|Details of my Close Call:||Early Sunday morning around 04:45 our Engine and Ambulance were dispatched to a MVA on the highway. The Engine arrived first to the scene where the driver was confronted by the DPS officer. He stated “The Patient is fine and walking around, do you mind backing your engine so I can pull this car off the road.” The back seat firefighter Jumped out. The Captain remained in the front right. The driver had rolled down his window and took off his headset to be in verbal communication with his backer. He kept the emergency lights on and rear spot lights. The backer had on his safety vest. The backer started hand signaling the driver to begin backing the engine. The driver was fixated on his backer for direction. The backer backed the engine along the opposing side where branches were hanging. The backer got swiped by one of the branches and lost attention to what was behind him. The backer continued signaling to keep coming back when the driver felt a bump. Come to find out he had hit an unmanned DPS vehicle on his rear captain side that was parked there after the engine began backing.|
|Lessons Learned||When driving the engine, ensure your backer is far enough behind the engine, if he isn’t, stop and tell him to back up. Ensure your backer has all his proper PPE. If your backer gets caught by branches, etc; stop and let him reset. Consider having your captain or an additional person backing the engine. Stop every once in a while to check your other mirror/backup camera. Keep an eye for things moving behind you, as things might appear that weren’t there before.
As the backer, ensure proper PPE (vest, radio, flashlight). Make sure to be back far enough behind the engine to see clearly. If you get tripped up or lose sight of the driver/direction, tell the driver to stop, then reassess with the driver. Keep an eye for things moving behind you, as things might appear that weren’t there before.