Last month I included a picture of traffic cones located on the tail shelf of our rescue truck. There are actually cones on the tail shelf of all of our trucks. Our department recently participated in a Traffic Incident Management System program sponsored by the Fire Service Training Bureau. The class was amazing! The instructors gave a great balance of law enforcement, fire, EMS, as well as tow truck and recovery operations. During the program they stressed the importance of providing visibility of those on scene and giving clear direction to the traffic that is in the area. My department is very good about setting up the signs and cones. We are also good about wearing the traffic vests. We did gain a greater appreciation of limiting the time we are on the scene.
After the program we began to look at things we could improve on. We discussed limiting the vehicles on scene. Don’t park on both sides of the road and create a funnel of confusion (death) for traffic. One of our members discussed a new type of electronic road flare. It will provide different lighting options and even more impressive, it will provide directional information. When set up correctly, it will provide a flash sequence to direct the motorists in the taper area. During daylight hours, they can be placed directly on the road by the cone. When it is dark, they can be placed under the cone to provide less direct light and illuminate the cone. We found in the dark the direct flash of the LED to be a bit intense and potentially distracting to the drivers.
Upon completion, the department should be able to…
• Discuss traffic incident management.
• Stress the importance of wearing the traffic vests.
• Demonstrate the proper setup of a traffic incident zone.
• Identify how long the department should stay on scene.
Scott Meinecke is a member of the Sheldon Volunteer Fire Department, Director of Safety for the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, and field staff for the Fire Service Training Bureau. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org