SAN ANDREAS FIRE DEPARTMENT
This page shall serve as the official Policy for Driving and Vehicle Operations within the San Andreas Fire Department:
Last Updated: 03/07/2023
By: Kidd B.
Emergency vehicle response is the basis for the success or failure of all other SAFD emergency operations. These expensive vehicles carry the emergency equipment in addition to personnel. Having sound emergency vehicle response guidelines in place helps assist the SAFD in providing sound direction to our driver-operators.
SAFD owns and operates a wide variety of emergency vehicles. Certain vehicles in the fleet require specialized training, beyond what is listed in this SOP. Such vehicles will only be operated by certified personnel who have gone through the appropriate training for those vehicles and have obtain the necessary certification for their operation. A list of vehicles and who may operate them is located in the bottom of Section 3 (vehicles).
SAFD places a great deal of responsibility on our emergency vehicle drivers. Not only must you provide prompt conveyance of the vehicles, equipment and personnel to provide service to those in need, but as importantly, must accomplish this task in the safest and most prudent manner possible. As an emergency vehicle driver in our organization, you have in your care, custody and control most of the major assets possessed by this organization (the vehicle, portable equipment, personnel).
Emergency vehicle drivers also have a higher standard of care to provide to the general motoring public and must make every attempt possible to provide due regard for the safety of others. Drivers must constantly monitor and reduce the amount of risk and exposure to potential losses during each and every response. Safe arrival at the destination remains the first priority of all vehicle drivers. In order to accomplish this enormous task, it’s important for emergency vehicles drivers to become familiar with, and abide by the following policies and procedures.
6.2- Emergency Vehicle Operator Requirements:
Firefighter within the San Andreas Fire Department in good standing
6.3- Safe Driving:
State and local laws may provide certain exemptions for authorized emergency vehicles from regular traffic laws when responding to emergencies. However, neither state or local laws nor these guidelines are intended to absolve an emergency vehicle driver of the responsibility of due regard for the safety of others on the road. The following sets expectations for SAFD personnel when operating vehicles in the performance of their duties:
6.3.1- General Guidelines:
The driver shall maintain a speed that is safe under the prevailing conditions
The driver shall Obey all traffic laws and traffic control devices when driving SAFD vehicles under ordinary travel conditions. Any driver observed breaking any traffic laws or driving any vehicle in an aggressive manner will be subject to disciplinary action including, suspension of driving privileges
6.3.2- Warning Devices:
6.3.3- Vehicle Control and Right-of-Way:
6.3.4- Intersection Practices:
Take extreme care when approaching any intersection as they are the locations responsible for a large percentage of major accidents involving emergency vehicles. Drivers are required to practice the organization’s intersection operating guidelines during all emergency responses
Do not rely on warning devices to clear traffic
Begin to slow down well before reaching the intersection and cover the brake pedal with the drivers’ foot. Continue to scan in four directions (left, right, front, back)
When approaching a traffic signal, be aware of “stale” green lights or yellow caution lights, begin to slow and prepare to stop as these will be turning red
Change the siren cadence not less than 200’ from the intersection or use air horn
Scan the intersection for possible passing options (pass on right, left, wait, etc.)
Avoid using the opposing lane of traffic if at all possible
Consider using the lane of least resistance that is consistent with your intended direction of travel
During emergency response, bring the vehicle to a complete stop for the following:
When the driver cannot account for visible traffic in the lanes of traffic in an intersection
When directed by a law enforcement officer
Negative right-of-way intersection
When other intersection hazards are present