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LODD - Struck-bys Current

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Current as of today, we have lost 23 responders by struck-bys on the roadway. 

If you know of someone being struck, with damage and/or injuries we are tracking that as well as deaths. Please send me the information to tiptow04@yahoo.com. 

 

Thanks,

 

Angela

2020_06_24_Responder Struck-by Fatalities (1)_Page_1.png

2020_06_24_Responder Struck-by Fatalities (1)_Page_2.png

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Thanks Angela for posting these ResponderSafety numbers, although I don't know nor can I confirm that the Chula Vista, CA. incident turned into a fatality? I'd like to comment on the "present tense" of on-highway response after yesterday's loss of California, FSP operator, Mark Alarcon, killed in the Bay Area. I've attempted to pick my words carefully not to upset delicate personalities or the sensitive feelings of some respondents to the topic of tow operator fatality, but after four shoulder related fatalities in twenty-six days, I'm searching for answers. Especially true for FSP operators serving the highway, they're in greatest danger based on the number of hours they spend on-patrol and the total time they stop to serve a vehicle on the highway's shoulder. There seems to be a rash of pedestrian strikes where towers are near the white-line, but it's their jobs AND vehicle code law that oftentimes put them in harm's way.

 

For safety and survival, it's my personal belief that towers shouldn't being conducting service-type repairs to disabled vehicles or those wrecked on the highway. An increase in operator exposure is a sure detriment to the well-being of all tow operators that serve the highway. Towers shouldn't be knowingly placed, or place themselves, in an environment of potential death and carnage so to provide a complimentary service to the motoring public. That mentality is insane.

 

California's SDMO became law in 2007 and it still doesn't work. It's my opinion that SDMO laws don't work for first responders and especially tow trucks, so WHY ... WHY, in-general, are service calls, out-of gas and flat-tires requests not load and go scenarios to eliminate much of that deadly exposure?

 

The highway's shoulder is no place to try and service a vehicle at the extreme risk of FSP operators and towers being struck and killed. In the 20-years of FSP, DOT, Ranger and like-type programs, as many as 18-service patrol operators were killed in the last twenty-years. And, since 1954, I've archived as many as 345-tow operators killed working the highways in the U.S., Canada and internationally. But, as you know, there are no accurate numbers; my list included.  Shouldn't governments take a solid look as past (fatality) lessons learned and apply them to smarter, safer ways instead of continuing to be a major factor in LODD deaths on the highway? It's the same thing over and over ...  I know ... I'm preaching to the choir and you know this to be true from your involvement with the Wall of the Fallen.

 

So, from the numbers ResponderSafety is collecting, may I ask, what are the powers to be doing to make it safer for tow operators serving the highways? The data posted delivers raw and minimal information only. There's no mention to suggests a greater percentage of towers are struck and killed working the white-line side. Perhaps there should be LODD graph/notations as to, white-line, non-traffic-side, standing in-traffic lanes and time on-scene before the strike. These bits of data help to send a greater message to towers so to reevaluate their on-highway safety.  

 

I have to ask; will there be changes in on-scene protocol for towers, or, will on-highway response remain status quo? I believe that all on-highway responses should be load-only scenarios in the same manner Tow First addressed flat-tires. I believe all on-highway requests should be served by flatbed carriers unless there are specific requests requiring a wrecker for a recovery. Responding flatbed carriers is proper to eliminate a need to change tires, throw dollies, remove drive shafts, or transport any vehicle that can't move under it's own power, etc. I believe that loading the car, getting it off the highway and taking it somewhere safe is far safer than being that sitting duck parked on the shoulder.

 

Thanks Angela for what you do. I'd personally like to see something positive in the best interests of tow operator survival, but, past industry history has shown nothing progressive has been done toward the continuing safety for tow operators. I know you don't have the answers, but I know that you're in a position to further the deadly reality highway response presents. OK ... I'm off my box now.        R.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Randall C. Resch

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Well said Randy and, as always, spot on with your observations and questions. I do not have any answers either, all I know is like you, I too am tired of the broken system we have for roadside responder safety that prioritizes profits over safety in many instances. As for the FSP crew, my hat is off to those operators as they are in harms way much more often than most other roadside responders yet they do their level best to be safe and provide a service to the public.

 

I will comment that I rarely observe a FSP unit as I travel across the US that is not using proper PPE, signal devices and practicing situational awareness. If only we could get our fellow towers to take their commitment to safety to the same level we may start a trend of reducing these fatilities and injuries.

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Ok, guys, first let me say that this data is not collected by REspondersafety.com although the parties that be (which are three, me and two others that are involved with Responder safety,  one being the head of training at RS that collect this data voluntarily). We do this because there is not a government entity that collects it, soon that will be changing. 

