Traffic Incident Scene Safety

Sources: EMR-ISAC, FireRescue1, and NTIMC

An article in FireRescue1 explained that to enhance operational effectiveness when responding to a traffic incident, emergency personnel must place their vehicles strategically to maximize accessibility, utilization, safety, and egress. Upon arriving at the scene, the author recommended responders take a few moments to assess the position of their own vehicle before doing anything else.

Considering that traffic incidents are among the many dangerous tasks performed by first responders, the Emergency Management and Response—Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EMR-ISAC) examined the guidance of the National Traffic Incident Management Coalition (NTIMC). The coalition is a forum that promotes multi-disciplinary, multi-jurisdictional traffic management programs. Members consist of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Fire Service, Law Enforcement, Public Safety Communications, and others.

The NTIMC established three objectives to promote roadway safety for emergency responders:

  • Responder safety is first and paramount.
  • Safely and quickly get off the roadway.
  • Prompt and reliable interoperable communications among police, fire, and EMS.

To accomplish these objectives and significantly improve safety at traffic incidents requires training, equipment, research, policy development, updated statutes, and performance standards, according to the NTIMC.