The Emergency Vehicle Defensive Driving Course incorporates EMS in Recent Pilot

August 8, 2013

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of occupational injuries and fatalities in the United States, especially in the first responder community. In 2011 in New York State alone, there were 501 accidents involving fire vehicles and 473 involving ambulances. The National Center for Security & Preparedness, in support of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES), is working to expand its driver training program for emergency vehicle operators from a diverse range of state and local agencies. SME instructors with fire and EMS backgrounds have joined the experienced team of law enforcement EVOC instructors to broadly represent the first responder community in the course.

This June the second pilot of the Emergency Vehicle Defensive Driving course was delivered at the SPTC and incorporated ambulances for the first time. EMS students practiced driving skill lanes in ambulances alongside other responders in their agency-assigned vehicles. These skill lanes took advantage of both the newly resurfaced runway and the recently completed Field Operations Building. EMS students also conducted backing exercises in and out of garage bays and at the simulated Emergency Department entrance at the Field Operations Building.

Students were given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills by responding to a call on the Highway Response Course. During this skill lane students rotated between the roles of driver, EMT, and patient to get a feel for how vehicle dynamics and handling affect the driver, passengers, and patients.

This fall the NCSP and SPTC will offer additional deliveries of the Emergency Vehicle Defensive Driving course and a pilot of the Emergency Vehicle Defensive Driving for EMS, geared specifically for ambulances. Both courses will continue to develop and take advantage of many of the unique training venues that the SPTC has to offer including intersections, a railroad crossing, and a simulated MVA site.

Interested agencies should contact the NCSP or SPTC for more information on scheduling and requirements.