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Guide to Model Policies and Procedures for Emergency Vehicle Safety

Each year, firefighters and civilians die when vehicles operated by firefighters are involved in crashes while responding to or returning from emergencies. Many of these tragedies could be prevented through the proper implementation and application of standard operating procedures.

Standard operating procedures provide firefighters with information about the hazards of emergency response as well as the parameters that will be used to assure safety during the response. The resources below will assist fire departments as they research and develop their own written policies and procedures for emergency vehicle safety.

These documents were developed by the IAFC working in cooperation with the United States Fire Administration. Materials prepared by the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program, the USFA and others are also included.

Policies and Procedures Resources

IAFC Policies & Procedures for Emergency Vehicle Safety (pdf)
This document provides guidance for developing the basic policies and procedures required to support the safe and effective operation of all fire and emergency vehicles, including fire apparatus, rescue vehicles, ambulances, command and support units, privately owned vehicles (POVs), and any other vehicles operated by fire department members in the performance of their duties.

Instructions for customizing the model policy document (pdf)
The instruction document provides basic guidance on customizing the model policies and procedures for emergency vehicle safety.

Policies for Emergency Response: Model for customization (MS Word file)
The model policy document is a customizable Miscrosoft Word file in which fire departments can insert their specific information to create a basic emergency vehicle safety policies & procedures document for their departments.

Awareness Materials:

Reference Materials

USFA Reports

NIOSH Reports

  • NIOSH conducts independent investigations of firefighter line of duty deaths. Their Web site provides "search by subject (i.e. motor vehicles)" access to NIOSH investigation reports and other fire fighter safety resources.
    Go to the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation Web site.