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Wilton Emergency, Inc. Roadside Incident Safety Presented by Matt Stefanacci EMT-Paramedic / Safety Officer Wilton EMS. Topics to cover:. Statistics of emergency responders struck by vehicles. Hazards to be aware of Safety equipment & advice Advice & information specific to management

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Wilton Emergency, Inc


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  1. Wilton Emergency, Inc Roadside Incident Safety Presented by Matt Stefanacci EMT-Paramedic / Safety Officer Wilton EMS

  2. Topics to cover: • Statistics of emergency responders struck by vehicles. • Hazards to be aware of • Safety equipment & advice • Advice & information specific to management • Local policy (Wilton EMS specific)

  3. Target Audiences • EMS Agencies • Fire Departments • Police Agencies • Any person that responds to an emergency on a roadside

  4. Roadside Incident – Stories from the Headlines Rick Seiner, a longtime Citizens Memorial Healthcare employee and a member of the CMH ambulance crew, died Friday evening, Sept. 2, while working a motor vehicle accident. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, Seiner was on Mo. 13, one mile south of Humansville, when he attempted to cross the roadway and was hit by a car. 9/6/2005 Courtesy www.Firehouse.com

  5. Don’t let this happen to your agency… This was a MVC on a 55 MPH road – 1 firefighter was killed, 1 was permanently disabled… Courtesy NIOSH 1999

  6. Do you want to be caught in this mess?

  7. The Facts... • Every year, the number of emergency responders that are struck on America’s roadways is on the rise.* • In a 2002 study by the Detroit times, over 6,500 ambulances were involved in collisions with other vehicles.* • EMS has the highest fatality rate amongst America’s First Responders: 9.6 per 100,000.* • Comparatively, fire fighters are 4.5 per 100,000 and police are 6.3 per 100,000.* • On the average, 10 serious injuries occur a day in which an ambulance is involved, or 3,650 serious injuries per year.* * - Study courtesy of Brian J. Maguire & the Detroit Times 2002

  8. The Facts... • According to the NIOSH, over 175 Emergency responders were struck on Americas roadways in 2003. Of these, 95% were at the scene of motor vehicle collisions. • Of these 175 emergency responders, 120 were firefighters. • Of these 120 firefighters, 5 were killed. 93 were permanently or seriously injured. • 82% of firefighters hit on scene’s by cars are no longer active. So, if EMS has over double the amount of fatalities per 100,000, then our statistics should be doubled. There are no accurate statistics for EMS providers other than what the NFPA has established (some personnel entered in the study were Paramedics). There is a joint study (NFPA, NIOSH & OSHA) due out in the near future that will reflect the true dangers of EMS…

  9. The Facts… • Headlights are set for 160 feet on low and 350 feet on high.** • Typical reaction time for braking is 1.5 seconds. • Add 100% time for alcohol or drug influence. • Add poor road conditions (snow, ice, rain, etc) and the stopping distances increase by 50%. • Add 25% stopping distance for UNLADEN trucks… • Add 50% stopping distance for LADEN trucks… • **All statistics compliments of National Transportation Safety Board & DOT, 2002

  10. The Physics… NTSB 2002

  11. The Reality… • A car traveling at 40 MPH will hit you… • A car traveling 60 MPH with high-beams on will hit you... • You have the greatest chance of being struck between the hours of 9 PM & 3 AM, by a male between 21 & 28 who is under the influence of alcohol…

  12. Roadside Safety Exercise

  13. Roadside Emergencies Hazards On the next slide, you will have 1.5 seconds to find the 3 emergency personnel in the picture… • The posted speed limit is 40 MPH • The responders are about 120 feet from you in this picture Can you avoid them? Can you see them?

