California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Safety Vest Policy
Home Town Hero Killed at Traffic Accident Two vehicles collided and one of them then hit the officer, who was airlifted to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The officer was identified as Joseph Sanders, 29, who had been with the CHP for 14 months. He left behind a wife and children. CHP Officer Killed While Directing Cars On Hwy 60 Freeway Accident HACIENDA HEIGHTS 12-15-2008 A California Highway Patrol officer was fatally struck by a vehicle as he directed traffic at the scene of a previous accident on the rain-slick Pomona (60) Freeway in Hacienda Heights early Monday, authorities said. The fatal crash, reported at 4:20 a.m., happened west of Azusa Avenue,
National Unified Goal… ’Responder Safety’ Personnel Visibility One of the three objectives of the National Unified Goal (NUG) for Traffic Incident Management is “Responder Safety”.
US Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) 23 CFR (Code of Regulation) Part 634 • All workers within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway who are exposed either to traffic (vehicles using the highway for purposes of travel) or to construction equipment within the work area shall wear high-visibility safety apparel. 23 CFR Part 634.3
FHWA 23 CFR Part 634 (Nov 2008) As of November, 2008, a new Federal law known as 23 CFR Part 634 requires use of high-visibility apparel
Worker means people on foot whose duties place them within the right-of way of any Federal-funded highway, including; • highway construction and maintenance forces • survey crews & utility crews; • responders to incidents within the highway right-of-way; • firefighters and other emergency responders when they are not directly exposed to flame, fire, heat, and/or hazardous materials; and • law enforcement personnel when directing traffic, investigating crashes, and handling lane closures, obstructed roadways, and disasters within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway. 23 CFR Part 634.2
Firefighters or other emergency responders working within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway and engaged in any other types of operations shall wear high-visibility safety apparel. The Incident Commander is ultimately responsible for ensuring that firefighters and other emergency responders are wearing high-visibility safety apparel when appropriate.
CAL FIRE POLICY 1728.6 High Visibility Safety Apparel (Vests) As required by federal regulation 23 CFR Part 634, personnel engaged in operations on or within the right-of-way of any Federal-aid highway must don ANSI/ISEA 107, 2004 Class 2 or 3 compliant high visibility garments (vests). In addition to Federal-aid highways, personnel engaged in operations on or within the right-of-way of any roadway or highway open to public travel will don high visibility garments (vests). Any current ANSI/ISEA compliant garment which meets or exceeds the 107, 2004 standards will be an acceptable substitute. Personnel donning ANSI compliant high visibility garments (vests) must do so according to the apparel manufacturer’s recommendation and must be aware of any and all limitations in the application and use of such garments.
CONT… Personnel are exempt from donning the high visibility garments (vests) when exposed to flame, fire, heat source, hazardous materials and/or when they are exposed to hazardous conditions where the use of such garments may increase the risk of injury to such personnel. Examples of such hazardous conditions may include, but not be limited to: fire suppression activities, hazardous materials investigation/mitigation, vehicle extrication, and technical rescue such as swift water, over-the-side, and confined space. As soon as the hazardous condition is mitigated, personnel must don the high visibility garment (vest) for the remaining duration of the incident.
CONT… Examples of operations requiring the donning of high visibility garments (vests) may include, but not be limited to: roadside medical aids, public service assists, traffic control, and work projects. Additionally, a designated and dedicated Lookout, should always be posted when personnel are in close proximity to any vehicular traffic.
Typical European crash scene EMS PD Fire/Rescue
As of November 24, 2008… this is non-compliant traffic control safety apparel!
Highway Safety Apparel Classifications Class I Class II Class III ANSI 107 Standard
“Class 1” vest in use by airport baggage handler
…and the shortcoming of wearing NO Vest!
ANSI 107 Class II vest: High-visibility green body with red trim, or…
Optional 5-Point Breakaway Velcro Closures ANSI 107 Class II vests with High-visibility red/orange body with green trim
U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration February 2008 “…we reviewed the ANSI/IISEA 207- 2006 public safety vest standard very carefully and found this standard compatible with the ANSI/ISEA Class II requirements for night-time visibility.” ANSI has a second vest standard; the ANSI 207 “Public Safety Vest”
ANSI 207 High-Visibility Vest ANSI 107 High-Visibility Vest Note shorter length to allow access to items on belt
A “Class III” garment has sleeves
Vests can be pre-donned over turnout coats then taken off if responding to a fire call.
Vests may be a concern at car fires during extrications, or at hazmat incidents
CAL FIRE employees engaged in emergency operations that directly expose them to flame, fire, heat, and/or hazardous materials shall not wear retro-reflective high visibility vests over NFPA 1971 compliant turn-out gear.
While wearing protective clothing, under exposure to fire situations, firefighters must remain in protected area on highway. When the coat comes ‘OFF’, the vest goes ‘ON’.
When a CAL FIRE employee is involved in vehicle extrication operations and a NFPA 1971 compliant turn-out coat is worn as the proper level of PPE. Do Not Wear the Vest
When a CAL FIRE employee is directly engaged in the actual extinguishment of a wildland fire and the employee is exposed to flame, fire, high heat and the CAL FIRE compliant nomex wildland ensemble is being worn as the proper level of wildland PPE. Do Not Wear the Vest
Do Not Wear the Hi Visibility Vest • When a CAL FIRE Peace Officer is engaged in an emergency incident, where the high visibility vest would increase the conspicuity of that officer and thereby compromise the cover and concealment of that officer, to the detriment of that officer’s safety, or…
When a CAL FIRE Peace Officer is involved in a high risk “potential adversarial or confrontational role” and the high visibility vest would interfere with and/or compromise the officer’s ability to protect him/herself. Do Not Wear a Hi-Visibility Vest Click on photo to view video
CAL FIRE Vest Specifications Product Requested; ANSI-107 Highway Safety Vests for Emergency Responders that meet the following specifications; • Class 2, Level 2 ANSI Red mesh with contrasting silver/lime-yellow material and silver reflective stripes using 3M Scotchlite reflective; • One Pen & Paper utility pocket on left chest integrated into vest design with contrasting color microphone tabs on each lapel area. • Tear-away Velcro feature at both shoulders, both sides, & front chest, • One size fits all design, L to 3XL. (special order; Size 4XL - 5XL at additional cost) • 1- American flag patch on left chest • The word" FIRE" printed on right vertical stripe in all upper case letters • "CAL FIRE" printed on silver reflective patch on back of vest in all upper case letters except for the letter ‘c’. All text in black ink.
Review • The intent of FHWR 23CFR Part 634 and CAL FIRE Policy 1728 is to decrease the likely hood of employee injury and maintain free flow of vehicular traffic by requiring CAL FIRE employees whose duties place them on or in close proximity to a roadway by wearing high-visibility safety apparel.
REMEMBER “If your feet are on the street… Your vest is on your chest!”