Public Safety and Security Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-6454

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING FIRE STATION WORK ZONES.

Vote Date:

3/7/2013

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

2/28/2013

File No.:

92

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Public Safety and Security Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

To increase firefighter safety and reduce their exposure to moving traffic by designating a fire station work zone outside of a fire station.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None stated.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Chief Charles Flynn, Town of Suffield Fire Department testified in support of the bill. He noted that even with standards in some departments, deaths or injuries can still occur while providing emergency services roadside, directing traffic and operating fire apparatus.

Chief John Mancini, University of Connecticut, Division of Public Safety testified in support of the bill. He stated that while his department has a backing up policy, firefighters continue to be vulnerable when backing into the station.

Chief Stephen Pendl, Cromwell Fire Department supports the bill. He cited a case when a firefighter was grazed by a passing vehicle as he was directing a truck that was backing into the station. He stated that adding signage and a fine may reduce such injuries or even fatalities.

Connecticut Conference of Municipalities supports the bill. They stated that firefighters are vulnerable when backing in their trucks and managing apparatus outside of the fire station as motorists fail to drive safely. The bill would help to reduce casualties by adding signage and fines.

John Mancini, President, Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association supports the bill. He stated that many departments do not have the safety devices that signal oncoming traffic and this bill would help deter motorists that do not use caution.

Paul J. Rapanault, Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut supports the bill. He stated that it would provide an added resource to help deter speeding motorists when firefighters operate in a non-emergency capacity.

Chief Geoffrey Herald, City of Danbury fully supports the bill. He noted that there are often hazardous roadway situations which place firefighters in jeopardy and even with signals and firefighters directing traffic, vehicles still drive by.

Chief Richard E. Bailey, Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department supports the bill. Although the department has a backing up policy, firefighters still experience casualties from motorists and this bill would help to alleviate the situation.

Chief William Lewis, Windsor Volunteer Fire Department supports the bill. He gave an example of a situation in 2008 when firefighters were backing a truck into the station after returning from a fire and a motorist crashed into the bucket damaging the equipment; the firefighter received a warning from the police regarding the incident stating that the accident was caused by him. He stated that this bill will clarify any existing confusion.

Geoffrey Herald, Connecticut Career Fire Chiefs Association fully supports the bill. He stated that it creates a safer condition for firefighters by designating work zones in the vicinity of the fire station.

John P.Yacovino, Connecticut Fire Marshal's Association supports the bill as it would increase safety for firefighters.

Ted Schroll, Connecticut State Firefighters Association supports the bill as it would help to discourage the failure of motorists to comply with law and be more attentive to firefighters as they back up apparatus returning from emergencies.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None stated.

Reported by: Laurel A. Coleman

Date: March 21, 2013