  14. The Physics… NTSB 2002

  15. Find the emergency responders…

  16. Did you see them?Or did you hit them? 3 1 2

  17. Roadside Emergencies Hazards to be aware of…

  18. Four Topics that contribute to an Unsafe Roadside Incident • Insufficient Visibility • The “Other” Vehicle • Unsafe Distance between the public and you • Rogue Events

  19. Ever have “One of those days?”

  20. Roadside Emergencies Hazards 1) Insufficient visibility • Poor lighting conditions • Poor weather conditions (rain, snow, fog, etc) • Too many emergency warning lights!!! • Not enough traffic diversion devices (i.e.: road flares, triangles, lighted arrow sticks, etc) • Insufficient or non-existent reflective gear (vests, turnout gear, etc). • Obstacles (i.e.: parked vehicles, trees, etc)

  21. Stories from the Headlines An Essex County Sheriff’s Deputy conducting a traffic stop on the Adirondack Northway last night was killed after he was struck by a tractor-trailer. 31 year-old Eric Loiselle of Minerva had stopped a car for speeding three miles north of exit 30 in the Town of Moriah. While Loiselle was interviewing the driver, a tractor-trailer driven by 36 year-old Jacek Bujalski of Quebec, veered onto the side of the road and struck the deputy’s cruiser, which hit Loiselle and the car that he had stopped. NYSP Troop B is still investigating what caused Bujalski to swerve onto the shoulder. Right now the investigation looks as though it’s driver inattention and that could result in fatigue. Loiselle leaves behind a wife and a two year-old son. Courtesy of WNBZ News August 22, 2005

  22. Roadside Emergencies Hazards 2) Watch out for the “other vehicle” • Vehicles that are swerving or acting erratic • Vehicles that are traveling at a high velocity (this is ANY speed over 30 MPH) • Vehicles that are in YOUR lane

  23. This is what “the other vehicle” looks like…

  24. Roadside Emergencies Hazards 3) Insufficient distance between you and the driving public. • Not shutting down or diverting traffic from the incident scene. • “Move Over Laws” – These laws make it illegal for vehicles to be driven within a specific distance to an emergency scene… New York State’s Law S.04155, also known as the “Ambrose-Searles move over act” . More to come in the next few slides… • Hazard #1 – Insufficient visibility! If the oncoming driver can’t see you, then the can’t prevent hitting you! As seen on Interstate in Indiana

  25. Roadside Emergencies Hazards – What’s wrong with this picture?

  26. Roadside Emergencies Hazards – What’s wrong with this picture? • How many people are watching traffic? • Truck is not properly positioned. • Look where the middle of the road lines are… • No traffic diversion devices… So, this is a real call with a local fire department… Is this your department?

  27. The Skinny on the “Ambrose-Searles move over act” Is a “two-part” law Part 1: Educational Component (9/1/05): “…FOR EXERCISING DUE CARE TO AVOID COLLIDING WITH A PARKED, STOPPED OR STANDING AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLE PURSUANT TO SECTION ELEVEN HUNDRED FORTY-FOUR-A OF THIS CHAPTER.” Part 2: Enforcement Component (1/1/06): First Conviction: $250-$400 &/or 30 days in jail. Second Conviction: $600-$750 &/or up to 180 days in jail. Third Conviction: $750-$1,000 &/or 180 days. **All fines are within a 3 year time frame!**

  28. The Skinny on the “Ambrose-Searles move over act” Basically, this law can only be implemented once a collision has occurred! Other states have a more aggressive “Move Over Law(s).

  29. Roadside Incident – Stories from the Headlines Two Charlotte firefighters were injured after a woman hit them with her car outside a business on University City Boulevard Thursday afternoon. The accident happened in front of the CVS drug store located at 10219 Highway 49. Firefighters had just cleared another emergency call and stopped by the shopping center for lunch. While walking into a nearby business, a fire captain noticed a woman was illegally parked in the fire lane. When he approached her, she backed up her car, hitting a firefighter. Then, she drove forward, striking the fire captain. 9/2/2005 Courtesy www.firehouse.com

  30. Is this considered insufficient distance?

  31. Roadside Emergencies Hazards 4) Rogue events that can be hazardous… • Oncoming vehicle that’s operator is ability impaired or just not paying attention (a.k.a.: HUA syndrome) • Responders running away from a scene due to an unexpected or unsafe situation. • Oncoming vehicles that loose control. • And one that I believe in: BAD LUCK…

  32. Another Story From the Headlines Police officer struck by car By WILL DAVID THE JOURNAL NEWS (Original publication: February 2, 2005) A 47-year-old off-duty city police officer was hit yesterday morning by a car driven by another off-duty officer as he walked across the street to the Fourth Precinct on Shonnard Place, police said. Police Officer Paul Wood, who is a foot patrol officer in Getty Square, was listed in stable condition at an area hospital yesterday, Lt. Maureen Zadorozny said. He suffered leg and head injuries, she said. The driver, Officer Christopher Coyne, 36, was traveling west on Shonnard Place at 7:39 a.m. in a 2002 Nissan Sentra when he was blinded by the sun and did not see Wood crossing the street, police said. "It's an accident," said Zadorozny. No charges will be filed against Coyne, she said Courtesy of www.respondersafety.com 2/2/05

