Safe Operation of Fire Tankers

(Photo courtesy NIOSH/ Alabama State Troopers)

In order to implement a program to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes involving fire department tankers, it is necessary  to review and understand the factors that have influenced such incidents in the past. When reviewing the various reports and case histories of tanker crashes that have occurred in the past 10 years or so, numerous common factors or trends begin to emerge. 

With this information in hand, fire department officers and training personnel are able to effectively develop standard operating procedures, policies, and training programs that address this issue. 

The purpose of this chapter, as well as the chapter that follows, is to highlight the factors that research has proved play a significant role in tanker crashes. The remainder of this document will then be focused on strategies for reducing andminimizing these incidents in the future. 

In their manual titled, Pumping Apparatus Driver/Operator Handbook, the In­ternational Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA)suggests that the causes of all fire apparatus crashes can be grouped into one of five categories:

  • Improper backing of the apparatus
  • Reckless driving by the public
  • Excessive speed by the fire apparatus driver
  • Lack of driving skill and experience by the fire apparatus driver
  • Poor apparatus design or maintenance

Read the Report:
Safe Operation of Fire Tankers

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