City Of Bothell Fire and E.M.S. Emergency Vehicle Incident Prevention - Refresher
As Instructors, We want you to be the best drivers possible !!! Driving Test Failed
Driving emergency apparatus is high risk and high frequency !! Don’t let this happen to you = US !! Wear Your Seatbelt
We serve to save lives not take them away. Your responsibility as drivers could not be greater!!!! Fire truck hits van. Kills 2, injures 4
E.V.I.P. Refresher Introduction • The goal of this training is for usto prevent vehicle incidents from occurring • Required to maintain E.V.I.P certification • Instructed by our Department’s State Certified Instructors • Review of the “important stuff” out of each lesson covered in the initial E.V.I.P. training • Review of Department specific information • Summary
Incident vs. Accident • The word accident implies that motor vehicle incidents are not preventable, it is quite the contrary. Almost all motor vehicle incidents are preventable and someone is almost always at fault. It is incumbent on all emergency vehicle operators to learn to be safe drivers and practice safe driving habits while operating apparatus.
Emergency Vehicle Incident Prevention Protect • Yourself • Your Fellow Firefighters • Your Community By learning to drive Safely !!!!!!!
Lesson One Some Legal Aspects of Emergency Vehicle Operations
Apparatus Incident Facts • Over 1300 workers are killed in traffic related incidents each year. • On average about 20 Firefighters are killed annually responding to/or returning from alarms. • In 1999, six firefighters were killed when they were ejected from a fire apparatus. (Wear your seatbelt at all times!!)
EVIP = Emergency Vehicle Incident Prevention We are in the business of responding to traffic incidents to help. We should be especially mindful of preventing traffic incidents. We have a great deal of responsibility and liability as firefighters to drive and reach our destination safely.
Three Principles of Emergency Vehicle Operation: • Emergency vehicle operators are subject to all traffic regulations unless a specific exemption is made. • Exemptions are legal only in the emergency mode. • Even with an exemption, the operator can be found criminally or civilly liableif involved in a traffic incident.
The Law Applies To Me • While there are laws on the books which allow us to operate emergency vehicles and give us some freedom of action the general public does not have, there are also in each section “catch phrases” which place the ultimate liability on our shoulders. • So essentially, the traffic laws as written apply to each and every one of us, emergency responder or not.
The BIG PRINTgives it to you: While responding to an alarm, you may: • Park or stand your vehicle irrespective of all other laws to the contrary. • Proceed past red lights and stop signs. • Exceed the maximum speed limits. • Disregard regulations governing the direction of movement of traffic or turning in specific directions regardless of posted signs or regulations to the contrary.
The provisions granted emergency vehicles “shall not relieve the driver. . . from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons, nor shall such provisions protect the driver from the consequences of his reckless disregard for the safety of others.” However, the little print takes it away. RCW 46.61.035
A True Emergency • Drivers of emergency vehicles will greatly reduce the chances of being found guilty of negligence if they are reasonably certain that a situation represents a true emergencybefore exercising the exemptions granted in the state statutes.
Is This a True Emergency? ASK, • Is there a high probability that this situation could cause death or serious injury to an individual? • Is there significant property imperiled? • Could action on my part reduce the seriousness of the situation? You have to arrive at the true emergency to make a difference! Driving too fast for conditions and or taking chances is unacceptable!!
Furthermore • Besides RCWs and WAC’s we are also bound by: • Local ordinances • Department policy
Courts apportion blame if you should be driving an emergency vehicle when involved in a wreck. They look at the case and determine who and what contributed to the incident. They assign a percentage of blame to each party. The Issue of Liability
For example: • They may say that the “other” driver was 40% to blame; the Fire Department 40% to blame; and the emergency vehicle operator 20% to blame. • They look at the dollar award and assign the percentages accordingly.
If the “other” driver is asking for $1,000,000 in damages for alleged harm due to an incident with an emergency vehicle, the award would be as follows: • “Other” driver, 40% = No award. • Fire department, 40% = $400,000 • Emergency vehicle driver (YOU, PERSONALLY), 20% = $200,000
Summary • Drive with “Due Regard” because you will be held responsible for your actions while operating an emergency vehicle!! • Not driving safely, could be the biggest mistake you ever make. Affecting you, your family, your crew and the Department. • Emergency driving is the highest risk we routinely face while on duty. Do not underestimate its importance and the possible consequences associated with an incident!!
Lesson Two Concepts of Defensive Driving: A Matter of Attitude Drivers Ed Coaching Tip
Mental Motivation • Defensive driving is largely a matter of attitude. • Understanding how your mental state effects your driving is critical to becoming a safe driver. • Routine (driving in the same area every day) can cause us to become inattentive. • Don’t become complacent with emergency driving. You never know where or when something bad might happen !!!
The Five Components of the Driving Process • Scan • Identify • Predict • Decide • Execute S.I.P.D.E
Driver FailureTypes of Driver Failure • Carelessness • Incompetence • Recklessness • Inattentiveness • Inability to judge distances • Slow reaction of drivers
A Defensive Driver • Expects and makes allowances for the mistakes of others. • Keeps alert, adjusts driving to meet all hazards of weather, road, and traffic conditions. • Avoids bad habits. • Avoids following too closely.
