There are several kinds of incidents that first responders may be called out to on a regular basis, and one of the most common types is a roadside incident. From vehicle crashes to pedestrian incidents and many other possible concerns, roadside responses are frequent for first responders – and ensuring safety, both for yourself and others, is of paramount importance.
At LED Equipped, we’re here to offer high-quality emergency LED light bars, beacon lights, dash lights and numerous other options for varying first responder needs. We also provide sirens, speakers and other items that are ideal for safety in any response setting, including roadside incidents. Here are some of the chief safety themes that must be maintained during roadside responses, from robust lights and sirens to some other important concepts.
Proper Number of Units
Before we get to specifics like lights and sirens, it’s important to note that proper safety in a roadside response begins with having the right number of units present. Depending on the situation, more than one unit may be necessary – and that means not only multiple vehicles but also personnel to ensure that all sides are covered.
In many roadside situations, one vehicle will be dispatched primarily to block off access to the incident; another vehicle will serve as command, where personnel can direct activities from a safe vantage point. Other trucks may be needed for additional personnel or equipment – and again, it’s essential to ensure that the right number of vehicles and personnel are present at the scene.
Proper Emergency Light Presence and Usage
Another major safety element of a roadside response is having the right emergency lighting in place – and using it properly. LED Equipped offers high-quality emergency lights for various uses, from dash light bars to beacon lights that can be attached to vehicles or placed on posts or other surfaces. Depending on the situation, different lighting might be needed – and all should be used properly.
For instance, let’s say one vehicle is needed to block off traffic from the incident. In that case, a wide-angle LED light with flashing capabilities should be used – and it’s important to ensure that it can be seen from all angles. This same concept applies for other lighting applications at roadside responses; all should be chosen based on their visibility in the given situation – and all should be used in the proper manner.
Furthermore, emergency light safety is a concept that also tracks to periods of time outside actual emergencies. Operators of such vehicles need to ensure their lights have not worn down or lost any of their functioning components over time – which is why it’s important to regularly inspect emergency lights and replace them as needed.
Proper Siren Usage
Sirens are another important part of roadside safety – and they should be used appropriately for the situation at hand. In some cases, especially when a roadway needs to be cleared quickly or a hazardous situation needs to be avoided, sirens provide an effective method for quickly alerting nearby drivers.
Proper siren usage means using the right volume and pitch for the given situation – and ensuring that it’s used in a manner that will not cause any additional danger. Furthermore, when vehicles are stopped or parked, sirens should be turned off to avoid any unnecessary distraction or hazard.
As we’ve alluded to a couple times already, on-scene positioning is also very important for roadside responses. In many cases, the vehicle blocking off access to the incident will be placed in a spot where it can be seen from all angles – and that may mean having to move it from its original position if necessary.
It’s also essential to consider positioning of personnel; they should not place themselves in any area where they could be in danger – and they should remain aware of any potential hazards that could arise on the scene. For instance, if a driver is speeding away from an incident, personnel should not attempt to follow them; instead, they should stay in position until it’s safe to proceed further.
This is one area where proper lighting often plays a major role; in some cases, it can help to designate a perimeter around the scene that personnel should not cross.
Flares, Cones or Other Markers
In many cases, a roadside response will also require the use of flares, cones or other markers. This helps to designate both a safe area – and an area that should not be entered, such as when traffic needs to be diverted around an incident.
It’s important to ensure these items are placed in an appropriate manner; this means they should be visible from all angles, and they should be placed far enough away from the incident so as not to create any additional danger.
You should also be thinking about how to remove them when the incident has concluded. This means thinking ahead and having a plan for quickly and safely removing all items that have been placed.
Managing Non-Emergency Personnel
In some roadside incidents, particularly those in crowded cities or heavily trafficked roads, you may encounter non-emergency personnel who are on the scene. This could involve bystanders or even other drivers – and it’s important to manage them correctly.
First, be sure to assess their level of involvement with the incident; if they don’t need to be there, politely ask them to move away from the scene. Secondly, if they appear to be in need of assistance, direct them towards the appropriate resources. Depending on the situation, this could involve emergency medical services or other helpful personnel.
Finally, be sure to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity; never approach anyone you don’t feel comfortable with, and always stay aware of your surroundings at all times.
Possible Lane Closures
Depending on the severity of the incident and its location, you may need to consider closing down lanes or roads. In these cases, it’s important to be aware of local regulations and traffic laws – as well as any potential hazards that could arise from closing a lane.
For example, if you’re dealing with an incident on a bridge or another narrow passageway, be sure to consider the safety of other drivers. You may need to consider closing both directions of traffic, or even partially blocking off one lane in order to ensure that passing vehicles can maintain a safe speed.
Once again, quality emergency lights are often a huge resource in these cases; they help to make your position and intentions clear, and can be used to indicate which lanes are safe for traffic.
Traffic Directional Arrows
Another way to help manage traffic flow around an incident is with the use of directional arrows. These can be used to indicate which direction passing vehicles should take, and they can help to prevent any further accidents or incidents from arising.
In some cases, you may need to consider setting up multiple arrows in order to ensure that all drivers are aware of the proper route to take. Again, emergency lighting can be a huge asset in these cases; they make the arrows easily visible and help to reduce any confusion among drivers.
Roadside incidents require special care and attention; first responders must stay aware of their surroundings at all times, and should consider using flares, cones or other markers to designate safe and unsafe areas. It’s also important to manage any non-emergency personnel, and consider the possibility of lane closures or directional arrows when necessary. By taking these steps, first responders can help ensure that a roadside incident is handled safely and efficiently.
For more here, or to learn about our extensive selection of emergency LED lights, sirens, speakers and other safety elements, speak to our team at LED Equipped at your convenience.