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Fire/EMS Safety Week 2009: Safety - Emergency Driving

April 6, 2009

Fairfax, Va., Apr. 6, 2009... The IAFC and the IAFF are asking you to Protect Yourself: Your Safety, Health and Survival Are Your Responsibility. We’re calling on all fire/EMS departments and all IAFF affiliates to participate in the 2009 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week scheduled for June 14-20.

The recommended focus of this year’s Safety Week will incorporate four key areas where standard operating procedures, policies and initiatives—along with the training and enforcement that support them—can limit fire and EMS personnel’s risk of injury or death:

  • Safety: Emergency Driving (Enough Is Enough—End Senseless Deaths)
  • Health: Fire Fighter Heart Disease and Cancer Education and Prevention
  • Survival: Structural Size-Up and Situational Awareness
  • Chiefs: Be the Leader in Safety


To support your planning, we’ll provide you with information about each of the 2009 key areas. Below is the first area for your consideration. Look for the second key area to be included in the May 1 On Scene.

First of Four Key Areas:
Safety: Emergency Driving
(Enough Is Enough—End Senseless Death)

During Safety Week, we encourage all fire/EMS personnel to demonstrate they are truly dedicated to protecting themselves and the lives and safety of others by adopting an individual safe-driving code.

Start by never driving above posted speeds any time you’re responding to or returning from an alarm or incident. Drive the fire apparatus or your personal vehicle with great respect for your coworkers and the community you serve, allowing for your safe arrival on the scene to provide assistance to others. Response times are important, but not at the expense of losing a life in the process.

It’s been proven time and time again that wearing a seatbelt save lives. Start by saving your own by wearing a seatbelt every time you ride in any type of vehicle! No exceptions! 

Driving through an intersection in front of oncoming traffic is one of the most dangerous things we do, putting all of the crew at high risk. You should always stop and ensure every other vehicle at the intersection sees your vehicle and allows you to drive through. Never assume they’ll stop for you. Look the other driver in the eye and make sure they are stopped to allow you to proceed. 

Materials for the first key area are available on www.iafc.org/safetyWeek. Check out the Resources > Vehicle Safety webpage to access the IAFC’s Guide to Model Policies and Procedures for Emergency Vehicle Safety, developed in cooperation with the USFA, and other vehicle safety resources. Keep watching the Safety Week website for more information on this year’s program and planning resources developed by the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section.

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