USFA Releases Updated Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has released the 2014 edition of its Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative, revised and updated from the original 2004 version. The study was conducted to address the high percentage of vehicle-related fatalities of both fire and law enforcement officers and to share best practices of roadway safety.

Vehicular incidents are the second leading cause of firefighter fatalities each year. The majority of these incidents were preventable. Many emergency response vehicle accidents are due to unsafe driving practices, such as excessive speed, fatigued driving, not using a seatbelt, and reliance on lights and sirens.

The USFA has been working with many fire service organizations and the law enforcement community to increase emergency responder safety when it comes to vehicle and roadway operations. This report consolidates the result of this work and provides best practices and recommendations for safer emergency vehicle and roadway incident response.

The study covers important vehicle safety topics including:

  • Common crash causes and crash prevention
  • The impact of vehicle design and maintenance on safety
  • Internal and external factors for improving response-related safety
  • Regulating emergency vehicle response and roadway scene safety
  • Roadway incident scene safety

The Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative is a joint effort between USFA, the International Fire Service Training Association, and the Department of Justice National Institute of Justice.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as the National Volunteer Fire Council will be releasing the 2014 version of the related vehicle safety resource, Emergency Vehicle Safe Operations for Volunteer and Small Combination Emergency Service Organizations.