 

As to your other comments from both you and Brian, your guess is as good as mine as to what happens in the future for towing, it is not responder safety's job (which is funded for fire safety but incorporates towers) to depict what happens with towers. They do their very best to include towers in everything they do. This data is collected for just that because there is NOT another source out there. It is up to us as towers to say what happens with us and for us.  And it has nothing to do with my involvement with the Wall of the fallen, it has to do with my involvement for almost 24 years in this business and as an instructor for 13. I am grateful for  the information and until someone starts tracking accurately roadside struck by's, I will welcome this info as we collect it. 

 

This information is meant to be just that, informational collected by volunteers and until the other "powers that be" start collecting meaning the federal government, everyone should be thankful at least we have these numbers, and just so everyone knows, FHWA uses OUR numbers for their notifications.

I know we are all trying to help, but don't shoot the messenger for good information. We only post what info we obtain, I will say it most always involves a crash or arrest, but where they are standing or position of vehicle is only what we can get from news media most of the time. Again, we are volunteers gathering this info. 

Good night!

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Thanks for comments back Angela. I'm happy to see you step into this conversation for tower safety. Your comments are well accepted and continues a dialog. I sense a certain frustration in the tone herein because we're systematically struggling with the same battle.Since 2011, sources like the CDC, NIOSH, OSHA,  the Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnessess, and the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries have collected and displayed tower-down statistics and investigation. These and other entities have tracked tow operator injuries and fatalities that are specific in detail. From my understanding, tow operator strikes were entered as, "Pedestrian Accident", not specific to tow operators until recently. To that, I'm sure with the announcement of the HAAS Alert System entering the market, they have data (from somewhere) to help describe their product. If ResponderSafety isn't the accurate source, does anyone know of a clearing house of information that is an accurate source? Angela's mentioned that ResponderSafety is, "funded for fire safety". Can anyone, if you know, please identify where those funds come from and are they available to the towing and recovery industry. Since I'm not part of and tow association, TRAA or NHTSA, does anyone know the source of the grant? What is the grant's title, source and availability for review? Brian, Angela, Joanne B, Cynthia M, Jeff R? So, I'll ask an open ended question for anyone in the know ... is anything progressively and proactively happening with the data that collected?      R.


Randall C. Resch

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Responder safety is accurate data and an accurate source.  This subject is to in-depth for me type all this. Sorry, but the numbers are accurate and because the three of us are all liaison's for Responder Safety, it gets posted there. Again, FHWA uses our numbers for now. NHTSA is working on a tracking data base but haven't confirmed all details as of yet. 

We, being the ones involved in this, are quite aware that for towers, data is not tracked accurately, it is the downside to being public/private sector responder. Trust me when I say I am in contact with government entities who are aware of this issue and we are working very hard to come up with a solution.  

As to the funding, there are tons of grants out there, you just have to search for them. Call resources, government entities, FHWA, NHTSA etc... and your local government - Governor's Highway Safety just some suggestions.

 

Responder Safety is a wealth of knowledge and free training for all responders and well respected in the responder community. I have been involved with them since 2007.  However, there funding comes from FIRE Grants and other sources. 

Data does mean funding that is why we are doing, and last I was told from FHWA that there would be some funding available for us collecting this data to be able to expand our collection. I will have to double check to make sure that is still happening. 

 

HAAS alert is just another tool we can use to assist in data collection, as well as protection if used correctly by motoring public (meaning the alerts and moving over) 

My tone is because I am sick, and feel challenged to defend a process that is the only one out there collecting and working right now. We all full time jobs doing this so it should be welcomed and shared to create more awareness to the motoring public. 

 

Randall I love a good conversation, but nothing is going to be solved on here. I posted this information to make people aware of the numbers, that is it. Are there flaws in the systems we are apart of ABSOLUTELY!, do we get the short  end of the deal, ABSOLUTELY,  but instead of just asking questions, get involved, give solutions, have those hard conversation like I have to do to get us (towers) involved in every avenue. My passion doesn't change and I hate being told I Can't  or NO, so I will keep fighting the fight to protect  towers and create more spots at the table where towers are included.

 

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Angela ... As noted on the Responder Struck-By list posted above, the details regarding the operator strike dated 05-16-2020 are incorrect. The Chula Vista operator is not deceased and was not working on a disabled vehicle. The operator was seriously injured, yet is currently in re-hab facing a life-challenging recovery. Would you please forward this message to the author of the report noting this strike didn't result in a LODD. Thank You.

 

 


Randall C. Resch

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just to note, I suppose I should have been making a list all along. Please understand that I am in the danger zone on a regular basis, I really do not need this on my mind as I fear it could have a negative effect. I know each and every tower down takes a piece of me.

 

In regards to every list I have seen, there has been not just inconsistency but inaccurate information which could have been reached more thoroughly on various social media venues. It is my belief the lists are being complied from individuals who have sent the information in rather that verified groups. The accurate information is out there and I certainly do not claim to have each and every incident documented in the related topics here. Our sources are various but are not always followed up on. I do not know of any source that is, however we will do our best and to resource the information.

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