Managing traffic at an incident
Many of the incidents that the CFS attends, there is a need to work on or near the roadways, hence the need for control measures in place to ensure a safe workplace for firefighters and other emergency service personnel, as well allowing traffic flow to continue, where possible.
The main piece of equipment the firefighter will use is the reflective vest, worn on top of the Personal Protective Clothing already on, to make them as visible as possible while at the incident. To assist members further with controlling traffic, they use a number of pieces of equipment, well known to all road users. There are the Traffic Cones, or often called 'Witches Hats' because of their appearance, and the Stop / Slow Bats.
In conjunction with some signage, these items will be used to set up an area which will maintain a vehicle free safety zone to allow emergency service personnel to carry out their duties, and where possible, allow a passage of vehicles, sometimes one direction at a time, or totally close a road and redirect traffic along an alternate route.
It is to be remembered the speed past red and blue flashing lights is no greater than 25 km/h - whether on an emergency vehicle, or lights independant of a vehicle (eg E-flares). This lower speed limit enables a safer working environment for emergency service personnel working on roadways.
Photographs on this page taken by Ashley Hosking, CFS Promotions Unit