Firefighters Stand Down For Safety

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli
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June 21, 2006

Rescue workers are standing down for safety today as they focus on situations that may seem simple but can turn out to be very dangerous. It is called "National Stand-Down Day."

Thousands of fire and EMS departments stop non-emergency services for the day. Instead they will be focusing on vehicle safety.

"In 2005 there were 106 line of duty deaths to firefighters in the United States. A significant portion of those were attributable to vehicle accidents or operations on the highway, " said Asst. Chief Bob Brown of Albemarle County Fire & Rescue

It's about 25 percent to be exact, but there is one thing all rescue workers are required to wear.

"Seat belts--it's the single best way to prevent death and injury in auto accidents," said Brown.

Rescue vehicles have flashing lights and reflectors to keep cars away, but sometimes people look at the scene instead of their driving.

"It's our job to protect this community and we ask for our citizens to consider that they can help to improve our safety by being careful," said Brown.

Many are also spending the day strengthening and learning about healthy eating.

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