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Firefighter Safety Is Never Secondary

Paul Combs

Firefighter Safety Is Never Secondary

Firefighter Safety – Each year, an average of 100 firefighters die and 100,000 fire fighters are injured in the line of duty from a variety of causes including, but not limited to, extreme physical exertion, underlying medical conditions, and motor vehicle crashes. The United States Fire Administration (USFA), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, cites motor vehicle crashes as the cause of death for between 20–25% of the annual line-of-duty fatalities. Motor vehicle crashes are the second highest cause of death for firefighters. The leading cause of death is stress and overexertion which accounts for approximately 50% of the fatalities. Other significant causes of death in the dataset include: caught/trapped (10%), fall (5%), collapse (3%) and other (7%) (United States Fire Administration, n.d.). Fire truck crashes, although rare in comparison to non-emergency vehicle crashes, tend to have grave consequences for firetruck occupants and for occupants in other vehicles involved in the crash. Despite revising national standards to improve firetruck safety and reduce firefighters’ risk of injury and fatality, the annual injury and fatality rate has remained essentially unchanged over the past decade. PMC

“Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for on-duty firefighters. Fire truck crashes, occurring at a rate of approximately 30,000 crashes per year, have potentially dire consequences for the vehicle occupants and for the community if the fire truck was traveling to provide emergency services.

PMC

 

PROTECH System by E-ONE

E-ONE fire trucks are tested until they exceed SAE, ECE and NFPA standards. In fact, the E-ONE cab structure withstood over five times the static roof load and over twice the frontal impact required by the NFPA and SAE, making it the strongest fire truck cab in the industry. Every E-ONE fire truck cab is designed with a structural roll cage to provide maximum protection and the highest levels of performance — structural extrusions and sub-frames, full flange wishbone frame rail, center uprights and crossbeam extrusions. Every E-ONE fire truck comes with horizontal and vertical supports to carry vertical loads, thicker, 3/16” aluminum-alloy exterior skin material and more. On-site testing capabilities include tilt and stability, pump testing, cab water-leak testing, aerial stability testing on both flat ground and a five degree slope, weight scales, waterway flow testing, bumper turret under truck nozzle spray testing, load bank testing, and grade ability testing.

Because avoiding an accident is the best way to protect your crew and community, the PROTECH System by E-ONE features the unique OnGuard® collision warning and mitigation system, G4® (electronic stability control), the CrewGuard™ occupant detection system, a 360-degree camera system and backup sensors. Combined with protection, or as we like to call it, ProTech-tion, E-ONE provides the safest technology package for your crew.

  • Airbags: Driver front & knee, passenger knee, rear head curtains
  • OnGuard™: Collision Mitigation System
  • G4: Electronic Stability Control
  • Crew Guard: Occupant Detection System

 

E-ONE’s ProTech™ occupant protection system integrates the latest prevention and protection technology into our industry-leading apparatus designs to offer an all-encompassing safety technology package unlike any other in the industry.

E-ONE Roll Cage Cab Design

Each E-ONE custom cab is designed and built with a structural roll cage cab design to provide maximum protection for firefighter safety. Structural extrusions including sub-frames, a full flange wishbone frame rail, center uprights, and crossbeam extrusions are engineered for optimum performance. Horizontal and vertical supports handle severe vertical loads which can occur in accidents. The perimeter skin material is made of 3/16” aluminum-alloy sheet for added strength.

Airbags 

Because accidents are sometimes unavoidable, E-ONE paired its industry-leading roll cage cab design, which exceeds NFPA and SAE re-quirements, with IMMI’s RollTek® and 4Front® technology to offer roll-over protection and frontal airbags for firefighter safety. Frontal protection locations include a steering wheel airbag, driver knee airbag and officer knee airbag – an industry first. When a roll-over or impact is detected, integrated seat belt pre-tensioners tighten, holding occupants firmly into place, and strategically placed airbags deploy to lesson the impact’s effects on the crew.

OnGuard

OnGuard, originally developed for the on-road trucking industry, was adapted in partnership with E-ONE and Meritor Wabco to meet the sensitive high-traffic situations often encountered by firefighters driving to and from calls. OnGuard detects developing rear end collisions and offers audible and visual warnings to the driver. When necessary, OnGuard automatically intervenes by de-throttling and aggressively applying the brakes to avoid or minimize the impact of an accident.

G4 Electronic Stability Control System

G4®, E-ONE’s exclusive electronic stability control system, ensures you make it to the scene quickly and safely, even when you’re behind the wheel of the heaviest of vehicles. G4 utilizes sensors on each wheel to constantly moni-tor driving conditions. When critical lateral acceleration is detected or if the tires begin to slip, the system intervenes to offer more stability during evasive maneuvers and more confidence behind the wheel.

CrewGuard 

CrewGuard™, E-ONE’s occupant detection system, offers audible and visual warnings when crew members are not safely buckled in.

“Data from the United States Fire Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that firefighters neglect to buckle their seat belts while traveling in a fire apparatus, thus putting themselves at a high risk for injuries if the truck crashes, especially in rollover crashes. Despite national regulations and departmental guidelines aiming to improve safety on fire apparatuses, belt use among firefighters remains dangerously low.”

PMC

Did you know that in 2006, the National Fire Service Seatbelt Pledge was created, after the tragic death of Firefighter Brian Hunton who died after falling from his fire truck on the way to a call? Dr. Burton Clark, a distinguished member of the fire service and training specialist at the National Fire Academy, was compelled to challenge firefighters to improve their personal safety by wearing their seatbelts. With website and administrative support from TrainingDivision.com and Firehouse.com, the National Fire Service Seatbelt Pledge was introduced to the American Fire Service.

In addition to the support of the National Fire Academy, fire service partners including: the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, the International Fire Chiefs Association (IAFC), National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have also joined the effort to eliminate firefighter injuries and line-of-duty deaths that can be prevented by seatbelt use.

Five years later, over 850 departments and 150,000 firefighters have signed the National Fire Service Seatbelt Pledge and committed to wearing their seatbelts. The reach of the Seatbelt Pledge has also spread beyond the borders of the United States. Firefighters in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and U.S. Military Bases around the world have recognized the importance of wearing their seatbelts and joined the effort to ensure Everyone Goes Home®.

Sign Up For The Seat Belt Pledge

 

“Motor vehicle crashes are the second-leading cause of firefighter fatalities in the United States and this effort aims to reduce the number of preventable fatalities,” said Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. “Just as you need to get to the scene of a call quickly, you need to get there safely; buckling your seatbelt is the easiest safety measure you can take.”

 

Starting in 2011, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), through its Everyone Goes Home® progam, will lead the nationwide efforts and provide additional resources and support for the program. Use of seat belts in department apparatus and personal vehicles is included in 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, a comprehensive list of steps established in 2004 to reduce the firefighter line-of-duty injuries and deaths. The program, relaunched as the International First Responder Seatbelt Pledge program, will make it even easier for first responders and departments to participate.

Fire Line Equipment is the Central Pennsylvania authorized dealer for E-ONE Sales, Service & Parts. E-ONE is a worldwide designer, manufacturer and marketer of fire rescue vehicles with more than 23,000 vehicles in operation around the world. Headquartered in Ocala, Florida, E-ONE is the industry leader in product innovations and new technologies. Located at 4652 Division Highway in East Earl Pennsylvania, Fire Line Equipment occupies an 11,000 sq/ft facility that houses our service, refurbishment and parts business. Along with our new truck sales, Fire Line Equipment also buys, sells & brokers the sale of used fire trucks.

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