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Monday, June 24, 2013

Below 100/Emergency Driving

I watched the police car navigating through traffic with its lights and siren on. There were no “near misses” and no screeching brakes. The siren pitch changed as the squad car approached the multi-lane intersection and slowed almost to a stop. I could see the officer “clearing the lanes” as he verified that all the traffic had stopped. I noted the officer signaled his turn and was wearing his seat belt. The squad car passed through the intersection, increased its speed, and the siren pitch changed back to wail. The same process was repeated at the next intersection. It was smooth, deliberate, and professional.

The scene could have been used as a training video for the “Below 100” program. Below 100 is an initiative to get the number of police officer line-of-duty deaths to below 100 per year. The five tenets to the program are: Wear Your Vest, Wear Your Seat Belt, Watch Your Speed, WIN (What’s Important Now), and Complacency Kills.

Police driving is at the heart of four of the five tenets. Captain Travis Yates of the Tulsa Oklahoma police department is a Below 100 spokesman. Captain Yates connects the management of squad car speed with the need to treat each intersection as “an environmental change.” He says: “You better adjust to them (the traffic) because they are NOT going to adjust to you.” and “There is no room for error; you cannot make a mistake at an intersection!” Crashes at intersections often result in side-impact collisions, and that type of crash kills citizens and cops.

He pokes fun at citizens texting and using their smartphones while driving and then roars back at the cops about talking on their cell phones and typing on their computers while driving. “Our computers are even bigger!” he says. Yates ties the themes of invincibility and complacency together, punctuates his message by showing in-squad video recordings that leaves groups of experienced officers stone-cold silent, and then asks “So What’s Important Now?”

The message aligns with LMCIT loss control efforts and with our experience. Talk about the Below 100 initiative at your next roll call or training. More information on Below 100 can be found at

In our last blog we mentioned the California POST Board Safe Driving Campaign video series “Did You Know?” On June 15 one of their training videos entitled “Code 97” won an Emmy Award last week from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Congratulations to the team working on the venture.


                                                Responder Safety = Public Safety

Up next...It’s Not Part of the Job: Slips, Trips, and Falls in Public Safety

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Lots of Links

Periodically we want to provide you with online training resources, including some multimedia. Many of the videos below would work well for roll call trainings. 

Here is our first edition of “Lots of Links”:

Driving Emergency Vehicles
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s “Firefighter Life Safety Learning Media Center Archive” is an online line resource for fire and EMS instructors. Their presentation entitled “Driving Emergency Vehicles” echoes many of the points that League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) defense attorney Jack Hennen used in the spring loss control workshops, particularly in the area of intersection dynamics. The link to this training is at:

Roll Call Safe Driving Videos
The California POST Board has posted four short “Did You Know?” video clips focused on police driving. They are perfect for roll call training. Two are humorous, two are not, and all four get their message across. They can be viewed online or downloaded:

IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) “Is Today Your Day?”
Many instructors are using the IACP 23-minute video entitled “Is Today Your Day?” which can be found at:

Vaccinations and Infectious Disease Testing Coverage
LMCIT has posted a new memo that lays out the vaccination and disease testing coverage and requirements for first responders. The link to the information is at:

Tuberculosis Screening for Correctional and Emergency Medical Workers
This area continues to generate many inquiries and questions from correctional workers and EMS, fire, and police that respond to medical emergencies. A new LMCIT memo will address many of those questions and provides contact information for additional questions. The link is at:

IPAD Training
This is probably not what you think it is. The Minnesota Information Policy Analysis Division (IPAD) of the Department of Administration is hosting a second workshop for law enforcement officials. The June Law Enforcement Data Workshop filled up very quickly, so IPAD will offer a second date in September. The second workshop will be on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. in St. Paul.

The workshop features:
  • Discussion of legal requirements related to law enforcement data, juvenile justice data, traffic accident data, background investigations, and criminal expungement
  • Real-life problem solving scenarios based on actual inquiries to IPAD
  • Question and answer sessions
For more information about the workshop and to register, visit

If you have questions or comments, please contact or (651) 296-6733.

Free PATROL Course – Ethical Use of Databases
The free PATROL (Police Accredited Training Online) web-based course on the ethical use of databases is now live and is getting rave reviews. For more information, read my May 20 blog entry or contact the program administrator, Laura Honeck at (651) 281-1280 or


                                                     Responder Safety = Public Safety

Up next...Emergency Driving, High Frequency, and High Risk.

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.