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ResponderSafety.com is brought to you by the Emergency Responder Safety Institute. ResponderSafety.com is developed and supported by public safety leaders nationwide. Click here to read Mission...

Editors Column

Things Look Great at Christmas

Friday, December 4, 2009

My friends, we are once again approaching the Christmas Holiday Season.  It is a time of joy and a time of reflection.  Unfortunately for those of us in the emergency service world, it is a time for increased traffic, decreased driver attention, and the urge on the part of all of these folks to try to accomplish 24 hours of work in a two-hour period (The Holiday Rush).

 

We here at Respondersafety.com are really pleased with the results of our efforts over the past year.  Things are looking good for our team at this joyous time of the year.  While it is hard to pin down a given day when a particular something good happened, we are nonetheless upbeat.  It is pleasing indeed to note that we end the year having taught our safety training to a growing number of emergency responders. 

 

Are we having an impact with our training and our message, you might ask?  Back in October, we reported on a truck fire near Mountville, Pennsylvania.  I want you to know that we were mentioned in the comments posted to that story.  One of the comments blasted the fire police in that area for keeping the road closed when it was obvious to that person that it was safe to proceed.

 

Another person jumped to the defense of the fire police and, in addition, posted our www.Respondersafety.com link and suggested that the person who was so angry take a look at our site.  He suggested that a review of our site would provide plenty of reasons to understand.  It is nice to know that our efforts have made such an impact upon at least one person; and where there's one there are more. 

 

Someone else who commented on the truck fire noted that it might have been better if an electronic signboard had been posted to either divert traffic or warn traffic earlier.  Another person spoke of the need to create a radio-based warning system.  There are people who are out there thinking.  We must keep up out efforts and continue to educate both the emergency services. In addition, we must also begin to educate the general driving public.  Efforts to that end are due to begin next year. 

 

There are also those out there in America who are with us in our efforts to make the highways of our nation safer for emergency responders.  Our efforts have now moved to the halls of our Congress.  The Emergency Responders Highway Safety Act of 2009 H.R. 4104 was introduced by Congressman Brad Ellsworth (IN-8).

 

Congressman Ellsworth is a former Sheriff who reached out to the CVVFA Emergency Responder Safety Institute; the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Traffic Incident Management Coalition among other groups about his concern for emergency responders who are working on the roadways helping others.

Congressman Ellsworth related a number of "near misses" that he encountered when working the road. He is acutely aware of the dangers responders face every time they respond to a highway incident.  The Legislation contains several key components:

 

·                     Promotion of responder safety training through a USDOT grant program

·                     Guidance of the overall responder safety grant program by a multi-disciplinary advisory group

·                     Requirement for a national "struck-by" incident reporting system

·                     Annual reporting to Congress on progress in improving responder safety

·                     Promotion of responder safety training through a USDOT grant program

·                     Guidance of the overall responder safety grant program by a multi-disciplinary advisory group

·                     Requirement for a national "struck-by" incident reporting system

·                     Annual reporting to Congress on progress in improving responder safety

 

Think about it gang.  We sure have come a long way since the first Highway Safety Summit.  We set out on a mission to commemorate the death of a friend and fellow firefighter.  Our work has been difficult at times, but we have persevered.

Let us not forget that we are entering the next decade of this the 21st Century.  It is time to push on to the next level.  We owe it to all of our fire, police, EMS, and towing industry personnel who are out there every day on the highways and byways of our great nation. Stay tuned for our next round. 

 

As we approach the coming holiday season, please accept our best wishes for a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah, and a Happy New Year.  Let us send up a prayer to the Lord to keep our people safe and well in the coming weeks and months of 2010. 

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