Fire fighters from Titusville Fire and Emergency Services are joining fellow fire fighters and fire departments across our nation in the 2nd Annual Fire Fighter Safety Stand Down that begins June 21. A stand down is a method used by the military to correct an issue that has been identified as a problem throughout its ranks. This stand down is to raise the level of awareness toward fire fighter safety and call attention to the unacceptable number of line of duty deaths and injuries plaguing fire departments.
In 2005, nearly one-fourth of all line-of-duty deaths (106) among professional firefighters were the result of emergency vehicle accidents. The focus of this year's Stand Down is on emergency vehicle safety--in particular, on seat belt use and safe driving through intersections. Although the department will respond to emergency calls June 21-23, all other non-emergency activities will be suspended while Titusville fire fighters concentrate on driving safety initiatives and training. In addition, driving courses have been established in the north parking lot of Miracle City Mall to provide field training. All fire fighters are also anticipated to sign the National Seatbelt Pledge, promising to use seatbelts not only while on the job, but also during their personal travels.
Fire Chief Rick Talbert added, "There are many things that are hazardous or have the potential to bring harm to fire fighters in the course of their duties. Many of the hazards confronted can be outside of our control. What we can control, however, is our behavior and approach to our safety and those we work with as a team. Properly seated and belted-in fire fighters on our apparatus prior to responding, proper placement of apparatus on roadways, and proper gear and reflective protection are areas and things that are non-negotiable, period. Our goal is for our fire fighters to arrive alive and use all of their skills and experience to handle the hazards they are confronted with and bring emergency incidents to a successful conclusion. It is our goal to return them safely to their families at the conclusion of their shifts."
Our citizens can also help maintain the lives of our fire fighters by adhering to roadway laws regarding emergency vehicles. Pull as far to the right as possible when emergency vehicles are responding, take extra precautions when entering intersections, and be alert alongside roadways--move to the other lane away from emergency personnel and vehicles working roadside accidents.
By following all of these safety measures--EVERYONE GOES HOME at the end of the shift.