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New training video helps keep first responders, motorists safe

Minnesota’s fire, law enforcement and emergency medical personnel will soon have a new tool by which to learn safety tips for addressing roadway incidents so that officials can avoid life-changing mistakes that put responders and motorists in harm’s way.

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SceneSafe, a 30-minute video training guide, will be distributed before year’s end to all Minnesota first responders.

More than 3,200 police, fire and ambulance vehicles were involved in Minnesota crashes between 2008 and 2012, according to Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) statistics.

State fire marshal Jerry Rosendahl said the SceneSafe DVD shows responders how they can take their safety into their own hands.

It also highlights why distracted driving by motorists is dangerous. Multitasking and not paying attention behind the wheel can cause crashes and make an already bad situation worse, Rosendahl said.

The video, funded by the state Fire Safety Account, was a collaboration between DPS’ State Fire Marshal Division, Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), various responder associations, and several municipal police, EMS and fire departments.

The video includes:

● Stories of Minnesota first responders killed and injured at a crash scene.

● Instruction and considerations for properly responding to roadway incidents.

● Tips and advice for setting up emergency traffic control scenes.

“The goal of SceneSafe is to help Minnesota responders establish an emergency work zone that is as safe as possible,” said John McClellan, MnDOT freeway operations supervisor. “Many of these strategies revolve around providing the motoring public clear instructions on what to do when approaching a roadway incident, protecting both the responders and the public.”