Public Educators & PIOs
Every day across America, distracted and uninformed drivers pose a major threat to the safety and wellbeing of first responders who risk their own lives on roads and highways to assist those involved in traffic incidents. The Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association Emergency Responder Safety Institute, creator of ResponderSafety.com, is working hard to tackle this community risk.
CVVFA recently sponsored a national survey of 1,000 drivers ages 25 years and older who drive with children. The survey was conducted by the National Safety Council (NSC) and funded by a FY19 FP&S grant to CVVFA, who released the results in honor of NSC's 2021 Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. In it, parents rank texts, phone calls and children in the backseat as the top three driving distractions. Nearly two-thirds of respondents admitted to regularly or occasionally programming a navigation system while driving alone; that risky behavior dropped 20% when children were present in the car. Similarly, more than half of parents surveyed admitted to regularly or occasionally talking on the phone while driving, which dropped 13% when children were along for the ride. While backseat passengers certainly demand extra attention, the survey encouragingly found parents are less likely to be distracted by technology when driving with their children in the car.
CVVFA has created tools for fire department public educators and PIOs to raise awareness of how distracted and impaired driving threatens not only individuals and families, but also the well-being of first responders who put themselves at risk to help during roadside emergencies.
Safe Driving Public Education Awareness Campaigns
- Distracted Driving
- Move Over Slow Down
EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving) is a campaign of the Casey Feldman Foundation. Casey was 21 when she was killed by a distracted driver in Ocean City, NJ. She was struck while walking in a crosswalk on a beautiful summer day. The distracted driver said he never saw her. Following Casey’s death her parents, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson, created EndDD.org and have worked to keep all of us safer on the roads from distracted drivers. Joel has personally given more than 900 presentations to about 200,000 students and adults. Joel’s talks range from schools to all types of businesses. EndDD.org provides speakers presentations, facts, and resources to end distracted driving.
Social Media Graphics
- Download CVVFA supports Distraction-Free Driving
- Download Parents Should Always Drive as if Their Kids Are in the Car
Use these public service announcements for public education presentations and share them with local media outlets:
- In Our Boots PSA: Mike Cox
- In Our Boots PSA: Steve Senn
- In Our Boots PSA: Generic 2021 Stats
- Slow Down Move Over
- It's No Picnic Out Here
- Move It
Social Media PSAs
15-second PSAs for sharing on social media or anywhere a quick reminder is valuable:
Visitors Center Loop Video
Video of safe driving PSAs designed to show on a loop at highway visitors centers, service areas, and rest areas, as well as at public venues or events like common areas in a municipal center or a table at community events. This video may also be useful for public education presentations.
Case Story Videos
Citizens’ Hose Company Struck By Video Incident Case Study: Go inside the December 17, 2020 struck by incident that shook Citizens’ Hose Company (Smyrna, DE) to its core and hear from the firefighters involved what happened, how traffic control made the difference, and how the department has responded moving forward.
Sarah’s Story: The Monroe County Intermediate School District (Michigan) in collaboration with the 1st District Court of Monroe, MI produced Sarah’s Story, a public service video describing the experience of a struck by incident from the perspective of a teen driver who hit an emergency responder. Participation in the video was part of the teen driver’s sentence for charges arising from the incident. The Cumberland Valley Volunteer Fireman’s Association and the Emergency Responder Safety Institute supported the distribution of this piece, which was previously available only on DVD. We have now made it available on the Internet.
Sarah’s Story was produced in 2005 and its content reflects Michigan traffic laws at that time. However, ERSI believes that the approach of Sarah’s Story can be successfully applied to current issues like distracted driving and move over slow down to create an effective public education tool. A story told by a teen driver about the consequences of their actions should resonate with other teens. PIOs and public educators are encouraged to explore this type of programming in their local communities to present safe driving messaging in a way that hits home.
Train the Trainer: How to Give Effective Distracted Driving Presentations Webinar
This “How to Give Effective Distracted Driving Presentations” webinar from ResponderSafety.com and EndDD.org, delivered by Joel Feldman, covers strategies for addressing the distracted driving problem, how to talk to students about the risks of distracted driving, and how to craft distracted driving public education programs to reach the wider community. The webinar pays particular attention to the high school level because young adult and teen drivers are at increased risk.
“Don’t Be A ‘D’ Driver” Handout
This “Don’t Be a ‘D’ Driver” public education handout from the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association and the Emergency Responder Safety Institute explains how to prevent distracted driving and what to do when approaching an emergency scene on the roadway to protect responder and motorist lives.