A fire department driver must maintain a safe driving attitude • Regardless of the contributing factors which may tend to influence him/her. • Drivers with poor attitudes usually make excuses for mistakes that cause property damage or injury.
Lesson Three Important Physical Forces Don’t underestimate the power of physical forces! Painful Boat Crash
Vehicle Control While driving, an operator can only control a vehicle’s velocity (speed) and direction. How does this engine driver do? How Not to Drive a Fire Truck
Several physical forces influence the amount of control the operator has: • If the limits created by the physical force are not exceeded, the operator can fully control both the emergency vehicle’s velocity and direction. • If they are exceeded, control will be lost.
This is worth seeing again – a perfect example of exceeding physical forces !! Tiller Accident
You can exceed the physical limits and lose control by • Driving too fast for conditions. • Braking inappropriately. • Changing direction too abruptly. • Tracking a curve at too high a speed.
Brake Fade • Brake fade is caused by overheating. • Sustained hard braking heats up the brakes. • The brake pedal becomes harder to apply. • Then the brakes can fail entirely.
Emergency Braking - Hydraulic Brakes • Apply hard pressure to the brake pedal without locking the wheels. • When pavement is dry - quick firm jabs on the pedal • When roadway is slippery - short, steady pressure; release and repeat
(Tires must roll in order for a driver to control a vehicle’s direction) If wheels lock, RELEASE BRAKE PEDAL
Emergency Braking - Air Brakes • Apply a steady pressure. • Do not fan air brakes - except on slippery pavement. • Fanning brakes wastes air pressure and contributes to brake fade due to excessive heat buildup.
Momentum and inertia affect vehicle control. • With increased momentum, that is, as speed increases or a bigger vehicle is involved, • Stopping distance increases. • Brakes must work harder; friction and heat increase. • Inertia will be harder to overcome. Therefore, changing direction is more difficult. • The track the vehicle will follow must be wider.
Lesson Four Driving Conditions and Contingencies
What is a Driving Contingency? • “A chance, collision, or possibility conditional on something uncertain” Examples: • Traffic suddenly and abruptly stopping • Ice on the roadway • Out of control vehicle A longer reaction time will help you avoid a collision when a driving contingency occurs
Prepare for Contingency Situations • Primary causes of contingency situations: • Vehicle malfunctions or failures • A sudden change or deterioration in the roadway • The appearance of an obstacle in the roadway • Driver error
Precautions for Contingencies • Attempt to head off driver error. • Begin shift well rested and w/out personal stress. • Remain alert. • Avoid unnecessary risks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Handling Contingencies-- Evasive Steering Maneuvers • Driver’s hands should be on the steering wheel at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions. This allows the largest possible turn without moving the hands. • Turn the steering wheel in the direction of escape route. • Counter steer as soon as vehicle is clear of obstacle. • Avoid hard braking--hard braking can lock the wheels, and locked wheels won’t steer.
Handling Contingencies-- Unavoidable Collisions • Choose the object you will collide with. • Choose the course least likely to cause injury or death. • Avoid head-on collisions--these are the most damaging to life and property. • Steer to cause your vehicle to sideswipe or hit the other object at an angle.
Lesson Five Operating Apparatus:Vehicle Control Tasks
To Review • Lights and sirens are used to inform traffic and pedestrians of an emergency vehicle’s presence and thus, to aid in clearing a path for the emergency vehicle. • Per the law, they both should be on at all times while driving in the emergency mode. • If you choose to turn the siren off at anytime, you must still operate with due regard for the safety of others. If you fail to do so, you may be held liable.
Sirens - Limitations on Effectiveness • Siren sounds do not travel well around buildings or corners. (the intersection of NE 185th and SR527) • A study has shown that existing sirens are effective only to vehicles traveling in the same direction ahead of the emergency vehicle and to pedestrians. • Even at fairly close range, the siren may not be heard by motorists with windows up, air conditioning on, or radio on.
Motorists’ Reactions to Lights and Sirens • Has steadily gotten worse. Often, they don’t want to stop or pull over for us anymore. (they will even race us) • It’s very easy to get frustrated. Don’t let it affect your driving. • You should always pass on the left, whenever possible. If you must pass on the right, do so with extreme caution. If an incident occurs, you may be held liable.
Negotiating IntersectionsThe majority of emergency apparatus incidents occur at intersections !!! Use extreme caution !!!!!!!!!!!!! • Intersections are the most likely areas for fatal incidents. • Before crossing an intersection, you must make sure that you have gained and then maintain complete control of all lanes of traffic. • Never blow through a red light or stop sign. Stop or slow down enough to where you could stop if necessary. • Don’t forget to announce your approach to an intersection, where you think responding apparatus might meet.
Intersections are dangerousYou must gain control before proceeding through!! Fire Truck Crash
Incidents, Near Misses ??? • Please share your stories of incidents, any near misses and or close calls that you have experienced in your career as a driver or a passenger. • We can discuss and learn a great deal from You !! • Please Share !!!!!!!!!!!!