Firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) must all be prepared to jump into action at any time to answer the call in an emergency.
And when they get a call, they must immediately take to the road and respond to the emergency as soon as possible. This requires emergency responders to react with speed and efficiency. However, Maryland roads can be a dangerous place – especially for workers as they answer a call or attend to an accident on the road. Their chance of a work injury increases considerably in these situations, and firefighters are calling attention to this risk.
Firefighters take action for road safety
Firefighters across the country participate in an annual Safety Stand Down. These events occur each year during June, and call attention to important safety and health issues that firefighters face on the job.
This year, the Safety Stand Down revolves around “Building a Superhighway to Safety.” Firefighters run into the line of danger to extinguish fires and save lives, yet they face one of the highest risks while on the road. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that on average, 16% of firefighter deaths occur either when firefighters respond to or return from an emergency call.
Navigating the road during an emergency is not only high stress but also high-risk for firefighters.
This risk only increases when firefighters respond to accidents on the road. That is why for this year’s Stand Down, firefighters are working to increase safety standards.
What can firefighters do?
Getting behind the wheel is always unpredictable. There is no doubting why firefighters face such a risk on the road. However, what can firefighters do to stay safer when responding to emergencies on the road?
- Receive proper training on how to approach traffic accidents;
- Wear bright clothing and the proper personal protective equipment; and
- Follow all scene safety standards established by the station.
While it is also a driver’s responsibility to be safe behind the wheel, firefighters can still take action to protect their own safety on the job.