The other day I think we all were thinking about the death of the child struck by a Kansas City engine as reported by Firehouse.com. As you have probably heard thousands of times before, it doesn’t take too many incidents like this one to remind you that we have a huge responsibility while driving our apparatus, and even when all things are going right and being done well, all it takes is someone not paying attention or distracted to get in our way and change everything.
Having a child at that age, I have preached to her about going into the street ad nauseum, but you know, kids sometimes just don’t remember that kind of stuff when they are excited or paying attention to that ball, or whatever the circumstances happen to be.
We need to be hypervigilant when it comes to operating these trucks; anticipating what is going to happen is much preferable to having to react to it unexpectedly if it does. When you see children playing nearby, don’t just drive by and wave- think about what you would do in the event one darted out into the street. Let off the accelerator and cover your brake, or at least look for evasive action options in case. It seems ridiculous that we have to be so defensive, but on the other hand, these guys in KC will probably be second guessing their actions forever, even if they had nothing to do with the way things worked out.
Be alert to your surroundings, buckle up, and let’s all go home in the morning.