A step has been taken to help ensure the safety of Washington County first responders.
In April, the Washington County EMS Council purchased 185 helmets costing about $200 each to distribute across 28 emergency medical service agencies and fire departments across the county.
“The goal is to provide the much-needed safety benefit of head protection while responding to traffic emergencies,” said Daniel Miller, executive director of SouthBridge Emergency Medical Services in Bridgeville. “Additionally, they are designed to accommodate various light systems that not only illuminate the area for responders, but also provide added visibility for drivers near the scene. This purchase is instrumental in the safety of EMS and fire personnel in the field.”
Recent statistics from the Emergency Responder Safety Institute of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association show that more than 40 first responders die while responding to traffic emergencies each year. CVVFA covers Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.
That number does not include the numerous severe injuries suffered by those working rescues on or near roadways.
Ron Sicchitano, Bentleyville fire chief, said the helmets purchased are the Team Wendy Helmets, built specifically for those who risk their lives every day. The unique design improves head protection from blunt impact.
“It’s proper head protection,” he said. “The helmet is designed for a variety of different rescue scenarios. It can be used for anything from highway (calls) to vehicle extrication to confined space to water.”
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