Purpose and Aims: We propose to research the effectiveness of proactive risk management-based training, administrative, and technological interventions to improve vehicle operation and reduce emergency services vehicle crashes (ESVCs) in career, combination, and predominantly volunteer fire departments through completion of the following aims: 1) Evaluate risks and design and implement interventions to reduce ESVCs; 2) Measure program effectiveness and economic return; and 3) Develop and disseminate model guidance materials for vehicle-related program interventions.
Relevance: ESVCs and being struck by vehicles are the second leading cause of U.S. firefighter fatalities, averaging approximately 20 each year. An average of approximately 16,000 firefighter ESVCs and over 1,100 associated injuries are reported annually.
Methods: A proactive risk management framework will be employed to tailor vehicle-related program interventions and test their effectiveness in three fire departments: Chicago (IL), Prince William County (VA) and Stayton (OR). Interventions will incorporate appropriate use of information from fire apparatus vehicle data recorders (VDRs), and additional interventions will be considered, including but not limited to increasing training, revising protocols for emergency and non-emergency response, and increasing supervisor responsibility for ESVCs. The effectiveness of the interventions will be assessed using a combination of VDR data and ESVC frequency, process evaluation measures, and economic return on investment. A Fire Protection Research Foundation advisory panel will review the study interventions, assist in evaluation and dissemination of the study results, inform applicable NFPA standards, and guide development of web-based model templates for training, evaluation and vehicle operation-related standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Anticipated Outcomes: Proactive risk management-based interventions will result in improved driving and reduced ESVCs and related firefighter injuries and fatalities.