  33. Break Time Take 10 minutes…Think about what you’ve seen so far… 10 minutes 7 minutes 4 minutes 9 minutes 6 minutes 3 minutes 8 minutes 5 minutes 2 minutes 1 minute

  34. Roadside Emergencies Ideas for Safety on the Roadside

  35. Ideas for Emergency Responders • Don’t get complacent…Feeling safe will eventually kill you. • Ensure that ALL personnel are wearing a reflective traffic vest or other clothing. STANDARD TURNOUT GEAR IS GENERALLY INSUFFICIENT!!! NIOSH recommends a strong yellow-green or orange color. • All emergency personnel who are outside of a vehicle should meet, at a minimum, the ANSI Class 2 standard. ANSI Class 3 is highly recommended. • Use road flares to your advantage – You can not use too many road flares! • Shut down the lane of traffic next to where you are working. An example: If you are working an incident on the Northway median, then shut down the passing lane.

  36. Ideas for Emergency Responders(con’t) • Dedicate a “Safety Officer” to watch oncoming traffic and other hazards. This is, of course, is on a case by case basis… • Never turn your back to traffic… • Turn OFF white lights while on scene. Remember, if you blind an oncoming vehicle, they can’t see you to avoid you. This includes headlights, headlight flashers and white strobes. • Use lighted arrow sticks to your advantage….Consider the oncoming driver confused and dumb; In need of direction.

  37. Why we don’t turn our backs to traffic…

  38. ANSI Safety Vest Class I “Class 1 garments are for users who have ample separation from vehicular traffic that does not exceed 25 mph and where the background is not complex. Parking service attendants, workers in warehouses with equipment traffic, shopping cart retrievers, sidewalk maintenance workers, and delivery vehicle drivers would wear this class of garment.”

  39. ANSI Safety Vest Class II “Class 2 garments are intended for users who need greater visibility in inclement weather conditions and whose activities occur near roadways where traffic speeds exceed 25 mph. Workers who would wear this class of garment include railway workers, school crossing guards, parking and toll gate personnel, airport ground crews and law enforcement personnel directing traffic.”

  40. Class II safety equipment – approximately 120 feet

  41. ANSI Safety Vest Class III “Class 3 garments provide the highest level of conspicuity to workers with high task loads in a wide range of weather conditions where traffic exceeds 50 mph. The standard recommends these garments for all roadway construction personnel and vehicle operators, utility workers, survey crews, emergency responders, railway workers and accident site investigators.”

  42. Class III safety equipment – approximately 120 feet

  43. Summing it all up…Visually… So, now that you’ve seen each vest individually, let’s see what passing cars are seeing… And missing…

  44. Here’s what a passing car will and won’t see… Street Clothes Class II Class III

  45. Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Under “Worker Safety Considerations,” the MUTCD states: Worker Safety Apparel—all workers exposed to the risks of moving roadway traffic or construction equipment should wear high-visibility safety apparel meeting the requirements of ISEA “American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel” … or equivalent revisions, and labeled as ANSI 107-1999 standard performance for Class 1, 2, or 3 risk exposure. A competent person designated by the employer to be responsible for the worker safety plan within the activity area of the job site should make the selection of the appropriate class of garment. American Traffic Safety Services Association (1988)

  46. Hmmm…Is this someone you know?

  47. A perfect scene… Does it exists?

  48. A Perfect Scene…Does It Exist? The definition of a perfect scene is: “A scene in which there is no hazard to any responding personnel, including traffic, wires, fluids and bystanders. Although this type of situation is optimal, it is not reality…” This is what I call the “Boy in the Bubble” theory….

  49. A Perfect Scene…Does It Exist? Since we can not have a “Perfect Scene”, we should strive for a “Safe Scene”…Does everyone remember this from EMT class???? The definition of a Safe Scene: “A scene in which the threat of danger is not eradicated, but accepted as being present and reasonable measures for personnel safety is taken.”

  50. Is this the future of EMS safety?