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Volunteer fire fighter killed while walking across an Interstate highway responding to a motor vehicle incident - Texas.

Guglielmo-C; Frederick-L
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE F2003-13, 2004 Apr; :1-10
On March 18, 2003, a 20-year old male volunteer fire fighter (the victim) was killed when he walked in front of a tractor trailer truck on an interstate highway at about 3 a.m. The victim had responded to a minor motor-vehicle incident located on the shoulder of the outer eastbound lanes. He drove his privately owned vehicle (POV) from his home, passed the fire station and traveled westbound on the highway. As he neared the incident scene from across the highway, he parked on the inside westbound shoulder and median directly behind a POV of the first fire fighter on scene. He exited his vehicle, walked across the grass median and eastbound shoulder into the passing lane where he was struck by a tractor-trailer truck. He landed on the grass median and was pronounced dead at the scene. NIOSH Investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1) develop, implement, and enforce standard operating procedures/guidelines (SOPs/SOGs) regarding emergency operations for roadway incidents, including procedures for parking on the same side of the roadway as the incident; 2) ensure that personnel receive training in the proper procedures and the hazards associated with emergency operations for highway incidents; 3) ensure that fire fighters establish a protected work area on roadways before safely turning their attention to the emergency; 4) establish pre-incident plans regarding traffic control for emergency service incidents and pre-incident agreements with law enforcement and other agencies such as highway departments; 5) ensure fire fighters wear suitable high-visibility apparel such as a yellow-green or orange reflecting flagger vest when operating at the emergency scene; 6) consider limiting or restricting the response of their members in privately owned vehicles (POVs) to interstate highway incidents.
Region-6; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Fire-fighters; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Rescue-measures; Rescue-workers; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-programs; Traumatic-injuries; Emergency-responders
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division