ResponderSafety.Com Releases New Backing Up Safety Video in Response to Recent Spate of Backing Up Deaths

Since March of 2016, four fire service personnel have been killed by emergency response vehicles that were backing up. Despite continuing efforts to educate all emergency responders about how to avoid backing up and back up safely when necessary, clearly enough is not being done to prevent these deaths. has stepped up to produce a new, concise, clear, and engaging video that teaches recommended practices for backing up emergency vehicles. The video was developed in cooperation with lead consultant Mike Wilbur, a nationally-recognized expert in emergency vehicle operations, CEO of Emergency Vehicle Response, and a retired 31-year veteran of the FDNY. The video uses fire apparatus as the example, but the safety practices taught are applicable to all emergency response vehicles. The video is freely available on Accompanying the video is a sample Best Practice document that can be used as a resource to develop or revise your department's backing up SOP.

The video defines the important points in a backing up SOP, demonstrates a recommended backing up procedure using a spotter, and reinforces the importance of training on and enforcing the backing up SOP. "Firefighters today already face so many dangers. Being called to respond to all size and scope emergencies continues to place our firefighters in environments that can cost them their lives," said U.S. Fire Administrator Keith Bryant. "There is no excuse for needlessly increasing the dangers to firefighters by not using recognized safety procedures while backing up. Death and injuries from our own vehicles is tragic and unacceptable. I call on all firefighters and fire department leaders to implement these safety procedures and use them, immediately."

All departments can access the video and play it for their personnel by going to After the video, departments should follow up by reviewing and revising their current backing up SOP, setting up training on the SOP for all personnel (as new or refresher), examining their current culture for enforcement gaps to fill, and investigating new backing up technologies for possible implementation in department vehicles. The Best Practice document can be used as a resource for your SOP development. Questions about the video and Best Practice document can be directed to the contact us page on and The Responder Safety Learning Network are a project of the Emergency Responder Safety Institute, a Committee of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association. The Emergency Responder Safety Institute (ERSI) serves as an advisory group of public safety leaders and transportation experts committed to reducing deaths and injuries to America's emergency responders ERSI is dedicated to the safety of these men and women by engaging in and promoting activities that include developing educational material to support responder safety training; promoting the National Unified Goal (NUG) for Traffic Incident Management (TIM) including responder safety; safe, quick clearance and interoperable communications; encouraging the development of TIM Teams, promoting collaboration, communication and cooperation among the nation's emergency responders and keeping emergency responders up to date on national rules, regulations and trends related to safe roadway incident operations.

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