Safe Volunteer Firefighter POV Response
Category: Fire & Rescue
Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol.
Today’s Tip is for my friends in the fire service and deals with responding safely in your privately-owned vehicle (POV). The fire service is unique in public safety because of how much volunteers are used to help protect the community.
Safely arriving at the scene of an emergency is critical to fulfilling your mission of protecting the community.
Maybe you are one of these volunteers. If so, you probably drive your personal vehicle to the station or to the scene. There are some unique challenges and risks to consider.
Responding to an emergency in your POV is different than in a marked vehicle or fire apparatus. Your personal vehicle doesn’t look official. And the emergency lights on your POV may be different. This may confuse motorists.
Here are some things to keep in mind.
Know the rules. Know the laws and policies that apply when you are using your POV for emergency response. Know what light colors are allowed. Know the minimum visibility requirements.
Understand your insurance. Responding in your POV may increase your personal financial risk. Some car insurance policies may not cover you if you are in a crash during an emergency response. You need to know for sure.
Maintain your vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is always ready for the job. If you are involved in an accident in your POV during an emergency response, you and your vehicle will be under the microscope. Make sure your vehicle is well maintained with good tires, functioning brakes, and no mechanical problems.
Drive smart. When you approach someone from behind, they may not yield. Resist the temptation to pull up close behind a vehicle that is not yielding. It is not safe. And your actions behind the wheel directly reflects on you, your department, and the fire service.
As a firefighter, you do important work. Safely arriving at the scene of an emergency is critical to fulfilling your mission of protecting the community.
And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.