Author

Josie Gray

Date of Award

3-2020

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering

Department

Civil Engineering

Committee Chair

Scott A. Parr, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Christopher D. Grant, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Hongyun Chen Ph.D.

Abstract

First responders face many hazards that put their lives at risk while on duty. A review of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund statistics shows that 553 police officers died in the line-of-duty between 2008 and 2017 as a direct result of a traffic related incidents. Sadly, the nation’s first responders are exposed to factors which make them uniquely vulnerable to traffic related injuries and deaths. The goal of this research is to investigate and analyze crashes involving first responder vehicles and struck-by crashes. This project concludes that approximately 1.2% of the crashes in the state of Florida involve a first responder vehicles. The findings also highlight characteristics of interest to target for more research or revise traffic scene and management practices. Some of these highlighted characteristics include: sideswipes to emergency vehicles and dark settings with ambient lighting. The data found from this research should be implemented to protect the lives of emergency responders. Every bit of research that helps to discover safer techniques or situations can better lead to all responders going to home after their shift. These individuals are extremely thankful for focused efforts on helping the emergency responder community.

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