Thursday, December 12, 2019 | The online resource for training first responders

National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week 2019


National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week 2019 is a chance for all emergency responders to individually and jointly make a difference by teaching each other, and the motoring public, about our common goals and responsibilities to one another while operating at incidents of all types on roads and highways. Emergency response to motor vehicle crashes, vehicle fires, medical emergencies, hazardous material incidents, disabled vehicles, law enforcement activity, natural disasters and damage to highway infrastructure are all examples of where emergency responders are in danger of being struck by moving traffic. Firefighters, emergency medical personnel, law enforcement officers, transportation workers, safety service patrols and tow operators are all in danger of being struck by vehicles while operating at these incident scenes. In fact so far in 2019, thirty-nine (39) of these responders have been struck and killed by vehicles including 15 Law enforcement officers, 8 Firefighters/EMTs, 13 Tow operators, and 3 mobile mechanics. Even more responders have been struck and injured and countless emergency vehicles have been seriously damaged or destroyed when struck by other vehicles at roadway incidents. The hazard is increasing rapidly as more and more drivers are distracted by various electronic devices and fail to notice specialized emergency vehicles with flashing warning lights and high visibility graphics operating at roadway incidents.

For over 20 years the volunteer members of the Emergency Responder Safety Institute (www.respondersafety.com) have been on a mission to reduce and eventually eliminate all struck-by-vehicle deaths and injuries of emergency responders. Our efforts to date include:

This week in November has been established to bring attention to the dangers of working at traffic incidents and to promote compliance with Move Over laws in every state in the United States. Motorists should pay attention to the road and other vehicles around them while operating motor vehicles. Motorists should be extra vigilant when approaching flashing emergency lights (red, blue, and amber) on stationary emergency vehicles working at roadway incidents. Avoid distractions like smart phones and complicated infotainment systems while driving. Don't drive if you're tired or have been drinking or are under the influence of any drugs. Always wear your seatbelt and drive defensively. Help protect the emergency responders who are working to protect you and other motorists on the highway.

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