Safe Driving Pledge
Take the Pledge to Drive Safely and Protect Emergency Responders! Avoid emergency scenes, move over and slow down, leave your phone alone, stay alert, follow traffic control instructions, and refrain from “D” driving. Download the pledge, sign it, and post in your home or on social media. #ISaveResponderLives
Media Advisories and Public Service Announcement Templates
These customizable templates will help you get the word out about important topics that impact the safety of first responders operating at roadway incident scenes. Each uses yellow highlighted areas to show where customization can be done. Use these templates as standalone, or connect their release to local incidents. When possible, insert local statistics or reference a local incident relevant to the topic.
- Move Over Slow Down
- Minor Accidents and Move It / Fender Bender Laws
- What To Do When Approaching An Emergency Scene on the Roadway
Sample Media Contact Emails
Media stories on responder safety topics can be generated starting with a simple email. Download a template to help you craft these brief, quick contacts that generate interest.
- Sample media contact email for PSA
- Sample media contact email for incident-related best practices for motorists
This push card, sponsored by ResponderSafety.com, contains important safety messages for the public about what actions to take when approaching and passing an emergency scene on the roadway. The push card is appropriate for distribution at rest areas, service plazas, community events, community presentations, driver education schools, motor vehicle bureaus, and other driver information distribution opportunities. Download a PDF of the push card here. Printed copies of the push card are also available as our funding permits. Please use this link and list the following: Name, Address and Phone Number of Your agency as well as a contact person. Please advise how and where you intend to use the cards and the number requested.
This infographic displays some of the highest-impact facts and statistics about roadway incident safety. Unfortunately, we don't have all the statistics we would like, but many entities continue to work on sharpening the picture of the risks first responders and the public face at emergency scenes on the roadway.
Backgrounders to Brief Department Leadership
These brief backgrounders are available for you to share with leadership:
- About the dangers posed by distracted and uniformed drivers
- About ResponderSafety.com (explains the origins of the responder safety effort and the national role of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association and its Emergency Responder Safety Institute)
Download a Press Package to customize that includes the following written resources:
- Backgrounders for leadership
- Push Card
- Sample Media Advisories
- Sample Media Contact Emails
- Press Release about this page of resources
Free Training for Public Educators and PIOs
The Responder Safety Learning Network (RSLN) offers a short online training module specifically for public educators and PIOs who want to learn more about how to communicate roadway response safety messages. Take the module, "Traffic Incident Management: Strategies for Public Outreach" here.
Additional Public Education Resources
This page was created as a one-stop resource for public educators and PIOs, but ResponderSafety.com has additional tools that will help you write press releases and media advisories, prep to speak to the public about roadway response safety, educate the public, and connect the media to more information on safety topics when an incident occurs. Here are quick links:
- NTMIC "Anatomy of a Traffic Incident" — Login to RSLN.org required
- "Roadside Safety is No Accident" Safety Information Poster
- National Unified Goal for Traffic Incident Management: Detailed Explanation
- NTIMC "Benefits of Traffic Incident Management" — Login to RSLN.org required
- Protecting Emergency Responders on the Highway: A Ten Year Review by the Emergency Responder Safety Institute
All the Public Education Resources on ResponderSafety.com are available under the Public Education Resources category.
The resources above were selected for this page, but there are dozens more resources available, including ones to help your department operate more safely on the roadway. See the entire list here.
Near Miss and Struck By Incidents
Local incidents and statistics will help bolster your public education message and media coverage of responder safety topics. ResponderSafety.com has several resources to help you find local incidents to tie into.
- News contains articles about roadway incidents involving first responders
- LODD News contains articles about first responder fatalities that occurred during response to roadway incidents
- Struck By Incidents contains articles covering incidents where first responders were struck while operating at a roadway incident
- Near Miss Databases
- Map of U.S. Struck By LODDs for all disciplines
- Yearly Fatality Reports of struck-by line-of-duty deaths
If you or your department experiences a struck by incident where emergency personnel or emergency vehicles are struck, please report it to the ResponderSafety.com Struck By Reporting Database. Your report can be anonymous.
Case Studies: NIOSH's Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation Program
NIOSH's Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation Program conducts independent investigations of selected incidents of firefighter line-of-duty deaths, writes reports detailing the contributing factors, and recommends ways to prevent deaths and injuries. The program does not seek to determine fault or place blame on fire departments or individual fire fighters, but to learn from these tragic events and prevent future similar events. Completed reports are available online. Reports categorized as "Struck By" are full of contributing factors and recommendations related to roadway safety practices. View Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation Reports categorized as "trauma-related" and "motor vehicle struck-by."
If you have questions or are looking for something you can't find, please contact us and we will do our best to assist you.