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6. Additional Observations of Specific Practices

In addition to the team findings that led to the recommendations, the team observed many unique, interesting, or otherwise noteworthy practices and technologies worth describing to U.S. practitioners. The team does not recommend any of these practices for implementation in the United States, but believes there is value in sharing the information with U.S. practitioners.

6.1. Response Vehicles

Several observations relate to the design, use, or other aspects of response vehicles described below.

Swedish Service Patrol Truck

In Stockholm, the Swedish hosts displayed one of the roadside service and incident response vehicles used on the ring road around Stockholm. Figure 12 illustrates this vehicle. These vehicles have several features that enhance incident response:

Figure 12: Swedish road service patrol vehicle
Photo: Swedish Service Patrol Truck with equipment stowed  Photo: Swedish Service Patrol Truck attenuator

Photo: Swedish Service Patrol Truck crane  Photo: Swedish Service Patrol Truck camera

Auto Club Response Vehicles

As indicated previously in the report, auto club membership is at a much higher level in Europe than in the United States. One benefit this provides to incident response is that some auto club responders try to repair vehicles at the incident location rather than tow the vehicle to a repair facility. The auto clubs that met with the team indicated they are able to repair 80 to 90 percent of the vehicles they are dispatched to (see section on Private-Sector Role). One reason they are able to repair such a high percentage is that the response vehicles carry computer diagnostic tools that help them identify the cause of a vehicle breakdown and repair the vehicle onsite without requiring a tow. In England, the agreement with the auto clubs is that a vehicle should be removed if it is quicker to remove the vehicle than it is to repair it.

Motorcycle Response Vehicles

Sweden has a prototype design for a towing trailer for passenger cars that can be pulled by a motorcycle. The trailer can be folded so that it is no wider than the motorcycle when traveling to the incident scene.

6.2. Incident Responder Capabilities

Fire and EMS experts on the team observed several practices among the hosts that may be of interest to U.S. practitioners in the fire and EMS fields.

Fire Response Capabilities

The team observed that response vehicles in the Netherlands and Sweden carry Firexpress, a portable fire-suppression device. It contains about 25 gallons of water and produces a high-density fog that can extinguish closed-compartment fires such as those typically found in a vehicle trunk, passenger compartment, or engine compartment area. Chapter 8 lists a Web site for this product. The unit purports the following advantages:

Medical Response Capabilities

Noteworthy practices used by EMS and other medical personnel involved in traffic incident response in Europe include the following:

6.3. Traffic Safety and Operations

The host countries have several traffic safety and traffic operations practices that the team members considered noteworthy, but not all of them may be directly transferable to U.S. practice.

Traffic Safety Treatments

The team observed a strong commitment to many aspects of traffic safety in the countries visited. Examples include the following:

Traffic Operations and Management

Traffic operations practices the team observed that may be of interest to practitioners include the following:

6.4. Scene Management

Managing the scene at a long-duration incident can present many challenges. Two practices were observed in Germany that could be of benefit in the United States:

Figure 13: GRIP demonstration signs in the Netherlands
Photo: two examples of GRIP at the Dutch research and demonstration faclity

Figure 14: Powermoon lighting system
Photo: two lights with translucent diffusing covers

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Page last modified on November 7, 2014
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