Firefighters know the danger inherent in working a call on any busy roadway - scene safety has been an issue for decades. It can be challenging to focus on providing quality and compassionate care to the people we are supposed to serve when our own safety is threatened. Positioning apparatus on the roadway to establish a perimeter and maximize safety has been a part of training for years. However, the primary response apparatus must do other jobs on the scene, so proper positioning can be a secondary concern. This risk that comes with this can be mitigated with a dedicated vehicle - the blocker truck.
A blocker truck has one task. Block the scene from any oncoming hazards. These trucks are equipped with specialized equipment to keep your team safe.
Most are equipped with large traffic indicator signs to make people aware of the hazard and usually have a fair amount of cones on them. They might also be equipped with what is called a Truck Mounted Attenuator (TMA). The Scorpion II shown in the below photo is one of the most popular TMAs on the market today.
The Scorpion II is designed to absorb the impact of a speeding vehicle. When struck the device collapses in progressive stages, which reduces the impact forces on the striking vehicle occupants. Additionally, this tool mitigates a significant amount of risk to emergency responders, civilians, and other equipment on the scene. A blocker truck need not be a completely new vehicle added to the fleet for which funding must be sought - re-purposing one of your old vehicles or identifying a used chassis on which a property blocker truck can be constructed at a fraction of the cost of the primary apparatus can solve this issue.
The blocker truck has not been a standard vehicle in Fire Department fleets in the past, but it has been quickly gaining popularity in recent years. Check out this one on Firetruckmall.
If you’re interested in getting more information or have questions regarding blocker trucks, call Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus. We’re here to help!