hazards (right turns on red, pedestrians, vehicles traveling very fast, etc). Observe traffic in all four directions: left, right, front, and back. • Slow down and cover the brake pedal with the foot.
Negotiating Intersections • Change the siren cadence not less than 200 ft from the intersection. • Avoid using the opposing lane of traffic, if at all possible.
Negotiating Intersections • Do not rely on warning devices to clear traffic. • Scan the intersection for possible hazards as well as driver options.
Negotiating Intersections • Begin to slow down well before reaching the intersection and cover the brake pedal with the driver’s foot . • Change the siren cadence not less than 200 ft from the intersection.
Negotiating Intersections • Scan the intersection for possible passing options. (Pass on right, left, wait, etc.) • Avoid using the opposing lane of traffic, if at all possible. • Come to a complete stop.
Negotiating Intersections • Establish eye contact with the other vehicle drivers; have partner communicate all is clear; reconfirm all other vehicles are stopped. • Proceed one lane of traffic at a time. Treat each lane as a separate intersection.
Crash Avoidance • Identify escape route. • Brake smoothly and firmly. • Accelerate smoothly and rapidly. • Steer to avoid a head-on impact.
Road Construction And Engineering Road surfaces: • Asphalt • Concrete • Dirt/Gravel
Road Conditions • Bumps • Mud • Potholes