The second annual Traffic Incident Response Week began Monday in an effort to bring attention to the dangers emergency responders face.
“Every year, hundreds of emergency responders experience close calls, or are struck and either injured or killed while responding to these incidents,” a Fort Smith Police Department news release states. “In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported a 7.2 percent increase in roadway fatalities over 2014. In 2016, another 6 percent jump was reported.”
Responders, community leaders and preparedness organizations will use the week to prepare drivers and their local public safety professionals to take safe actions and prevent traffic related fatalities.
“The week occurs right before the numerous end-of-year travels that we make to relatives and friends,” the release notes. “Many of us will travel between communities or states. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition, you have supplies in case of an emergency, and you are prepared in case the worst happens. Know before you go and save a life.”
The response of a driver is just as important as the response of the person towing a vehicle, rescuing the trapped, healing the injured and investigating the incident, the release adds.